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Break out the champagne — the Wizards win!

Jan 11, 2012, 12:49 AM EDT

Washington Wizards Trevor Booker (right) and John Wall celebrate a basket during the second half of their NBA game against the Toronto Raptors in Washington Reuters

It all came together for one night.

At home, against a tired Toronto team on the second night of a back-to-back. Flip Saunders put in a new starting lineup of guys playing with some grit — Chris Singleton and Trevor Booker start, and Andray Blatche comes off the bench.

It worked — the Washington Wizards picked up their first win of the season, and quite easily at that, 93-78.

This was by far Washington’s best game of the season, particularly on offense. For eight games their offense had been simplistic, with pick-and-rolls or isolations on the strong side and a lot of standing around. But against the Raptors there were weakside cuts occupying defenders, slowing help, all the things you see in a good offense. It gave them room to attack the basket and they did, it was not a jump shot fest. It wasn’t consistent, it certainly wasn’t perfect, but it was a vast improvement over past games.

Meanwhile the Wizards defense was more aggressive, although it was certainly helped by a hesitant Raptors offense that did not attack aggressively. DeMar DeRozan has not found his groove for a couple games now. Jose Calderon has been aggressive off the pick and roll the last few games but tonight was pausing, then forcing some ugly passes that led to turnovers (the Raps had 22 on the night). Toronto only had 52 points through three quarters, the Wizards deserve credit for some of that but the Raptors do as well.

The Raptors are not a good team — they start Rasual Butler (1-of-6 shooting). They need Andrea Bargnani to generate the offense, and while he finished with 22 he was not as sharp as he has been in previous games. They are a team that is going to have nights like this.

The Wizards are not a good team either, but they were better for a night. John Wall had more assists than point (9 to 8). Rashard Lewis and Nick Young had 15 points each as the Wizards showed some balance. They had good bench play.

It’s a start. The Wizards have a long way to go, but for a night things were better. That is worth celebrating.

  1. verytalldad - Jan 11, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    Maybe I should have bought one of the hundreds of tickets that were going for 50 cents on stub hub.

    Probably overpriced.

  2. doctorfootball - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    50 cents?!?!? How could they be so expensive? The Wizards should pay people to watch that tragedy they call basketball.

  3. tomshoe - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:31 AM

    Hmm…The Wizards win when Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis come off the bench.


  4. nagidac - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:02 AM

    Since it was against the Raptors, it only counts as half a win.

  5. thebigkahuna23 - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    At least we got one on the board. Honestly depending on where we get to draft we’re a few good picks and a solid vet or two away from the playoffs.

  6. jagwar73 - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    I thought Singleton should have been starting all along. He is an effort guy, which is something Washington needs. He’s underrated and plays good defense. He’s only going to get better also.

  7. cluelessdufus - Jan 11, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    there throwing a party its only win there gonna get i mean there playing my chicago bulls this gets us a easy win i started being a fan after jordan left so after that so many bad seasons they finally got champion caliber team im a real bulls fan i hate people that change there favorite team based on how good a team is thumbs up if you agree

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