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Bullets Tame Spurs In Centerless Battle
6 November 1996. Washington Bullets 96, San Antonio Spurs 86 (record: 2-1)
Game leaders: Howard, Webber (22 points), Webber (21 rebounds), Strickland (7 assists)
Well, it wasn't pretty, but the Bullets won. In my first chance to watch the Bullets live, they did their job against a team without much front court depth. At times, Dominique Wilkins was serving as the Spurs CENTER against Webber. Both teams were missing their starting and backup centers (David Robinson and Will Purdue for the Spurs, Gheorghe Muresan and Lorenzo Williams for the Bullets), so that's not a huge factor (although I guess you could say Robinson is a pretty good player).
What helped is that CWebb had a monster game on the boards, getting a career high 21 boards. And the troika that missed 19 of 28 free throws on Saturday hit 16 of 16 last night. Cheaney also played big at times, including 7 straight points early in the 3rd quarter to eliminate the halftime deficit of 4 points.
Are They The Wizards Or Not? The name game is far from over for the Bullets. The trademark lawsuit carries on.
Unfortunately for the Spurs, starting shooting guard Vinnie Del Negro went down with a knee injury. His status is unknown at this time.
One thing I saw in the game was that the Bullets offense still isn't showing much cohesion. There is still too much one-on-one playmaking by all players, rather than passing to the open man. I think the cohesion will come with time, as everyone gets more comfortable with who likes what spots on the floor and what the expectations are in certain alignments. This team looked scary when it actually passed the ball well.
Michael Adams -
Back in DC
Michael Adams is now doing the Bullets post-game report on WRC-980 AM, although he still hasn't ruled out playing in the NBA again.
Defensively, the Bullets did a very good job (for the most part) collapsing on the lane. Their help defense is also very good. Harvey Grant, in particular, was especially effective in this manner. He had 8 blocked shots in his first two games, and while he didn't have any tonight, he was getting his fouls because he was helping for blocked shots (and instead getting called for a hacking foul). This is a good sign.
Another funny stat to note: the Bullets have scored exactly 96 points in each of their first three games. That's just some weird synchronicity going on here, that's all. I have noticed, however, that scoring seems to be down in the league this year. I can't quite say whether it's because the defense is better or the shooting is worse. It seems to be a combination of both.
wtf 7 November 1996