Why am I pumped (or seised) about a preseason game tonight? Yea, well, got my DVR set up….and we’ve got the season’s starting lineup (Etan, DeShawn, Antonio, Caron and Antawn) ready to show….something.
What about Pop’s beard? Something he’s been needing to do for a while. The guy doesn’t exactly have the best…..complexion. And our buddy Haywoode Workman is refereeing again.
Possession #1: Tim Duncan gets an offensive board with both Antawn Jamison and DeShawn Stevenson right in front of him…nobody puts a body on somebody. 2nd chances are a killer, Spurs don’t take advantage…two Kurt Thomas misses.
11:11: Jamison confidently hits a college three corner J on Thomas, who gave AJ just a bit too much space.
C’mon AD, you’re better than that…Duncan easily jumps the passing lane to intercept a lazy one-handed pass.
9:40: Wiz try to run some things for Caron Butler, but you can see the Spurs D is really focused on him…..I have a feeling that will be the case with D against Tuff Juice all year.
9:22: Tony Parker gets exactly where he wants…Duncan dunks.
Etan Thomas takes up space right under the rim, gets an offensive board, and a dunk of his own. 4-4 Tie.
AD with another one handed pass (no problem with the one hand here), but it’s a timing issue as it’s slightly behind Caron…turnover.
7:42: Alternately, the Wizards are focusing a lot of attention on Tony Parker, but he still finds a way to kill them with quickness…Thomas gets an open J created for him. 8-7 Spurs.
The Wizards are hitting their jumpers…as Stevenson just did….a high FG% is a must if they expect to be in contention of any game this year.
6:01: AJ plays great D on Duncan….moving his feet and making Timmy get too far under the backboard….when he goes under for the layup, Etan is there with a great help-side block.
It feels weird looking up and seeing the Wizards up 20-8.
5:01: Jamison has been playing very smart D on Duncan (with Etan on Kurt), but Duncan gets the favorable call this time. 2 FTs = 20-10….and Roger Mason Junior checks in.
4:48: I had to watch this play five times….couple of hand-offs, court width criss-cross exchanges at the top of the key…Stevenson to Daniels to Butler….Jamison makes a great back cut to basket, forcing Duncan to turn his back on the ball, and Caron whips a perfectly timed pass to AJ for the lay-in. 22-10 Wizards. Beautiful offense.
3:45: Timmy turnaround jumper with 1 second on the shot clock…can’t do much about that. But so far, I like what I see from the Wizards D….the defensive stances are focused and as Phil Chenier and Steve Buckhantz point out, the switching is crisp.
2:46: In transition, Salim Stoudamire and Ime Udoka exchange the ball coming down the right side. Butler communicates to AD that he should pick up Udoka in the corner, but Caron leaves too much space between himself and the shooter, Stoudamire, who gets the ball back and nails a trey. 24-17 Wizards. Eddie Jordan does not like this and calls a timeout.
Stevenson sees Mason guarding him and tries to take advantage…pounds the ball, throws himself into Roger, and draws two FTs…makes one. 25-17 Wizards.
1:00: Errant pass by Mason….in the air….Caron goes up against Fabricio Oberto and snags the rock with one hand…looking like a mean strong safety.
The first quarter ends and the Wizards are up on the Spurs 30-22. I know the starters played the whole time for Washington, compared to a decent bit of subbing for the Spurs….but this is the best the Wiz have looked all preseason. They are playing together. (11-20 from the field doesn’t hurt either)
Mass subs: ‘Dray, JaVale, Dee, McGuire and Young to start the 2nd. And right off the bat, Oberto goes to immediately double Dominic McGuire on a wing dribble-drive….JaVale McGee makes himself available right under the hoop and receives the lob for a dunk.
Nick Young dribblin’, bumblin’, and stumblin’ trying to do too much….Wiz luckily get the ball back.
10:30: Gotta SQUEEZE it….even though McGee secured the board with two hands, Udoka is able to easily knock it away….Spurs get a made look under the basket. 32-22 Wiz.
9:37: Nick Young nails his first shot…..a long two over Roger Mason. He seemed to rise much quicker into his jumper than he did last year….liking it.
The Wizards 2nd unit is really doing a good job at pressuring the Spurs 2nd unit….and now Parker and Bowen check back in for Stoudamire and Mason.
7:25: Young gets free outside the arc on a McGee pick….dribbles down the middle of the lane…..gets as far as he can get, and nails a smooth jumper. Yep, still liking it. 38-26 Wiz.
On at least two possessions, the difference between Dee Brown and Daniels in being able to contain Tony Parker is more than noticeable.
6:40: Old Man Duncan appears to travel….but young kids Blatche and McGee bother him with the latter getting the block….Blatche turns the ball over trying to push it up the floor.
ANDRAY BLATCHE FOUL ALERT: Duncan picks up a loose ball (poked away from a driving Parker by Dee Brown)….Blatche is on him, holding his ground, arms in air….and Duncan does that double pump thing where he kinda goes into the defender and draws a foul. Andray’s arms went ever so slightly forward making contact…so it was a good call.
6:07: Blatche tries to split two defenders for some reason…..aaaaand a turnover, obviously.
5:35: Young with another smooth fade-away jumper….he can’t feel his entire body. 43-34 Wiz.
4:21: Welcome rookie….Kurt Thomas will a casual pump fake, McGee goes flying….dribble and jumper off the glass.
3:57: Young gets doubled on one side…ball is worked around the horn to the other side and McGuire hits a long deuce. 45-38 Wiz.
2:58: McGee gets the ball in the post…short corner, going against Kurt Thomas….Stoudamire comes over to double….McGee turns away from the double towards the baseline and hits a very soft jumper. Ahhhh….Sweetness.
2:19: Just shaking my head with a wink (not sure to whom) and a smile. Nick Young calmly hits a trey ball. 50-43 Wiz.
1:28: Andray misses a three….nothing he’s done has indicated that he’s “in” the game…and you can tell he’s down on himself.
0:51: Fools? Kil
lin’ em….Nick Young is 5-5 from the field. 11 points.
The half ends with the Wiz kids playing the entire 2nd quarter. They really impressed, held their own and are up 52-43. As a team, the Wiz are shooting 54% from the field.
11:22: Caron hits a trey (yep, still got it) dead in Bruce Bowen’s grill….who proceeds to look like a dejected lil’ kid who’s leaving Toys-R-Us with nothing….and Butler goes back up the court smiling and laughing. Tuff Juice has 13 points and 4 assists. Delicious.
10:27: Poor Antonio Daniels just can’t keep up with Tony Parker….Dee Brown even fights through screens better than AD…Parker gets penetration and sets up Kurt Thomas for an easy bucket. 55-47 Wizards.
How smart is Butler to keep getting these steals? Pick #3 comes easy and is converted into dunk points.
Juan Dixon and Darius Songaila check in to go with Butler, Jamison and Stevenson. Small lineup.
Side Note: I’m disappointed that Stevenson got rid of the flat-top.
Stevenson and Jamison have hit a flurry of buckets are the Wiz have gone on a 10-0 run. Score is 69-54 Wiz. DeShawn has been kinda hiding in the weeds….but steps up and makes the Spurs pay for forgetting about him.
5:56: Parker gets a very easy step on Juan Dixon….who wasn’t playing Tony straight up. Lay-in and it’s 69-56 Wizards.
That shooting thing: Wiz are 8-13 from three point land so far.
4:02: Darius Songaila plays nice, patient defense on Finley…forcing him into a bad shot. The Spurs may hit a couple jumpers, but for the most part, the Wizards are keeping them from getting looks inside….that is, when Tony Parker is not in the game.
3:16: Oleksiy Pecherov in the game and immediately misses an open three. He hesitated….if he’s going to shoot, I don’t want him doing that.
2:17: D-Song shows what he’s about….nails a jumper from the top of the key. 73-65 Wizards.
1:50: Sweet step-back baseline jumper from Juan Dixon. He’s giving Salim Stoudamire the business on both ends.
Blatche comes in to join Juan, Oily, Nick and Darius.
1:15: Damn….Nick Young is looking too nice. Jab step that had Anthony Tolliver all crossed up….Young hits another smooth J.
I tell you, the Spurs 2nd team doesn’t even look like they’re in the same league as the Wizards 2nd team.
MONUMENTAL AIR ALERT: Knee looks okay…Young sees a lane…skies….turns his shoulder towards basket….and makes Finley and Oberto part of a nice lil’ poster.
Young has the ball with the seconds in the third ticking down….the entire Wizards bench stands in anticipation….somebody is over there shaking their hand as if in a heated dice game…..Young with his signature cross….fade-away J….NAILS IT! Aaaaand they call him for a carry. Watching it in slow motion….not a good call.
The same guys stay in to start the 4th…..I’ve been feenin’ for some more JaVale McGee. Put in the Choppa! (instead of ‘get to’). Hey…maybe instead of Lemon Head, JaVale McGee’s nickname should be The Choppa. Kid’s got helicopter arms, and he can fly. I’m going with it….stay tuned for the Photoshop.
11:03: D-Song with another jumper….how am I giddy about this team again? Oh yea, depth. Deep. You Wanna Go Deep? I’ll Take Ya Deep. 81-66 Wiz.
10:36: Blatche hits a jumper…first FG of the game….it’s about time he looked confident.
At least Blatche kept his flat-top…although, it does look mini.
9:22: D-Song pokes a steal away….San Antonio crowd moans….and Juan Dixon hits a transition jumper. 87-69 Wiz.
8:32: Eddie Jordan timeout…..just to give the team a blow, and perhaps make some changes. But who is first off the bench to greet his teammates? The Choppa!
Good ol’ Pecherov….bless his heart….misses a three, but follows his shot (maybe that’s what Eddie Jordan has been trying to get him to do)….get the ball and drives hard….tries to dunk on Malik Hairston….who swats Pech’s arm. Free-throws earned….along with respect from the bench. 89-72 Wiz.
Eddie just put in…..The Choppa! Take a rest Songaila.
6:50: Choppa with an easy FT-line jumper….it’s elementary. McGee has 11 points….don’t give him space to take off.
5:16: Blatche knocks down a jumper…and I suppose his confidence needs it….but c’mon! The Choppa was posting up right there….selfish. 93-78 Wiz.
3:39: ‘Dray Blatche tries to dribble juke for no reason…yep, loses the ball out of bounds.
A little game slippage on D for this current squad (‘Dray, Taser, Oily, McGee and Dee)…Buckhantz says that Eddie Jordan et al. do not look very happy. Spurs cut the Wizards lead to 9….timeout.
Uhh….okay. Desmon Farmer three…..Jacque Vaughn three….pressure bust pipes? Wiz only up 94-90 with two minutes left.
1:35: Crunch Time Moments: Dee Brown pushed the ball up the court hard….pass to McGuire….slight dribble drive….back to Dee….Nails a trey! Exactly what we need that guy to do. 97-90 Wiz.
“Oleksiy Pecherov with a three point dagger.” I’m pretty sure you will never hear Steve Buckhantz utter those words again.
Game. Set. Match.
48.1 FG% was nice….along with 10-19 from long distance….but the defense was nicer.