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Riding the Bullets Bench March

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Refs Whistle A Different Tune As The Bullets Finish Jazz Session Off-Key

15 March 1997. Utah Jazz 100, Washington Bullets 93 (record: 30-34)
Game leaders: Strickland (27 points), Howard (7 rebounds), Strickland (7 assists)

Beware the Ides of March. That's what the seer told Julius Caesar in William Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar. That's what the Bullets should have been told, especially when it came to the officiating. Because they came to a methodical end.

In part, the Bullets lost this game themselves, but the officiating needs to be seriously questioned. Strickland gets mugged by John Stockton on a post-up turnaround, right in front of a ref, and no whistle. Rod earns a technical. Even Jeff Hornacek complained a bit too vociferously and got a technical (and should have earned another, because he was screaming obscenities at a couple of refs to make his point).

But CWebb's takes the cake. He got tossed (the first time ever) for something that shouldn't have even warranted the first technical. Washington Post sports reporter J.A. Adande does a good job explaining the situation and what was wrong with the official's call.

The funny thing was, the Bullets held a 9-point lead at halftime, even after Webber was ejected. They'd held the Jazz to 33% shooting from the field in the first half, and they were getting cheers even as the refs were booed at every stoppage in play.

But the Bullets of the second half allowed the Jazz to shoot 62% from the floor in the second half, and they wound up losing the game in the end.

In Webber's absence, Rod Strickland took over. Muresan also had a good game (16 points, 6 rebounds), Howard chipped in 15 points, and Murray had 12 points.

Still, the Bullets were harping on the officiating long after the game. Yeah, there was a 39 to 21 free throw discrepancy between the Bullets and the Jazz, but the Jazz earned many of those free throws. What gets me is the no calls that occur when a Bullet is getting fouled. That's got to stop, for the sake of the game. (Maybe I'll go into that later.)

Still, when the Bullets only make 14 of 21 free throws (66.7%), they will continue to lose games. Made free throws make this a much closer game down the stretch. And that type of execution is what Bernie Bickerstaff is trying to point out to his young charges.

wtf 17 March 1997

<== Sparing The Rod, The Bullets Still Beat Down The Bucks Bullets and Spurs Tangle In A One-Sided Shootout  ==>

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