It's hard to put a finger on it exactly, but it seems that the Washington Wizards were doing a lot of running and not enough gunning on Wednesday night at ‘The Q'. Maybe they just missed the firepower Gilbert Arenas gives them.
Just hours after Arenas was suspended indefinitely by NBA Commissioner David Stern for gunplay in the locker room, the Cavaliers unloaded all barrels on Washington in an easy 121-98 win.
How bad was it for Washington? The Seldom-Seen Danny GreenTM outscored DeShawn Stevenson 5-3 and Jawad Williams outscored Brendan Haywood 7-4.
Yep. It was that kind of night. One that harkened back to the 2008-2009 season when Cavalier starters routinely went about 30 minutes and then watched the bench bunch bring home the win.
The Cavaliers shot 57% from the floor, scored 50 points in the paint, shot 50% on 22 three point attempts and pretty much dominated the game from the opening tip. Even while sitting the entire fourth quarter LeBron James still found the time to lead the Cavaliers with 23 points. James also dished out 8 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds in just 31 minutes. Shaquille O'Neal backed James with 17 points on a 6/9 shooting night and even converted 5/7 free throws. Anthony Parker hit his Cavalier-high with 16 points and Delonte West, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao all hit the double-digit mark in points for the 28-9 Cavaliers who were coming off a disappointing Sunday night loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on their home floor.
The Wizards were led by Antawn Jamison's 26 points and also got a nice shooting night of guard Randy Foye who was 8/12 from the floor for his 18 points.
Arenas sealed his fate when he mockingly formed his fingers into a couple of six-shooters while leading the pre-game huddle a couple nights back: Apparently Stern has no sense of humor in regard to such lighthearted matters. Now Arenas faces not only the legal ramifications of his actions, but he also faces losing $147,000 for every game he's suspended.
He probably shouldn't expect to back in action any time soon either. Stern correctly understands that this is a serious issue. It's an issue that could potentially be deadly and that could expose the league to huge liabilities were an actual shooting to occur.
All because a man with a $100million contract determined the locker room was a better and safer place for his weapons than a $1,000 gun safe.
Williams' playing time was much more significant in that it came at the expense of Daniel Gibson. Head Coach Mike Brown turned to Williams over Gibson when he rested his starters in the first half. Williams, tentative at first, played 25 minutes and went 3/9 from the field, including a three pointer of his own. Not sure if Gibson is in the doghouse or if Brown just likes the length that Williams gives the second unit but it's definitely an interesting development as the Cavs face the next three weeks without the services of Jamario Moon.
They Got Next
The Cavs embark on their second (and final) west coast trip of the season beginning Friday night in Denver (1030pm ESPN). After that one it's on to Portland (Sunday, 9pm ESPN), Golden State (Monday, 1030pm FSN Ohio), Utah (Thursday, 1030pm TNT) and finally finishing next Saturday night against the Clippers in L.A. (1030pm FSN Ohio).