Notes On Wizards Unlucky Loss #13 In A Row | Truth About It.net

Notes On Wizards Unlucky Loss #13 In A Row

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Updated: March 26, 2010

{Immediately after giving him pre-game a fist-bump, Flip Saunders gave his embattled 23-year old forward a pat on the backside.}

How about we talk about some basketball for a change? I mean, that is why we all are here, right? Seems like nothing but bad, non-basketball court related Wizards news to talk about lately. Well, aside from the impending Ted Leonsis takeover. But let’s get back on the court and talk some roundball!

Oh wait … the Wizards are in the midst of a 13-game losing streak, the worst in franchise history and the third time such a streak has occurred.

Dan Steinberg put out a great account of the previous 13-game losing streak on the DC Sports Bog, my favorite is loss number five,  which involved a personal 11-2 run by the Miami Heat’s Khalid Reeves. My favorite loss from this current 13-game losing streak would have to be loss number three against the Celtics in Boston … you know, the JaVale McGee ‘Fish Out of Water’ game.

I took some notes on Wizards lucky loss #13 against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, here they go …

{Larry Bird looks like a bird … I’ll never get over this.}

{1st Quarter}

1058 – Andray Blatche’s first touch — a drive to the basket. He makes the two free-throws he earned.

950 – Blatche’s second touch — tried to back down Josh McRoberts instead of shooting right away, but then forced a tough miss … but Dray did bust his butt back down the court for transition defense.

636 – Shaun Livingston picks up his second foul, Earl Boykins comes in over Randy FoyeMike Prada elevates his tanking level Code Red. Next thing you know, Santiago is dead in a Cuban bunker.

323 – Again, Blatche drives and earns a trip to the FT line. He started at the left corner/wing, took a hard dribble right and spun baseline on Solomon Jones. 1-2 from the line, 3-4 total.

253 – Wizards timeout, 20-18 Pacers — Saunders kinda walks past Blatche, doesn’t say anything, but he always makes a beeline to begin the coach’s huddle. Others on bench (assistants, etc.) seem to be giving Dray extra encouragement … after he attempted a bad pass that got deflected out of bounds by Indy going into the timeout.

102 – Blatche backs down Jones, up and under move … points …Nine  of them for him so far on 3-5 FGs, 3-4 FTs.

039 – Earl Boykins gets his pocket picked by A.J. Price, Mike James’ boy from Amityville. Boykins also fouls the fast breaking Price on the other end. Prada is stepping toward the ledge …. but hey, if the Wizards really wanted to tank, they would have suspended Blatche.

000 – Price continues to give Boykins fits. Earl fouls him at the halftime buzzer, giving him three free-throws. He makes all of them.

  • 12 points for Blatche in the quarter — give him a fair bit of credit, he did come out trying to operate closer to the basket offensively.
  • Pacers up 6-3 in the assist department.
  • Wizards up 14-12 in rebounds.
  • 29-25 Indiana.

{2nd Quarter}

1107 – Mike Miller’s jumper comes up short but the long rebound comes back to him and the ball is worked around to Nick Young on the right side of the court. As the picture below shows, James Singleton has great position in the paint on Mike Dunleavy. But instead of making the right pass for a change, Young drives and throws up a crazy fading airball in the paint.

855 - Steve Buckhantz sings the Filet-o-Fish song. Then Nick Young misses two free-throws. 31-31 tie.

Buckhantz compares Josh McRoberts to David Lee. Yep, the Wizards franchise has been making mediocre players look like All-Stars for years.

727 – McRoberts is 6-8 from field with 12 points and four offensive boards … he’s creating points without touches.

425 – Blatche is still trying his best to do offensive work in the paint. He backs down McRoberts and squeezes past him, and by the help D, to get an easy bucket. 39-37 Pacers.

308 - James Singleton already has 12 points and 12 rebounds.

233 – Blathce again backs in the paint and gets an easy bucket. 16 points … good for him for his offensive effort.

  • Indiana up 49-42 at the half.
  • Pacers up 9-4 in assists … notice only one assist for the Wiz in the 2nd quarter.
  • The Pacers have gone to the FT line 19 times, making 10. The Wizards are 4-9 from the charity stripe.

{3rd Quarter}

The Wizards as a team come out lackluster, clueless, unfocused, out-of-sync, etc.. Blatche commits two early turnovers.

800 – Blatche slaps the ball away from Troy Murphy after he got a defensive board … loose ball.

While falling to the floor/diving for the ball, Murphy pushes Andray out the way en route to out-working 7-Day-Dray for the rock.

Phil Chenier says:

“Murphy loses it and he pushes off on Dray with that right arm. That’s where you probably need to be a little more aggressive, go after it even stronger. Maybe you can get away with that.”

Steve Buckhantz says:

“Exactly, ’cause when the ball goes to the floor and players go to the floor, that’s where you see a lot of pushing take place because of less fouls called. And you’re right, usually the more aggressive person gets the ball.”

Of course, aggression has always been an issue with Blatche.

At this point, the game was getting tough to watch. To make it quicker, here are a couple bullets for the rest of the third quarter:

  • Al Thornton’s defense gets abused a lot by Danny Granger — more of a theme on the whole night instead of the quarter.
  • The energy and hustle of Josh McRoberts makes the Wizards look especially laggardly.
  • No Randy Foye in the 3rd. He didn’t play in the 1st either, but played in all of the second, going 1-4 from the field with one assist and two rebounds.
  • A.J. Price again abused Boykins at the end of a period. Price made a shot on Earl at the buzzer.
  • 74-58 Indiana.

{4th Quarter}

This quarter was even more difficult to watch … I barely have any notes for it.

In the pictures below, Blatche failed to help out on a curl.

On an out-of-bounds play, Granger passes the ball in to McRoberts … not sure how much Andray denies the ball. Granger then cuts around McRoberts with Singleton chasing, receives the ball back from McRoberts, and …

…. Granger continues to curl around and eventually dunks the basketball, putting the Pacers up 83-71. The weak side help defense isn’t much, but Blatche barely moves, if at all, to help Singleton when Andray’s guy is the one orchestrating the hand-off/screen.

Awareness, folks … it helps with playing better team defense.

Sam Cassell jumped off on the bench to yell, stomp and point at what Blatche should have been doing. Flip Saunders just kind of scratched his head.

Yep, this will be my lasting memory of the Wizards’ franchise worst tying 13th loss in a row.

Oh, and at least James Singleton snagged a career-high 21 rebounds to go along with his 19 points … in front of his father who came down from Chicago to watch the game no less.

Pacers Beat Wizards 99-82.


Bonus:

I kinda like Flip Saunders’ responses in this linked video from Wizards Insider.

Q: “What’s your biggest concern in these 13 losses?”

A: “Well I mean, the biggest concern is that we’ve lost…”

Q: (but it was really a statement): “You haven’t scored 100 points in any of these losses.”

A: “Well, we’re not as talented … that’s what I just said.”



  • Keir

    Most NBA players dog it at times Look at what Singleton can do b/c he hits the boards every time. I think there is too much being put on Dray’s shoulders and not enough looking at what he gives this team and league. A garnett mold player, young, can score and rebound and pass/dribble for a big man. Yeah, yeah, he needs to improve in defense and some areas but come on give the guy a break since he is the only bright spot this year with the exception of watching Gee grab quarters off the top of the backboard, wow can he explode!