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Riding the Wizards Bench November

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Wizards Lose Third Straight With Flat Performance

19 November 1997. Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers 97, Washington Wizards 86 (record: 4-7)
Game leaders: Murray (24 points), Strickland (10 rebounds), Strickland (13 assists)

Not a pleasant loss for the good guys. They were definitely tired following an overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks the previous night, but they played the Sixers fairly evenly in the first, third, and fourth quarters. However, the second quarter, where the Wizards shot 25% and allowed a 20-3 run by the Sixers, were all that was needed to lose this game.

->> WashingtonPost.com: Misfiring Wizards Fall to the 76ers.
->> Scores & Stats: Philadelphia 76ers/Washington Wizards Game Recap.
->> WashingtonPost.com: Fire Drives Team From Its Hotel.

The spark wasn't there, plain and simple. Rod Strickland had an awful offensive night (only 8 points, 2 shy of a triple double), though he did dish the ball well and rebound well. But everyone played flat-footed and got outhustled much of the night. Tracy Murray exploded for a bunch of points, but that was about the only thing that kept the score respectable.

Calbert Cheaney gets special attention, only shooting 1 of 6 from the free throw line. He had a chance with 2 minutes left to cut the Sixers' lead to 5 points and bricked both attempts. What I saw from the waist up on Cheaney sickened me. He had no rhythm to his shot, he just threw the ball up there. Shot-put the ball, jerky wrist follow-through, instead of shooting the ball. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear he was trying to throw the game.

One night before, the Wizards thought they played well enough to be considered a top team. After a performance like this night, should we reconsider that boast?

Can we just forget this game? I thought the Hornets game I saw was bad, but this was much worse. Philly gets its first home and division win of the season. The Wizards just look bad. Bad spacing, bad decision making, they still don't get calls from the refs when driving to the basket, it all combines for an ugly spectacle.

And on Friday, the Knicks come to DC. Oh boy, this should be fun...

wtf 21 November 1997

 <== Hawks Take Flight Late To Win Thriller Knicks On Another Plane Of NBA Existence  ==>

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