Stat Line: 13 points (4-10 shooting, 3-5 from beyond the arc), 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 0 steals, and 1 turnover in 20:10 (+14).
Shoes: Gil II Zero UNDRCRWN.
You might remember a few weeks ago that Rod Benson suggested that Gilbert should come down to D-League to start his rehab. Last night against the Heat, Gil essentially got that chance and he got to do it with his Wizards’ teammates to boot. It was a win-win situation for everyone involved (well, besides the Heat) and the results show that.
While the numbers were impressive, Gil’s main contribution had less to do with how much he put up and more with how he did it. Let’s let Mike O’Koren explain:
The Wizards have been forced to play at a slower pace without Arenas all season but he helped them post 20 fast-break points last night.
“We haven’t had that in a long time and the byproduct of those fast-break points was Gilbert Arenas, when he has the basketball and the way he pushes it,” said associate head coach Mike O’Koren, who handled the pre- and postgame news conferences for Coach Eddie Jordan, who has been battling flu-like symptoms and a severe sinus headache. “Our big guys, they see a lob pass or a pass ahead and they are going to run extra. That’s a big reason why we won this game, we got easy buckets.”
More than anything else, Gilbert’s effectiveness for the rest of the season (especially if he’s restricted to 20-25 minutes a game) is going to be measured by how well he creates and capitalizes on fast break opportunities. Antonio Daniels is a very solid point guard, but he’s much more effective in a half-court setup than he is running the break. If Gil can come in and help get easy points like he did tonight, he’s going to give the Wizards a dangerous new dimension as they enter the playoffs.