Wizards v. Thunder in Six Frames | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Wizards vs. Thunder in Six Frames

Updated: November 21, 2009

From my perspective, the killer against OKC was missed free-throws (19-27, 70.4%) and turnovers (20 for 25 Thunder points) … in addition to uninspired defense of course, namely by the prominent triumvirate that’s supposed to be leading the team.

But enough of that. I’ll have some screen shot breakdowns of the OKC game later, but tonight, the Wizards have to concentrate on the Spurs. Fabricio Oberto will make a homecoming, but his fellow Argentine, Manu Ginobili won’t be available (groin). Tony Parker is also day-to-day (missed Thursday’s game with an ankle).

The Wizards will take all the help they can get, especially as it’s been almost 10 years since they last won a regular season game in San Antonio. During that last win in the Alamodome, Mitch Richmond led all scorers with 31 points. Overall, the Wiz have lost seven in a row to the Spurs, last beating them at home in November ’05 thanks to 43 points from Gilbert Arenas on 15-20 FGs.

No room for moral victories tonight, this team needs a win.

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[Mike Jones – Wizards Outlet, Washington Times]

Flip Saunders has tried for the most part this season to draw some positives out of everything. But not tonight. The coach came out of the locker room for his post-game presser and said point blank that the Wizards regressing rather improving.


This is a veteran team so they shouldn’t forget everything they’ve learned just because the last two days they worked on offense instead of defense, right?

“You’d hope so. But they haven’t shown the ability to carry over. That’s what’s most disappointing tonight,” the coach said, sounding eerily similar to Antawn Jamison last season talking about his young teammates who couldn’t seem to learn.

[Michael Lee – Wizards Insider, Washington Post]

Saunders said that every time his coaching staff focuses on one weakness, the team forgets everything else that it has learned. After training camp, the team focused on rebounding and became a better rebounding team. They focused on defense and became a better defensive team through the first 10 games. But the past few practices, the Wizards tried to address their offensive woes, then decided not to play defense against the young and exciting Thunder. So much for that carryover from the big win against the Cavaliers.

“We focused on offense and we forgot all of our defensive concepts,” Saunders said. “We have not evolved to be a total team, where we can grasp everything.”

[Mike Prada – Bullets Forever]

It’s how the Wizards lost to Oklahoma City that bugs me the most.  The Thunder are not a good offensive team.  Understand?  They are not a good offensive team.  They have one great player and a bunch of jump-shooters.  For them to score 127 points in a 99-possession game is just unacceptable.  Sure, they’re athletic, but they haven’t really been able to translate that athleticism offensively yet this season (though they have played some good teams).  For them to score that many points, it means your defense basically did everything wrong.  And it did.

[Brian Jackson – CSNWashington.com]

The Wizards only turned the ball over 5 more times than OKC (20-15), but it was what happened following the turnovers that did them in. The Thunder scored 25 points off those turnovers, many of which came via the fast break where OKC won that battle 28-10. Those easy opportunities led to good looks from three point range and the Thunder knocked down 11-of-21 (52.4 %).

[Craig Stouffer – Washington Examiner]

Washington simply couldn’t match OKC’s offensive explosiveness, but the 20 turnovers didn’t help. Even Mike Miller coughed the ball up three times. Again limited by his shoulder, he took only four shots and finished with five points. Randy Foye was also a goat, with one point, one assist and two turnovers in 11 and a half minutes. He’s still not sharp coming off the ankle injury. But Miller is the bigger concern. Until he plays a game without looking like a one-armed man, it’s time to start questioning whether he should be playing at all.

[Matt Kremnitzer – Krem’s Sports Blog]

Unfortunately, the bench didn’t play particularly well in this game. The starters played big minutes — all were on the floor for at least 35 minutes — so there weren’t a whole lot of minutes to go around. Still, Earl Boykins got a bench-high 17 minutes (more on Boykins below), Andray Blatche played 15, and DeShawn Stevenson and Randy Foye each had 12. Blatche was relatively ineffective, scoring only six points and taking a few ill-advised jump shots instead of knocking down open ones like in previous games. Blatche shot fine (3-7 from the field), but he only grabbed one rebound and had a lazy turnover in the second half that looked like the old Blatche (dribbling behind his back in traffic for no apparent reason). Foye only took two shots and scored one point; is his ankle still bothering him?

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[Joe – Daily Thunder]

The score isn’t really indicative of the game though as the Wiz did pull even at 32 apiece to start the second quarter. Later the Wiz were just down 1 at 65-66, but for most of the game the Thunder seemed to have a lead that vacillated between 5 and 10 points. Grant Long said it well tonight when he was talking about the Wiz when he said something along the lines of the Wiz having all the talent a team could want, but for whatever the reason the pieces don’t seem to fit. I see his point.

[Darnell Mayberry – The Oklahoman]

The players pointed to how the team is now coming together.

“We didn’t back into a corner once they made a run,” said Durant. “Once they made a run we kind of fought back. Guys made big plays and made big shots. We got stops when we needed to and we helped each other out on both ends.”

After watching the Wizards control the game’s rebounding for three quarters, the Thunder countered by outrebounding Washington 13-6 in the fourth quarter. OKC held the Wizards without an offensive rebound after Washington pulled down 16 through three periods. The Thunder took a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter but outscored the Wizards 32-22 in the final frame.

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.