I was going to include this in my previous post about Carmelo, but I thought Gilbert deserved his own post after putting up 60 against Kobe and the Lakers last night. I didn't actually catch the game — I wish I was in the DC the past days because of Ovechkin and Arenas — but I did see the highlights and the aftermath. Gilbert simply put the Wiz on his back in front of the team he dreamed of playing for as a child. It didn't matter if Kobe was covering him or that Kobe was equally hot from the floor. Gilbert was not going to lose this game. Gilbert has really elevated himself into the upper echelon of NBA players. Frankly, besides DWade and Lebron, what other guard in the east is better than Gilbert? And while on the subject of Kobe Bryant, he lost a lot of respect in my book with his comments after the game:
"You tip your hat and say, 'See you next time.' "I don't think he has a conscience. I really don't. He was chucking out there. He took some horrible shots and he made some big ones. I don't get a chance to play him much. I'll be ready next time."
So wait, Kobe is criticizing Gilbert's shot selection. Just think about that for a second. An interesting stat from the aftermath is that Arenas was just the second player ever to put up 60 against the Lakers. The other: Wilt Chamberlain. And speaking of the Wizards, they've now won 8 of 10 and are two games over .500. The way they are playing right now, they can beat anyone in the east. Obviously they don't play enough defense to compete with the best teams in the west. That Lakers team they beat last night at Staples is a damn good squad, so that should be chalked up as another quality win from a team that has recently beaten the Nuggets, Mavs, Pistons, and Heat. They have three more games to go in this short, 4-game western road trip. Next up is the Nuggets in a couple days. That game looks real winnable now considering the Nugs will lmost certainly be without Carmelo, and possibly J.R. Smith and Marcus Camby as well. I'll have more later on how impressed I am with the job Ernie Grunfeld has done as Wizards general manager.
Gilbert might be the best guard in the league besides DWade and Lebron