Wizards Game 9 Blog: at Atlanta Hawks – Crashing Down
So the big news: JaVale McGee and Dee Brown will be in the starting lineup for Etan Thomas and Juan Dixon. Brown is a little bit of a surprise as his play this year has been spotty, and uneventful when he does see the court. Plus, we know that Juan Dixon had built somewhat of an alley-oop rapport with McGee.
However, Dixon may be better coming off the bench, and Brown is a better defender. Still no Nick Young in the starting lineup, but if I had to choose a starting experiment, it would be McGee before Young.
What scares me: Atlanta is one of the best three point shooting teams in the league.
McGee easily wins the tip over Pachulia….on the first possession for the Wiz, the Hawks double Jamison and give Brown all the room in the world to shoot the three….he misses left.
The Phillips Arena is about half as empty as the Verizon Center last night against the Heat.
11:03: Bad defensive positioning on McGee….he leaves a lane for Pachulia to cut and Bibby to make the easy pass. 3-2 Wizards.
11:50: JaVale gets him back (travels in the process, but no call) with a drive and a paint jumper. 5-2 Wiz.
9:54: Butler makes an amazing pass between two Hawks from the wing of the mid-court Hawk logo to Jamison for a backdoor cut layup. 7-4 Wiz.
Caron is feeling it tonight….nails a trey on top of Maurice Evans. Hawks timeout, 13-4 Wizards.
Hawks hit four straight….Pachulia is coming very close to moving on screens. 13-8 Wiz.
Steve Buckhantz points out that Stevenson is wincing…..and he looks physically unable to fight around a screen, much less prepared to keep up with Joe Johnson, who hits a three.
You take the good and bad of JaVale McGee. Previously, he let Pachulia out body him for an offensive board. This time, two Hawks and AJ are on the right side of the block….an Atlanta shot goes up, McGee goes to left side where there is no one. Jamison can’t handle two players and Marvin Williams gets a board and put-back. 16-14 Wizards.
5:01: McGee slips a screen and cuts to the hoop, Butler fires the pass and McGee makes a very athletic catch and bucket. 20-14 Wiz.
Eddie Jordan calls a timeout after the Hawks get their 2nd fast break basket off a Wizards turnover. 20-18 Wiz.
I hate the omen provided by the DC Lottery sponsoring the SE Division standings that lists the Wizards at 1-7.
4:09: Wow…more changes. Butler, Jamison and McGee take a seat in favor of Oleksiy Pecherov, Etan Thomas and Andray Blatche. I don’t think Big Oily has even gotten in a game in the first quarter.
3:17: Pech must have a green light…..I mean, Eddie Jordan has to know he’s going to gun whenever inserted into the game. He fires and misses. On the next dead ball, Juan Dixon and Nick Young check in for Stevenson and Brown. Tinker, tinker, tinker.
Phil Chenier just made a great point for anyone who may have been disappointed that Jordan took McGee out at the four minute mark (and I suspect there are some)…..essentially, the sheer excitement of starting a game and having to provide that immediate burst of energy will take a lot out of a rookie.
Meanwhile, the Hawks had fought to take a 24-22 lead until Nick Young gets a nice jumper off a Blatche screen/dump-off. Tie game.
More 2nd chances for Atlanta…I credit Pech with giving up two so far….but the Hawks don’t take advantage of this one.
Gilbert has officially abandoned the ascot.
Hawks have a 7-0 advantage in 2nd chance points and are up 6-0 in fast break points.
Flip Murray tries to go down the lane, for a dunk….or something, but held the ball out there too long and gets completely rejected by Etan Thomas.
To end the first, Joe Johnson hits, Nick Young does not. Hawks up 28-26.
Each team had 4 turnovers…..Wizards offense sputtered at the end, missing their last 5 shots. Caron Butler got 8 points and 3 assists during his time on the court.
Dixon, Young, Jamison, Blatche, and Thomas to start the 2nd……Jordan is getting creative with these lineups.
10:18: Young with a great left to right move across the lane and a running right handed lay-in on Murray. He’s getting better at not always settling for his cross-over fade.
8:46: Jamison gets a long defensive board, flips it to Nick on the break who takes two dribbles and makes a perfectly timed pass back to AJ for a lay-in against Atlanta. 32-31 Wizards.
8:20: Butler and Stevenson check in for Blatche and Dixon — Nick Young doesn’t leak out…..goes for the loose offensive board, runs the transition, changes sides of the court and fires the ball to Butler on the wing. Butler sees the lane, drives baseline and scores on the Hawks center, Pachulia, who tried to grab Butler with both arms to prevent him from getting the shot off….Tuff Juice is too strong. Basket good. And1. 35-31 Wizards.
7:53: Wiz seem to be clicking now…Young makes Flip look silly with a right to left cross, spin back baseline, and smooth jumper. 7-0 Wiz run. 37-31 DC.
Case made? Chenier points out something I’ve already noticed….Etan Thomas is playing well….Better coming off the bench?
Wizards are doing a better job of getting their hands in the passing lane, deflections….at least more than I’ve noticed at other times this year.
6:51: AJ hits a three, the Wiz are 4-9 from deep so far. Maybe that’s what this team needs…..to shoot more threes (kidding). 42-35 Wizards.
Do you think the guy who invented the Kiss Cam gets royalties every time it’s done in stadiums across America? Inquiring minds want to know.
5:05: Out of the timeout, McGee has checked in for Thomas…….Butler makes another long pass to AJ on a backdoor cut. 44-37 Wizards. Boy isn’t it nice to see those two get it going (and Butler’s passing too). I believe Jamison now has 9 points in the 2nd quarter alone.
4:19: Epic Vale gets what would have been an Epic Slam ON Solomon Jones….but was fouled. Great pass from Butler…..great fill of the lane by McGee, and he tired to put it down with two hands. 1-2 on FTs. 45-39 Wizards.
Problem: Marvin Williams has been killing the Wiz on the offensive boards — at least 5 for the game for far (7 total).
Brown comes in to give Young a rest.
3:05: Well….when you know something for the Wiz just might be working out….. DeShawn backs down Bibby and hits a fading turnaround with Bibby and Williams in his face. Stevenson is 2-2 from the field, 5 points. 47-41 Wizards.
1:56: Shot clock violation on the Hawks….great D by the Wiz. Dee Brown sprinted from up top to down low to scrap on the floor after a loose ball.
Young checks in…Wizards have the ball for a final shot before half….but for some reason the ball is in DeShawn’s hands at the top of the key…..dribbling and firing a three. This leaves enough time on the clock for Flip Murray to run down the court and hit a long three at
the buzzer (after he’d missed his first 7 shots). Uhhh….DeShawn? Nick Young is in the game to score, get him the damn ball.
Wiz go into the locker room with a 50-44 lead.
Stat Report: Why isn’t the game as close? The Hawks have 9 offensive rebounds which has given them 14 2nd chance points (the Wizards don’t have any 2nd chance points). Wizards are getting out-rebounded 27-21, but more points in paint, 18-14, and holding the Hawks to 40% from the field.
Jamison – 14, Butler – 11, Stevenson – 8, Young – 6
Johnson 11, Williams – 9, Bibby – 8
Dee Brown gets a steal off the bat….break, can’t convert, but gets fouled. He goes 1-2 from the line and gets his first point of the year.
Hawks have three offensive rebounds already (Pachulia knocked JaVale McGee around twice and Mo Evans stole the ball out of his hands another time) With a forced missed as well, not the best start to the 2nd half for Kid McGee.
9:12: McGee picks up a foul and Jordan gets him out of there in favor of Songaila the bruiser. D-Song immediately nails a jumper. 55-49 Wiz.
Well, after biding his time, not even attempting his 2nd shot until 3:05 left in the 2nd quarter (starting the game 2-2 with 5 points), Stevenson is gunning now, going 1 for his last 5, all of them attempts from 3-points range….he should not be doing that.
7:19: The Hawks chip away….but Butler nails a timely long jumper. 57-52 Wiz.
2nd chance points continue to kill the Wizards.
Timeout…Bibby has 9 points in the 3rd, 10-4 Atlanta run, the game is now tied at 57. Hawks up 39-24 on the boards.
Nick Young in game for Dee Brown.
Blatche and McGee for Jamison and Songaila at the next dead ball.
2:20: Butler stops the bleeding of a 14-3 Atlanta run over the last 7+ minutes. 63-60 Hawks.
1:45: Stevenson is backing down Murray in the baseline area, Eddie Jordan tells the other Wiz to clear out….Stevenson completely bricks a turnaround. Hawks turn the ball over. Wiz come down, Butler finds Stevenson on the wing for an open three…..airball. Luckily, Caron is under the basket to clean up the mess. 63-62 Hawks. Man….I wish the Wiz had a SG who was more of a natural shooter.
1:14: Blatche doubles Bibby off a Marvin Williams screen. When DeShawn recovers, Andray just saunters back in the lane. Can’t he learn any hustle from Songaila? No matter, Bibby hits a shot in Stevenson’s face. 65-62 Hawks.
0:45: Butler misses….Bibby brings the ball up the court. DeShawn leaves a lot of room…..buckets. 67-62 Hawks. Mike Bibby has 15 points in the 3rd quarter (23 for the game)……ridiculous.
Bibby waits….hoooolds…..Nick Young sinks very deep in the paint, leaves Murray in the corner. Bibby makes the cross-court pass. Three ball. 70-64 Hawks.
Thankfully, Butler hits a running three at the buzzer to keep the Wizards within 3 at 70-67.
So far: offensive boards, 15-8 Atlanta.
Dixon, Young, Butler, Blatche and Thomas to start the 4th.
10:30: Thankfully Joe Johnson missed an open three. The Wiz get the rebound, but I’m really starting to despise the game of Andray Blatche.
While Johnson’s shot is in the air, Etan turns, sees Solomon Jones, and goes to put a body on him. Flip Murray, who just had the drive and pass to Johnson, sneaks in front of Blatche who is standing completely erect. Murray actually goes to block out Andray, who does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING (yes, worth all caps) to get around Murray….save for caressing his shoulder.
Off the miss, Juan Dixon, of all people, crashes the boards, keeps the ball alive….and “Look what I found!” — Blatche authoritatively snatches the ball out of the air. F-ing Andray Blatche.
Trade him, trade him as fast as you can Ernie Grunfeld. This instance is just one of those “little things, but with Andray Blatche, it will always be the little things….in addition to effort, conditioning, concentration, trying to force things, dribbling the ball when he shouldn’t be, bad shot selection, and so on………
9:54: Tuff Juice is doing his best to put the team on his shoulders. Drive, 2 FTs. 72-71 Hawks.
Tuff Juice Line: 26 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals.
9:41: Blatche goes for a steal…..Nope….Marvin Williams layup. 74-71 Atlanta.
Bad and good....Marvin Williams is drooling at the opportunity to go at Blatche, but ‘dray gets the block. Jamison checks in for Andray in any case.
Atlanta offensive rebounds continue to plague the Wizards….17-8 edge.
McGee and Stevenson check in to join Young, Butler and Jamison. Etan and Dixon out.
6:25: Same ol’ Tuff Juice….he nails a three. Wiz back up one 76-75.
5:41: Butler drains another three. Thank you! Because twice, the Wizards “point guards” of Stevenson and Young failed to recognize and distribute the ball to Jamison, pleading for the rock in the post because Flip Murray was guarding him. 79-75 Wizards….32 points for Caron, 10 points so far in the 4th.
4:59: Johnson blows by Concrete Feet Nick Young….missed layup, but Pachulia takes up space against McGee, gets the offensive board and foul. 1-2 FTs – 79-76 Wizards.
Stevenson chucks another three…..he’s 1 for his last 8…and missing bad. STOP SHOOTING!
Turnover…Nick Young mishandled a pass/was striped….Atlanta fast break….. Miss, Chance, Miss, Chance, Make. 79-78 Wizards.
Hawks are up 56-37 on the boards.
3:06: Joe Johnson bounces a shot in the hoop with a hand in his face. 5-0 Hawks run, they’re up 80-79.
Atlanta Hawks: 21 offensive rebounds (Marvin Williams and Pachulia 13 combined) for 22 second chance points.
Dixon, Stevenson, Butler, Jamison and Blatche (yuck) in for the stretch.
2:57: AJ finally gets a shot to fall….he has only scored twice since 5:00 left in the 2nd quarter (but he still has 18 and 10). 81-80 Wizards.
Can someone please stop Zaza? 8 offensive boards….but misses both FTs. Big, Wiz still up 1.
2:10: Jamison drive….nice lane fill by Blatche…AJ pass and points for Dray. 83-80 Wiz.
Defensive confusion. Blatche is in no man’s land. AJ switches off on uncovered Zaza (Andray’s man) since he’s been killing…..kinda points for someone to get his man, Marvin Williams. Butler sinks to do so, but that leaves Mo Evans open for a three. Tied at 83.
1:32: Finally a good shot by Stevenson…Butler got caught….pass out to DeShawn at the three point…no gun….pump fake, dribble, two pointer. 85-83 Wizards.
Dixon gets his hand in for a steal….Stevenson slows down the transition…..dribbles and chucks up a fading step-back jumper from the corner. Uhh….Don’t Stop Shooting? Man Stevenson is streaky….but that’s just what the Wizards needed….for someone else to score. Huge shot. 87-83 Wizards.
0:58: Gulp….game not over. DeShawn gets caught in the elevator doors on an out-of-bounds play….Joe Johnson trey. 87-86 Wiz.
0:45: Butler gets doubled, ball to DeShawn for three….misses everything…..Loose ball rebound. Jamison down after getting clocked in the face. Pachulia dives in the scrum for the ball. Blatche tries to get it by bending at the waist……guess which team ends up with the rock?……24 second shot clock violation, Wizards. Too much perimeter dribbling Caron Butler.
0:26: Hawks move the ball well….3-pointer Marvin Williams. 89-87 Hawks….I’m sick.
Not much movement. Dixon picks up his dribble….ends up shooting after a delayed pause (tried to look for a pass)….usually not the ideal scenario to shoot a ball….miss. …Nick Young fights hard for a board….misses a short corner fade (should he have pulled it out? I can’t call it). Hawks board. Foul. Flip Murray hits 2 FTs. 91-87 Hawks….and that’s the final.
I blame Eddie Jordan for the Wizards giving up 22 offensive boards to the Atlanta Hawks, who also out-rebounded the Wizards 58-40 (your sarcasm detector should be going off now). Second chance points….ain’t they a b*itch? Dunno….but they will get you beat every single time.
[photo source: flickr/Tidewater Muse]