|Bullets Journal||Wizards Biz||Wizards Web||Wizards Boards||Wizards Talk|
|The Bench Roster||The Locker Room||The Ball Boy|
Bullets Find Gold In The Nuggets
13 December 1996. Washington Bullets 108, Denver Nuggets 104 (record: 9-11)
Game leaders: Webber (25 points), Webber (11 rebounds), Strickland (11 assists)
Friday the 13th. Sound ominous? What could be more ominous than usual for the Bullets as they took the floor that evening. This being a team that has 4 potential all-stars in its starting lineup and still continues to disappoint fans all around the metro area with an 8-11 record going into the game that bleak, rainy night.
Perhaps the supernatural is a counter-agent for the unnatural Bullets LuckTM.
Unseld Hits The Road Bullets' general manager Wes Unseld is concerned about the recent performance of the Bullets. That's why he'll travel with the team on its 6-game road trip.
The first half played out much like any other Bullets game this season with our heroes being down as much as 11 points. However, Jason himself must have given the half-time pep talk, because the Bullets came out playing hard. The Bullets style of play whittled away at the Denver Nuggets "defense" as well as our fingernails. An unlikely ending was written for this tale, the Washington Bullets would escape with their heads still attached to their necks, and they would also come away with a 108-104 nail-biting victory.
In the nitty-gritty of things, the Bullets shot over 50% for the game. A good sign for a team who has coped with offensive problems for most of the season so far. Chris Webber continued his quiet,all-star-caliber ways by shooting 12 of 18 and scoring 25 points. If this man could only put the "charity" back in the phrase "charity stripe," he would be the ultimate, complete player. Juwan Howard continued his progression from his early season shooting slump by pouring in 22 points on 50% shooting. And Rod Strickland played The Point Guard in tonite's fantasy by dishing 12 assists. Honorable mention goes out to Jaren Jackson as Little Richard Simmons whose late, last-second 3 pointer put the fat lady on a diet.
While the Bullets managed over 50% shooting as a team, they also kept the Nuggets below that same magical barrier which separates good teams from bad ones. Of course its that and the amount of appearances they make each year on national broadcasts (but you knew that didn't you?). I guess only the spirits can explain how the Bullets made this game a nail-biter while at the same time accomplishing all of the necessary goals that makes one team dominant and another team lose. Or maybe a better analyst. You make the call.
Alan Rubin 16 December 1996
Just a couple of quick asides. The Bullets fell behind early as the Nuggets repeatedly got out on the break and drilled 3-pointers. The Bullets transition defense was horrible (something us fans are getting numb to). Nuggets' point guard Mark Jackson finished the game with 18 assists, yet another indication why he leads the league in assists.
NBA Players Honor Derek Smith Read this aside in a column on ESPNet Sportszone by David Aldridge on how other players, including Jim McIlvaine and Danny Manning, are honoring Derek Smith's memory. (It's about halfway down the page, titled "In loving memory.")
In the second half, the Bullets started making more shots and reducing the transition chances for the Nuggets and pulled away to a 6-point 3rd quarter lead that the Bullets never relinquished (though it was briefly tied late in the 4th quarter).
Jaren Jackson's 25-foot heave was a holiday miracle (as the shot clock expired), and the Bullets overcame the Nuggets torrid outside shooting (13 of 28 on 3-pointers) to win this one. I'm glad the Bullets did alright in the end. Now, for the road trip.
wtf 16 December 1996
|Bullets Look, Play Different As They Run By Cavs||Webber Returns To The Scene Of His Crime And Wins The Duel|