Friday, April 3, 2009

Wizards beat Cavs; Bears get Cutler

In case you missed the game last night, like I did, the Wizards surprisingly beat the Cavs 109-101. For the first time all season, Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, and Brendan Haywood all suited up for the same time.

In a balanced attack, Butler scored 25 points, Jamison had 19 points (and a sick dunk), Haywood scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Arenas had 11 points along with 10 assists and six rebounds. The bench also chipped in; Darius Songaila had 17 points and six rebounds, while Nick Young scored 10 points.

Again, while I did miss the game, it's evident that the Wizards played hard and wanted to show the league that, when healthy, they can still hang with the league's best. Though it's just one game, beating the (now 61-14) Cavs for the second time this season is still pretty nice in an otherwise bittersweet season.

Also, apparently a game between these two teams can't go by without LeBron James doing something controversial (crab dribble, anyone?). Michael Lee from Wizards Insider explains:

Did anyone notice what LeBron James did with 15.3 seconds remaining and Gilbert Arenas at the foul line? After Arenas made his first free throw to give the Wizards a 107-101 lead, James informed a referee that he had blood on his jersey, leading to an officials' timeout that broke up Arenas's rhythm. Arenas missed his next free throw attempt, one of three misses on the night for him, and gave the Cavaliers a little life.

... But Arenas said something felt fishy last night. 'Instead of calling a timeout, he said he had blood on his jersey," Arenas said, rolling his eyes. "It's always something, right?

Not the worst thing in the world -- but still pretty odd. Maybe James just likes to mess with Arenas when he's shooting free throws. Oh well. James still had a solid game in the loss -- 31 points, nine rebounds, six assists -- but he also had six turnovers.

It doesn't matter a whole lot now, but if the Wizards hadn't blown an 89-82 lead with 1:32 left in the fourth quarter during the first Wiz-Cavs meeting on Christmas day, Washington would be 3-0 against Cleveland this season. Then again, I doubt that the NBA wanted King James to have a poor holiday season. "Would have ruined my Christmas," James said after the win. We wouldn't want that to happen.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon


It's old news now, but earlier today the Chicago Bears acquired quarterback Jay Cutler from the Denver Broncos along with a 2009 fifth-round pick in exchange for two first-round picks (in 2009 and 2010), a 2009 third-round pick, and quarterback Kyle Orton. Regardless of who won the trade (probably the Broncos), each team gets what it wanted: Denver gets a fill-in quarterback and draft picks to help fix a terrible defense, and the Bears get a potential franchise quarterback.

Meanwhile, the Redskins continue to show no desire in sticking to any kind of plan. Daniel Snyder and company apparently made a strong push to trade for Cutler, but things didn't work out, and now they're back to pretending that they're fine with Campbell leading the offense. And, pulling no punches, Michael Wilbon doesn't understand what Washington's front office is doing:

I would say it's amazing the Redskins were even contemplating a deal, but it really isn't. This is Snyder's M.O.: Go for the stars; covet and acquire. That's why the Redskins are a six-time NFL paper champion.

Draft and develop? No interest. You mean you can actually use those first- and second- and third-round draft picks the way the Steelers and Patriots and Giants do -- on kids who'll, one day, become famous?

It's not that Cutler isn't good; it's just that the move didn't make sense for the Redskins.

Say, for instance, the Redskins made the same offer as the Bears (with Campbell thrown in instead of Orton) and gave up two first-rounders and a third-rounder for Cutler and a fifth-rounder. Great, now what would the Redskins do to address the offensive line, defensive line, and linebacking corps (among other needs)? If that move were to be made, the Redskins would have had zero picks in the first FOUR rounds.

Again, the Redskins didn't trade for Cutler. But if it happened, it could have been a complete disaster, which is probably why Wilbon gave his column the title, "Lucky Strikeout." You got that right.

By the way, Wilbon's column is also worth reading just to see Campbell's comments on the whole mess. If some people were questioning his attitude or leadership before this situation, they have to be convinced that he'll do anything it takes to earn the respect of anyone who doubts him -- especially the Redskins' front office.

It's a pretty sad day when a team's fans have to root against its own front office on a consistent basis hoping that the team stays on the right path.

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