Wizards, Pistons and Defensive Responsibility | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Wizards, Pistons and Defensive Responsibility

Updated: November 23, 2010

The Wizards’ loss to the Pistons in Detroit on Sunday was a stinker on a couple levels. I planned to watch at my leisure on DVR delay, so I could chart defense as the game progressed. But at one point late into the evening, and after regulation had ended, I discovered that I hadn’t set it to record for an extended amount of time. In rather anticlimactic fashion, I was resigned to checking the box score to see that the Wizards remained winless on the road on the year at 0-6.

So that was that, never even got to see the overtime. Below, you’ll find a regulation-only defensive chronicle, above that a spreadsheet tallying point responsibilities per possession, and above that, a couple regulation game notes. But first, let’s check Nick Young getting blocked by a 51-year old Tracy McGrady, I wonder if that was special for Nick.

Regulation Notes:

  • The manner in which Al Thornton conducts himself on offense lowers confidence that his attempts will actually go through the net.
  • A couple times you could hear AND see McGee scream to call out screens, good to witness visual signs of him improving at communication.
  • McGee can be unstoppable when very close to the hoop. And he has been showing a bit more patience on offense lately, but when he catches mid-range, he still needs to not panic and throw some crazy junk up when so far away from the rim.
  • Give McGee a ton of credit for hustling lately, which in a sense makes up for his traditional lack of substance, but he’s been trying in that regard too.
  • A couple of silly turnovers from McGee late in regulation kind of hurt though.
  • When the ball is in his hands, Arenas has done a nice job of balancing the offense by drawing attention. He’s been making pretty good decisions. Does Flip Saunders find a way to balance this? Or is it Wall to Wall up and down all day when John returns to the court? Has Wall being hurt somewhat helped to showcase Arenas to other interested teams? Who knows.
  • Running downhill on offense, but uphill on defense has become even worse for Andray Blatche, he’s doing it in the half court too. Dray is glad to drive more to the hoop like he should be doing, but he also seems glad to play matador.
  • If you want to take a look at Blatche’s bad defense that allowed the game to go into overtime, click here.


Broken down by points allowed per quarter per player with defensive possessions played accounted for (again, regulation only). Players are ranked by the most points given up per possession against Detroit (far right column). Arenas and Hinrich naturally rank highly because the Pistons have some good guards and went to them a lot (Lord knows Rip Hamilton went off in overtime). Andray Blatche was doing okay, albeit a lackadaisical okay, and then the fourth quarter happened when Villanueva roasted him for 11 points. Still working on that conditioning, sure, but the desire has to be there too.



1 – 11:30 – Wizards actually played good team D, McGee was very in tune with help, Stuckey just hit a lucky three at the shot clock buzzer. On Hinrich. 3

2 – 10:48 – McGee gives too much room, didn’t get to Maxiell’s jumper in time. 5

3 – 10:08 – Hamilton gets Arenas with veteran trick of rising to shoot through the defender’s arms, drawing 2 FTs. 7

4 – Stuckey drove hard versus Hinrich, Blatche was very slow on the help, but Stuckey missed the layup that Hinrich made tough by going under him but not fouling.

5 – 9:20 – Arenas didn’t stop Rip in transition, two points (Blatche got blocked on the other end – 0.25). 9

6 – 8:59 – Thornton slow to pick up Prince, but he strips him and runs the floor for the finish from Arenas.

7 – 8:26 – Hamilton missed a tough jumper in the paint, he and Hinrich are really battling.

8 – 7:53 – Hamilton comes off a double screen from baseline, JaVale McGee is not really aware that his man, Ben Wallace, is the second screener. With Arenas trailing and chugging to keep up, McGee offers no help on Hamilton’s curl and bucket in the paint. 1 point each. 11

9 – 7:18 – Stuckey And-1 – he got past Hinrich, but Blatche offered no help. At least McGee hustled over to contest. (Stuckey missed FT). 1.25 points Kirk, 0.75 Dray. 13

10 – 6:39 – Prince misses a bad jumper attempt from the corner with Thornton on him … a very Caron Butler shot from Prince.

11 – 6:02 – Pistons do some pointless passing around the perimeter before Rip Hamilton fires a three with Arenas close to him, it misses.

12 – 5:32 – Maxiell just spins and scores on Blatche, kind of a crazy shot, but he makes it on Dray nonetheless. 15

5:02 – Hilton Armstrong checks in for McGee

13 – 4:39 – Stuckey out-muscling Hinrich for points in the paint. 17

14 – 3:49 – With Hilton Armstrong somewhat in the way, or with Hinrich too deep in the paint, Stuckey isn’t stopped in transition, but misses the layup. Stuckey can be pretty fast with the ball himself. Blatche defensive board.

15 – Blatche is lazy in the zone defense, but the Pistons miss. However, Ben Wallace gets the offensive board and is fouled by Arenas.

3:18 – Nick Young checks in for Gilbert Arenas.

16 – 3:10 – Villanueva three on Hilton Armstrong, but give a point to Hinrich for not cutting off the assist man, Stuckey. 20

17 – 2:32 – Stuckey once again muscled Hinrich on the move, but Thornton with excellent help and a block

18 – 2:20 – Villanueva blows by Blatche, but Dray gets a partial block.

19 – 1:52 – Blatche sort of tips an opp attempt out of bounds, then the Pistons miss two rushed jumpers, but obviously got an offensive board in between.

20 – 1:00 – McGrady misses a step back jumper as the shot clock winds down.

21 – 0:43 – Bynum took it to Young who fouled him- 2 FTs, made both. 22

22 – 0:02 – Bynum drives past Hinrich off screen but is blocked by Armstrong. Wallace gathers and scores. Armstrong and Hinrich didn’t play the pick well, 1 point goes to each. 24


Gilbert Arenas, Nick Young, Cartier Martin, Trevor Booker and JaVale McGee start the 2nd.

1 – 11:27 – Booker gives a decent contest, Villnueva misses. Martin secures the rebound.

2 – 10:55 – Booker gives a bit of help to Arenas on a Bynum drive, but gets out to make an okay contest on the kick to Villanueva in the corner, miss.

3 – 10:22 – Booker helps on McGrady drive, but doesn’t help right/get back to Villanueva who hits a two in the paint. 26

4 – 10:00 – Nick Young stays with Bynum and forces him into a tough layup miss.

5 – 9:38 – Villanueva baseline hook over Booker. 28

6 – 9:00 – McGrady back cuts Martin, McGee helps, Martin fouls, 0-2 FTs.

7 – 8:34 – Wiz play good D, force a miss, but Booker drops the rebound out of bounds. Booker’s man, Villanueva, the got an offensive board off a couple Detroit tries… and put back. Booker 1.5 points, McGee 0.5 for giving up one of the offensive boards. 30

8:07 – Blatche checks in for Booker

8 – 7:42 – Stuckey drives past Martin, who fell for pump fake, goaltend called on McGee…. Blatche totally fell for Stuckey ball fake to Villanueva on his way to the basket – Credit Martin for these points. 32

9 – 7:15 – Villanueva blew by Blatche on the dribble. Dray gave him a huge lane left and then pointed for help as Villanueva was going by him — a very Blatche-like move by the way.  McGee committed the foul on the And1, the free-throw was missed …But give the points to Blatche. 34

10 – 6:39 – Blatche gives a contest on a Villanueva three.. of course, he flies right by him, I guess to run down hill on offense. Charlie misses and Arenas gets the rebound.

11 – 6:01 – Lob dunk to McGrady over Martin, McGee only watches. 1.5 Martin, 0.5 McGee. 36

12 – 5:12 – Maxiell scores off roll and pick with McGrady, McGee doesn’t recover right/over helps/goes for a steal. 38

13 – 4:40 – Gordon three on Young as Nick tripped and fell on Gordon pivoting. 41

4:32 – Hinrich checks in for Arenas.

14 – 4:09 – Gordon spins around Hinrich, JaVale goaltends. 1.5 Hinrich – questionable goaltend call, 0.5 to McGee. 43

15 – 3:42 – McGee overplayed Maxiell, went for the steal, left him able to get the pass and score in the paint. 45

3:34 – Al Thornton checks in for Martin.

16 – 3:04 – Stuckey step back J vs Hinrich. 47

17 – 2:29 – Unforced Pistons turnover out of bonds as Young stuck with Gordon.

18 – 1:57 – Prince misses a shot made tough by Thornton, although he gave up too much room. Blatche get the defensive board.

19 – 1:27 – McGee blocks a shot, Pistons get back court violation.

1:21 – Hilton Armstrong checks in for McGee.

20 – 0:59 – Young gets way behind in trailing Gordon, and coming late, fouls Gordon for a 3-point play. 50

21 – 0:33 – Blatche’s help D, fouls Maxiell – 2 FTs,  makes both. 52

22 – 0:06 – Detroit misses a couple chances in transition, then turn the ball over. (Hudson/Young substitution is negligible here)


Starters: Hinrich, Arenas, Thornton, Blatche, McGee

1 – 11:40 – Arenas bad turnover, Stuckey transition dunk. 54

2 – 11:02 – Maxiell turnover, Arenas active hands poked away, Blatche recovers.

3 – 10:27 – Prince off a screen that Thornton goes around, hits a jumper. 56

4 – 9:42 – Thornton good D, Prince fadeaway miss.

5 – 9:03 – Blatche gave up an offensive board to Wallce, but later stripped him for the steal.

6 – 8:34 – Prince midrange miss, somewhat of a contest by Thornton.

7 – 8:08 – Rip Hamilton post spin J vs. Gilbert. 58

8 – 7:50 – Stuckey on the break, Arenas is last man back, doesn’t stop ball, but doesn’t get help from Thornton or Blatche much. Arenas 1.25, Thornton 0.5, Blatche 0.25. 60

9 – 9:05 – Prince gets off board on Thornton, Blatche not providing much resistance either. McGee goaltends – 3rd of the game. Thornton 1.0, McGee 0.75, Blatche 0.25. 62

10 – 6:21 – Prince drives right past Thornton, Wizards confused on D, Wallace gets board and putback. Thornton 1, McGee 1. 64

11 – 5:47 – Hamilton turn around over Arenas, little resistance or contest. 66

12 – 5:31 – Hinrich unforced turnover, Blatche hard foul on Wallace in transition.  Missed both.

5:15 – Trevor Booker in for Andray Blatche.

13 – 4:53 – Hamilton miss, good D by Hinrich, Arenas Def. board.

14 – 4:22 – Hamilton comes off double screen, too much separation from Arenas, little help from Thornton and Booker too, catch and bucket. Arenas 1, Booker 0.5, Thornton 0.5. 68

15 – 3:33 – Booker leaves Prince in the corner, but he misses.

16 – 3:05 – Booker lost Villanueva, but he missed the lob dunk.

17 – 2:33 – Prince hits a jumper in Thornton’s grill. 70

2:13 – Nick Young for Arenas.

18 – 2:01 – Hamilton got Young with the same veteran move of going up through his arms. 2 FTs, make one. 71

19 – 1:13 – Hamilton past Young for a floater. 73

20 – 0:38 – Villanueva left open in corner for three, off of Hinrich’s unforced turnover. 76

0:05 – For a defensive stopper, Hinrich and Young are subbed out in favor of Cartier Martin and Lester Hudson on last play of 3rd.

21 – 0:01 – Lob play run for Prince that Thornton turns his head on and doesn’t recognize, Al fouls Prince on the lob, Prince makes 1-2 FTs. 77


Arenas, Young, Martin, Blatche and Armstrong start the 4th.

1 – 11:50 – Detroit offensive foul.

2 – 11:17 – Wizards get lucky as Detroit blows a second chance. Lazy defense is beginning to show from Blatche who had a terrible close-out attempt against Villanueva this possession.

3 – 10:39 – Ben Gordon steps out of bounds.

4 – 10:25 – Arenas misses a transition three and the ball is kicked to Bynum lagging behind. Arenas and Young aren’t back. 1.5 Arenas, 0.5 Young. 79

5 – 9:55 – Good solid contest from Young against Gordon. Miss.

6 – 9:30 – Monroe gets around Blatche, but misses with pressure under the hoop.

7 – 8:48 – Villanueva in the corner again and hits a three in Blatche’s face. 82

8 – 8:08 – Ball movement after Wizards collapse on Detroit in the paint and Will Bynum hits a three in Arenas’ face. 85

7:44 – McGees subs for Armstrong.

9 – 7:31 – McGrady with a tough shot on Cartier Martin. 87

10 – 6:35 – McGrady open corner miss, Nick Young defensive board.

11 – 6:15 – Arenas goes around the screen on Bynum who nails the long two. 89

5:58 – Hinrich subs for Martin.

12 – 5:32 – McGrady misses off the screen with Arenas trailing, McGee defensive board.

13 – 5:03 – Blatche not aggressive, sort of lazy in getting back on Villanueva three. 92

14 – 4:06 – Prince misses with a good contest from McGee, but Maxiell gets the offensive board and McGee fouls him. 1-2 FTs. 93

4:05 – Thornton subs for Young.

15 – 3:30 – Hamilton misses with good Arenas contest.

16 – 2:59 – Stuckey gets by Hinrich, McGee swipes down and fouls. Makes both FTs, one point each. 95

17 – 2:16 – Stuckey airballs and Blatche’s man (Villanueva), who charged the rim for an offensive board while Blatche trailed, scores the And1. 98

18 – 1:33 – Maxiell offensive board on McGee, Hinrich fouls. 2 FTs. One point each. 100

19 – 1:01 – Hamilton miss v. Hinrich, McGee defensive board.

20 – 0:20 – Villanueva drives right past Blatche. 102

… And then the Wizards lost in overtime.

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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.