Washington Wizards fall to the Chicago Bulls by 28

Unlike the previous two loses in which the Wizards played well and were able to take away some small moral victories, there would be none taken away from this game. The Wizards were over-matched in nearly every phase of the game and lost to the Bulls 105 – 77. Early in the game, the Bulls were unstoppable in the paint and finished the game with 48 points in the paint. The Bulls were also able to own the boards, pulling down 56 rebounds – 17 more than the Wizards. Following the game, Flip Saunders put it bluntly, “There bigs kicked our butt.” High percentage shots in the paint combined with their success on the backboards enabled Chicago to hit 48% from the field.

Andray Blatche finished the game with a double-double, he led the Wizards with 15 points and 11 rebounds. However those statistics, as they often are with him, are misleading. Andray is rarely in good rebounding position, often is slow getting back on defense and doesn’t appear to be focused when on defense. Those shortcomings can and were exploited by a team like the Bulls. Andray can put points on the scoreboard but they often come at the expense of good offensive flow.

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Andray Blatches boxes out with his eyes

Another video against the Spurs.  In this short video clip, notice how Andray Blatche quickly looks at the offensive player as the shot is going up.  Rather than put a body on him… he looks at him.  The rebound goes long and guess who is there to get the ball… no not Andray Blatche.  See if you can catch John Wall’s expression at the very end of the clip.

Wizards energetic effort results in a loss against the Heat

Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images

Certain loses are easier to take than others and the Wizards eight point loss to the Heat is one of those loses. When you consider the way the Wizards played in their recent games against Orlando, Indiana and Philadelphia, that they were without Andray Blatche and Al Thornton who were nursing injuries, and that they were adding three new players into the mix (Mike Bibby, Maurice Evans and Jordan Crawford) – a beat down against the Miami Heat would have been expected. However, the Wizards elected to play with a little passion. And while they ultimately lost the game, it was a competitive and entertaining game throughout.

The Heat secured the win with an good game by Bosh (15 pts & 8 reb), great game by LeBron James (25 pts, 9 reb & 7 ast) and an incredible scoring performance by Dwyane Wade (41 points). They also received a little help by the officiating crew as the Heat shot 45 free throws versus 23 by the Wizards. (In fact, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (28 FTs) attempted more foul shots that the entire Wizards team (23).)

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The strange case of Dan Snyder’s lawsuit

It is nearly impossible to live in or around Washington, DC and not be aware of Dan Snyder’s $2 million libel lawsuit against the Washington City Paper. In the suit, he alleges that the paper has an “ongoing campaign” to “smear his business and personal reputation.” Snyder and his attorney’s suggest that, while it has built up over time, the situation finally became unbearable with the publication of Dave McKenna’s article on November 19, 2010 entitled, “The Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide to Dan Snyder.”

What has some scratching their heads is the target of the lawsuit. Mike Madden, Managing Editor of the Washington City Paper wrote, “Snyder sued the investment partnership that owns City Paper’s parent company, alleging that our November cover story defamed him.” The lawsuit was filed against the parent company of WCP’s parent company, Atalaya Capital.

The WCP’s Editor, Michael Shaffer described the situation in his article, “Bully pulpit: Why a sports owner’s lawsuit matters.”  He wrote:

“Still, when Snyder’s legal threats became public, it was at least partly a relief. We’d first learned about his displeasure back in November via a letter from Redskins General Counsel David Donovan. The missive wasn’t directed to our editors, who most people would contact with complaints. Instead, it was sent to the investment company that controls the media firm that owns City Paper. It included this doozy of a statement: ‘We presume that defending such litigation would not be a rational strategy for an investment fund such as yours. Indeed, the cost of the litigation would presumably quickly outstrip the asset value of the Washington City Paper.’”

David Carr, a former editor of the WCP and currently with the New York Times described the situation this way:

“Neither Mr. Snyder nor his executives ever got in touch with the newspaper or its editors, preferring to try to exercise leverage on the hedge fund that owned it. The effort to cut out the middleman and apply direct pressure on the ownership reflects a level of aggression that would have come in handy on the field during yet another hapless Redskins season.”

Click here to read the full article.

Comcast-NBCU will provide alternative to ESPN and possibly changes to CSN Washington

On January 18, 2011 the FCC and Department of Justice approved the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal. Eleven days later Comcast announced that it had officially taken control of NBC Universal from General Electric. Surely the long term effects of such a merger – between the largest cable/Internet provider with a major media and entertainment outlet – won’t be fully felt for many years.

What seems apparent is that consumers of sports television will eventually have a serious alternative to ESPN in nearly 20 years.

The recently formed NBC Sports Group, under the leadership of Chairman Dick Ebersol, will have the combined Comcast-NBCU assets as building blocks. Those building blocks include Versus, the Golf channel, Universal Sports, 14 regional sports networks (including CSN Washington) and NBC Sports.

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Tough match-up and self-inflicted wounds limit JaVale McGee’s effectiveness

Yes, JaVale McGee is young. Last month he turned 23 – happy belated birthday JaVale. He is also still trying to adjust to being a starting Center in the NBA. And in this particular game he was squaring off with one of the games best, the grizzled 26 year old veteran, Dwight Howard.

Playing fairly sparingly (16:59), JaVale managed 2 points on 1-5 from the field. A few of those shots were of the very low percentage variety – off-balanced and fading away from the basket. Given his shot selection, it is not a surprise that he did not manage to get to the line. He also finished with 1 rebound, 1 blocked shot and 3 personal fouls. And as his +/- indicates (-7), it was clearly not one of JaVale’s most productive games. Dwight Howard finished with a fairly pedestrian – for him – 22 points and 15 rebounds.

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