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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Antawn Jamison is back...Thank God."

Thank God, indeed. Those were the words of someone standing behind me in line waiting to get into the Verizon Center tonight for the much-anticipated game vs. LeBron and his fellow Cleveland Cavaliers. With Gilbert Arenas (once again) struggling for the majority of the game, shooting just 6-22 field goals, and Caron Butler (once again) not completely himself, as he struggled early but was able to boost the team with some second half energy and scoring, Antawn Jamison exemplified just why many call him "Mr. Consistency."
Scoring 31 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, he brought the team some much, much, much needed help. Without Jamison, I highly doubt the Wizards would have been able to win this game...but I'm sure glad they did. Jamison scored some early buckets in the game, keeping it close for most of the 1st quarter. But then it got ugly. Real ugly. No ball movement. Missed shots. Missed free throws. Turnovers. LeBron James dunking all in the face of the Wizards and Wizards fans. And in the blink of an eye, the Cavs were up by 17, with the fans groaning and growing more impatient as the game clock ticked away and hopes of shutting down LeBron fading quickly.
But Jamison stole the show from King and ruined his plans to rule over D.C....with some help from a supporting cast, of course. Brendan Haywood was a defensive force, swatting 3 shots and snatching 13 boards and Earl Boykins was a pest defensively and also scored 9 points, all in the 4th quarter, quieting the fans next to me who were screaming, "Get the midget off the court!" DeShawn Stevenson, who surprisingly made his first appearance of the game in the 3rd quarter, locked down LeBron like I've never seen anyone do before. On one possession he stuck to him like glue, forcing him to make a tough cross-court pass, while poking the ball away from LeBron on another. He also stayed close while James drove to the hoop and forced him to shoot (and miss) a difficult fadeaway jumper.
But the man who changed the game was Mike Miller. On a couple occassions, he clapped his hands and screamed for the ball as he set up to drill a three or hit a midrange jump shot when the Wizards were in need of someone to pick up the poor play. He finished the game with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Not bad for a ponytailed white boy.
So thank you Wizards, and thank you Jamison in particular, for giving a helluva team effort and for giving the Cavs another loss in D.C. as LeBron cried his way back to Cleveland.

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