Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  22 responses

Welcome Back, Gil

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

All told, there weren’t too many surprises last night: The Lakers beat their next-door neighbors with relative ease, Shaq and the LeBronnaires struggled to find their groove against Boston’s cagey vets, and Houston was awful as expected.

In Washington, though, the story was slightly different. Gilbert Arenas loudly announced his return from the proverbial dead. Agent Zero reminded Wizards fans why they had fallen in love with him in the first place — and it had nothing to do with offcourt high-jinks.

Leading his team to an opening night victory over Dallas, Arenas’s dazzling performance (29 points, 9 assists) left everyone in DC with a renewed sense of hope and confidence.

The Washington Post has more:

Arenas eased his way through the preseason, alternating between playing passive setup man and aggressive scorer. But on Tuesday, the three-time all-star confidently played both roles with resounding results, proving to anyone who wondered, that he is, indeed, back. “I think that anyone that had any questions about where he’s at,” Saunders said, pausing. “He’s just going to continue to get better and better.”

“I did fine,” Arenas said. “Coach told me to be myself. Don’t let the outside world dictate how I play. So, I did me.”

Of course, it’s way too early in the season to get too excited about any of this — there’s plenty of time left for things to potentially go wrong — but as someone told me on Twitter last night, 19-win seasons are unspeakably frustrating to endure. You take the positive wherever you can get it.

Bask in the glory for now, Wiz fans. You’ve certainly earned it.

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  • Tombomb

    Just 81 more games like this and the Wiz may have a tidy seeding and a runner for MVP…..Gil is that good……anyone else feel really sad for D-Wade? I just can tell this season is gonna suck for him.

  • http://Www.lacuevacrosscountry.com Slick Nick Da Ruler

    It was great to see Gil back.

  • underdog

    I hope Gil’s knee is going to be all right.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    I picked him up in the 2nd round for Fantasy Bball! Hopefully he can stay healthy! The assists were a great surprise!

  • cramzy

    @tombomb we should start a dwade fan support group. I do Beasley will step up a little this year but it could be ugly. Glad to see Gilbert doing his thing. My office killed me for saying he was gone go hard this year.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jack L

    If Gil keeps up the assists he will be a much better player than he was before. Actually if he can average 9 assists a game he will be the MIP!

  • K-Nasty

    I’m not gonna bask until Jamison comes back, but Andray Blatche and Randy Foye were nice surprises. Hopefully, they continue to pick up the slack for the next month.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Definitely glad I drafted Gil in on my fantasy team…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Gilbert looked nice. Then again, he was being guarded by two of the worst defenders in the League right now in Barea and Kidd.
    But, his game looked fluid and he looked very under control getting to the rim. I was impressed.

  • http://slamonline.com YKnot

    Blatche had the game of his life, don’t know how long that”ll last. How about beating the home team, on opening night, minus Jamison! Go Wiz

  • http://www.redraidersaports.com Nicolas Fleming

    And I got lol’s when i picked Gil up in my fantasy league…look who is laughing now. Not me, I still have 81 games to see if the knee stays strong. If he stays healthy, then I thank Slam because the only reason I picked him was because of that open run vid posted earlier in the summer. And Ryne, I never got that e-mail about this alleged fantasy league….

  • http://www.another48minutes.com Gerard Himself

    If I’m rooting for two guys to get back on top this year, it’s Arenas and Baron Davis. On a more superficial note: who saw that little interview on TNT with Davis last night? The guy is the Andre 3000 of the NBA when it comes to style.

  • JoeMaMa

    Nick Young picked up a DNP-CD. What’s that about? If he’s not injured that’s a tough way to start the season for him.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    This made my night. Gil looked under control all night and wasn’t hesitant at all. I still saw the old Gil with a couple of rushed 3′s with a lot of time left on the clock, but overall a successful return.

  • jdubbs29

    I’m a long suffering Wiz fan and this by far is the best team we’ve had in 20 years.

    I’m not worried about making the finals, just want to see us beat some 2nd tier teams and stay close with the class of the league (Spurs, Lakers, Celts).

    Arenas looked a lot better than I thought he would last night and the team seemed to gel pretty well together. Full credit to Flip for having them look better, a BIG upgrade to Eddie Jordan.

  • dfrance

    @JoeMaMa I noticed that about Nick Young too. I was watching the game waiting for him to get in but it never happened. I’m not sure where he fits into the rotation now that Gil is back and they have Foye.
    I think people will be surprised by Blatche, he has skills and it looks like his confidence is up.
    DeShawn Stevenson should just go away.

  • LA Huey

    w/ gil back i hope we get cavs/wiz in the second round.

  • jufu

    great news that i can now dig my gilbert jersey out of my closet without feeling like a douche

  • http://1082NewGibraltarSqStoneMountain,Georgia30083 Luke P

    glad to see you back, Gil

  • phil

    i’ve been optimistic about gil over the past year, saying he’s going to be back. but was getting tormented by friends. now that he is back, everyone seems to jump on his bandwagon

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I’ve been one of Gil’s biggest haters on the threads for a long while. I’m happy to say though, that if he can come back with some league leading numbers I’ll be more than happy to herald the changing of the guard for this guy. I don’t think Baron Davis has much in the tank at this point – he has come back injured I believe, hasn’t he?
    In any event – If I get 70+ games this season out of Gil I’ll be very impressed. Lets go Zero.
    (also I dont like how Marion is wearing number ’0′. It doesn’t suit him.

  • Afonso

    Im a TrailBlazers fan but this dude is PURE CLASS!!!!!!!!!!THERE´S ABOUT 5 MORE PLAYAS (kobe,dwade,cp3,maybe bron,GINOBILI-you guys saw him last night toying with the hornets??!amazing!) WHO HAVE THAT CREATIVITY AND RAW SKILL, BALANCE AND INSTINCT..HOPE HE CAN PLAY ALL YEAR, ILL WATCH THE WIZ EVERY TIME I CAN…WELCOME BACK AGENT 0, GOOD LUCK