Chucky Atkins was unsure of his role with the Wizards entering Friday's game. After starting all 82 games in a career year with the Lakers, playing time has been sporadic with the Wizards. Never one to shy from speaking the truth"I ain't no GM. Ask Kobe. He's the GM. It's his team. Go ask him.", he admitted Thursday to feeling jerked around a bit:
"I have no idea," Atkins said after Wednesday's game. "I have no idea what my role is. One minute, I play. Last game, I didn't play. This game, I come out and play 13 minutes in the first half, none in the second half. I have no idea. I'm just rolling with the ball. When you get traded to a team, sometimes it can be tough."
Well, Atkins knew what to do against his former team: shoot the lights out. He scored 20 points in 22 minutes, drilling 6-7 three-pointers, including four in the span of about four minutes in the fourth quarter which almost single-handedly kept the Wizards in the game. He eventually fouled out (and received a standing ovation from the Palace fans), but he set the table for his current teammates to outlast Detroit in double overtime. Gilbert Arenas (39 points) was hot the whole game and Caron Butler (OT) came through in OT, but it was Atkins won won this game for Washington, even if he did watch the end from the bench.
It's depressing to see the Pistons lose after fighting back from a deficit that once reached 17 points, but now that it's in the books it was a blessing in disguise that Ben Wallace, Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups got in foul trouble, as they "only" played 39, 35 and 34 minutes, respectively. Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace put in 55 and 56, and you have to worry about how the bounce back Saturday night. Rasheed, by the way, was probably the primary reason the Pistons kept it close. He was the only guy clicking early, and he finished with 33 points and 11 boards, five assists and two blocks.
Watch for injury news on Antonio McDyess. Greg Kelser thinks McDyess may have banged knees with a defender late in the game, and even though I didn't see the replay, I wouldn't be surprised as he was hobbling the rest of the night. Obviously, he's not the guy you want with a knee injury -- I swear, every time he hits the floor I hold my breath until I see him get up with his kneecap still attached. This could be nothing, or it could be a couple of games. He kept on playing and even came in off the bench later, but only time will tell if he's ready for the quick turnaround in Milwaukee.
Atkins Feeling Unsure of Role [Washington Post]
Wizards 120, Pistons 114 box score [ESPN]