This play led to the two free throws that lifted the Washington Wizards to their first win of the season. But, but it was also a variation of a play that Flip Saunders had called a number of times tonight.
While the play gives Kirk Hinrich an option for an open mid-range jumper (or even a three-pointer) coming around an off-ball screen, it is designed to isolate Blatche in the post. Blatche is typically quicker and more agile than most power forwards, so the isolation situation offers the Wizards a great scoring opportunity.
The best part about this play was that instead of settling for a jump shot like he’s already done several times this season, Blatche took the ball to the hole. I guess he is finally ready to listen to his coaches and get his “big butt down [in the post].” Andray knows that he has to be more physical and be the Wizards’ low-post scoring option.
Blatche shared his new focus with Michael Lee after Monday’s practice:
“Get to the hole, get some contact and get some fouls. It’s been two games and I believe I only shot two free throws. That’s shows that I’m not being aggressive and that’s what I need to do. [Monday] at practice, I was very aggressive, trying to take it to the hole and that’s what I’m going to try to do [against Philadelphia].”
Against the 76ers in tonight’s home opener, Blatche was rewarded for attacking the paint and creating contact. Blatche made 13 of his 14 free throws en route to a 23-point performance. Well done, ‘Dray. Well done.
Nick Young inbounded the ball to John Wall, who came off a Thornton screen.
12.9 seconds left in the game….
11.4 seconds left on the clock….
(Blatche missed his first free throw of the night, but had made the previous 12 leading up to these game-winning attempts.)
Andray “Jelly Roll” Blatche calmly sank both free throws with 7.1 seconds left to give the Wizards a one-point lead, making up for his three OT turnovers.