Notes: Wizards vs. Pistons, Pain Is What You Call Watching This Game
You think watching the Pistons run over the Wizards with little resistance was hard, try starting to watch it on a two-hour delay (sometimes college basketball takes precedent, especially at this time of year), then accidentally finding out the score, and then watching the second half the next day. Boy it was ugly … but at least it kinda/sorta made for quick work. Below are a couple notes I took from witnessing the carnage.
The game starts with Wizards TV guys Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier talking about Gilbert Arenas‘ jersey number change from #0 to Mike Miller‘s current #6. Let’s pick up on their conversation …
Buckhantz: “…. Agent Zero will be no longer, we’ll have to come up with something else.”
Chenier: “New identity.”
Buck: “Yea, well that would be nice.”
Phil: “All the way around, yea.”
Is JaVale McGee currently not as coachable as we would like him to be? On the second possession of the game, Randy Foye is having to direct his traffic/position (multiple times), and hold his hand like it’s his first day.
10:00 – Jonas Jerebko takes a short runner and misses. But he’s able to get his own rebound and put it back. Why? Because Andray Blatche did not block him out. 7-2 Pistons.
Mike Miller seems to make more turnovers than he should, especially of the ball-handling variety. This season Miller is 5th on the Wizards in turnovers per 36 minutes with 2.5, behind Shaun Livingston, Mike James, Gilbert Arenas and of course, Andray Blatche.
According to 82games.com, 41 of Miller’s turnovers come from bad passes, 23 from ball-handling mistakes and 12 from offensive fouls. At lot of Miller’s bad passes are the result of his penchant for jumping to pass. On the other hand, 68 of Blatche’s turnovers are from ball-handing, 28 from bad passes and 19 from offensive fouls.
4:20 – Transition defense is all about communication, which is something the Wizards evidently don’t do much. Look at this break. Jerebko is dribbling down the court and goes unguarded to the point where he’s almost able to pass it to Jason Maxiell for an easy bucket … but Quinton Ross comes from behind to knock the ball away from Jason Maxiell.
2:59 - Blatche turnover … he’s got the ball near the three-point line and James Singleton springs open with position on the right block. Andray’s pass attempt to James is much too casual and telegraphed. Just because most of the Pistons don’t see Singleton open doesn’t mean they’re not watching Blatche’s eyes, especially when they have their defensive hands up … something you see less often from the Wizards. So Blatche’s lazy-ish pass gets deflected. But hey, it’s not like he’s just giving the ball away.
Tayshaun Prince gets very easy fast-break points. 24-14 Detroit.
Al Thornton has a hard time chasing Rip Hamilton … because they have different body types, I get that. But also, defending Hamilton is a full time job. You have to be in tip top shape. But Thornton is a guy who’s not used to minutes, getting worn down for one reason or another, and sticking both feet in a tub of ice after each game.
27-23 Detroit Pistons.
10:15 - Here’s an instance where the ref has handed the out-of-bounce passer the ball. Mike Miller is watching his man, somewhat understandable, and JaVale McGee goes to rub his eye. Someone has to be watching the passer, Tayshaun Prince, right? Should that be the center? The center, being the ‘center’ of communication should likely be that guy. Prince bounces the ball off Miller’s back and goes right by McGee for the dunk.
Ok, so the foul called on Kwame Brown at the 7:46 mark may have been a B.S. call. But Kwame showed exactly why he’s, well, Kwame freaking Brown … A baby. He cussed at the ref, picked up a tech, cussed at the ref some more with marked F-bombs and B-words, and got ejected. His career, despite the inept Michael Jordan, is nothing but an epic fail. And it’s 90% his fault. An expiring contract, he just might be out of the league next year.
11:03 – Maxiell gets an offensive board and Jerebko gets second chance points for the Pistons. Maxiell is a strong guy, but he was easily able to put a swim move on Blatche who was more boxing-out by standing straight up rather than getting lower and more balanced. 58-40 Pistons.
5:43 – Randy Foye makes a horrible pass, the Wizards’ 13th turnover which leads to a Jerebko dunk, giving Detroit 20 points off Washington turnovers. After the dunk, Jerebko and Singleton exchange bumps and looks.
Fatigue + apathy + just not being good = basketball almost unbearable to watch. 64-51 Pistons.
5:28 - Next thing you know, Foye takes a quick shot, Rip Hamilton gets a wide open fast-break bucket, Flip Saunders calls timeout, and when play resumes, Mike Miller is essentially running the point while Earl Boykins is the shooting guard.
1:16 - Jonas Jerebko is a hard-nosed guy. After scoring a lay-up And1 over James Singleton, Jerebko talked trash to the back of James’ head — seriously, who talks smack after a layup? — James turned around and faced him up, and the refs stepped in quickly, but Jerebko was assessed a technical for taunting. 73-63 Pistons.
Will Bynum was on some AAU type stuff at the end of the third, which he closed with a bucket and then a block of Boykins on the other end. To this point, he hadn’t scored much (5 points, 2-2 FGs), but had dropped 14 dimes to only two turnovers. But let’s also say that the weary Wizards with their hands in their pockets left plenty of passing lanes open for Will to operate.
C-Webb and family …. nice plaid and Detroit Tigers hat combo bro.
So many bad mistakes …. lazy hooks and traveling calls by JaVale McGee for example. When a team is tired like the Wizards … and really, should they be ‘that’ tired? Every team plays in back-to-backs … their mental toughness, or in this team’s case, a lack thereof, really starts to show.
It’s almost like the Wizards keep hearing about how many games they have beforehand and are mentally breaking down prior to the action.
3:27 – Shaun Livingston gets the ball at the top of the key on the break, drives, slashes and goes away from Ben Gordon‘s defense on the right for a nice right-handed reverse layup on the left side, jumping off his bad left knee, And 1. 93-79 Pistons.
2:33 – Alonzo Gee creates a bucket with handles, strength, and the moxie to nail a runner in the lane.
2:17 – Nick Young leaves Ben Gordon with a lot of space. He’s not really trying though. Can you blame him? Or should an NBA player in his situation always play defense with the pride and desire to not want to let your man score? Gordon’s three nets Bynum his 19th assist. 98-81 Pistons.
Curious that Blatche and Thornton were playing in such garbage time with Livingston, Gee and Young. Then, at about the two minute mark, Flip summons Fabricio Oberto and Ross off the bench to check in.
Meanwhile the Pistons are playing around trying to get Will Bynum his 20th assist for the game.
Well, our boy Gee puts on a scoring show — hitting fading jumper off the dribble when given room slightly past the elbow, and then by driving to the hoop and throwing down a reverse two-handed jam. He also shot an air-ball free-throw.
With 3.2 seconds left, Bynum gets his 20th assist (a career high), the first time a Piston has had 20 assists since Isiah Thomas in 1985 (via Steve Buckhantz/Comcast), on a Ben Gordon three.
101-87 Detroit over Washington is the final.
Spider-Man seems sad. I don’t like his body language.
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- DC Council Preseason Game 1: Wizards 106 vs Nets 111: Boo Birds for Blatche & Preseason OT
- D.C. Council Opening Statements: Wizards vs Nets, Preseason Game 1