Wizards Cap West Coast Trip with Loss to Portland

Shaun AhmadSenior Analyst IJanuary 25, 2009

The Washington Wizards will be relieved as they travel back east after a four game west coast trip that left them three losses worse than when they arrived.  After getting humiliated by the Los Angeles Lakers just two nights before, the Wizards were thoroughly handled by the young Portland TrailBlazers who improved to 26-17 with the victory.  Washington fell to 9-34 by means of a 100-87 loss.

It seemed that only one of the ten players that got playing time showed up; Caron Butler.  Butler scored 31 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished five assists in 38 minutes.  He also led the team in free throws and attempts (10-11).  The rest of the Wizards seemed to have no gas in the tank. 

Antawn Jamison had a quiet 19 points with only four rebounds while fellow forward Dominic McGuire was awful in 35 minutes of play, scoring no points and mustering only eight rebounds with five turnovers.   Andray Blatche was not much better on the night, scoring 11 points but collecting just five rebounds (only one offensive).   Point guard Mike James was a no-show as he scored zero points in 28 minutes of play.

On the flip side, the Blazers came with a well balanced attack highlighted by the interior domination.  Center Greg Oden and forward LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 18 points while Oden had 14 rebounds to go with Aldridge’s eight.  Oden ended up with more rebounds that Washington’s McGuire and Blatche combined.

Brandon Roy outshined everyone by nearly having a triple double with 22 points, seven assists, and nine steals to go with six rebounds and only one turnover.  He played one of the most efficient games of anyone in the NBA all season, while the Wizards dabbled on the opposite end of the spectrum.  

Making matters worse was Washington’s inability to get to the free throw line.  Butler made it to the stripe eleven times, while the rest of the team combined to attempt only six free throws all game; a clear symptom of lack of aggression.  Conversely, Portland shot 23-31 from the charity stripe.  

The only positive note from the game for Washington is that the trip to the west is over.  Now it’s on to face the Phoenix Suns, who are on a slide of their own, on Monday night at the Verizon Center. 

Shaun Ahmad covers the Washington Wizards for Examiner.com.