A run-down of Tuesday’s home opening win with pictures, links and video …
NOTE: Rashad Mobley and I will be taking turns writing a weekly column on the Wizards for the DCist. Check out the first one by me here.
Cartier Martin celebrates the win after the final buzzer in OT.
Prelude to a meeting in the paint …
Wall drew the foul on Elton Brand.
Andres Nocioni looks to be totally faking … no surprise here.
This Cartier Martin shot seems a bit wonky.
A glimpse of Andray Blatche communicating on defense.
John Wall’s block of Igoudala that looked very close to not being a foul.
Should we blame Nick Young for pulling a ‘Kyle Korver’ in this picture?
Yi sets a down screen for Kirk Hinrich …
… which in turn sprung Yi for the pop out corner jumper with the assist from Kirk.
Wizards Girls with Dunkin’ Donuts … no complaints here.
Remember this guy?
Video: Quick Sentences From Wizards.
Wizards-76ers: The best of what was said.
“In the midst of what is probably going to be a long year for Wizards fans, tonight served as the nice bright beacon of hope for what the future may hold for the franchise. John Wall continued to be well….John Wall, Andray Blatche made good on his promise to take it to the hole and Nick Young played perhaps one of the most disciplined games of his career. And Cartier Martin did to the 76ers what the Jannero Pargos, Ramon Sessions, and Andrea Bargnanis of the world have been doing to Wizards for years. It was nice for the shoe to be on the other foot.”
“The greatness in John Wall is hidden, buried under a plain black t-shirt and a tightly strapped backpack. You can’t tell how good Wall is just by looking at him. He doesn’t have the physique of LeBron James or the natural swagger of Kobe Bryant. He isn’t as demonstrative as Kevin Garnett or as cool as Ray Allen. Yet, after watching Wall play, there is little doubt he shares a unique gift, a gift ingrained in them all.”
“One of the surprising things I noticed while paying close attention to Wall’s performance is that he might be better in isolation situations rather than out of the pick-and-roll. Bringing a second defender over makes it easier for opponents to direct Wall away from the basket and render him strictly a playmaker. The problem isn’t that Wall struggles in this role, as he successfully found open teammates. No, the issue is that Wall is so much more talented than his Wizards teammates right now that any time he has to give the ball up to a player who is not in immediate position to score, the defense has won the battle.”
“Sure, the Wizards do need to learn what to do with a lead in the fourth quarter (though the final defensive stand in overtime, which forced a wild fallaway by Andre Iguodala, was encouraging). And sure, it might not be a good idea to rely on Cartier Martin doing his best Garfield Heard impression in the future. But more important than any of that, is the fact that in John Wall, this franchise finally has a self-aware player (unprompted, he castigated himself for “letting [the Sixers] back into the game” with his eight turnovers last night), who is also talented enough to turn the momentum of a game in almost any way (steal, pass, shot, dunk) and at almost any time. He can even do it, you might say, in a flash.”
“Blatche had a difficult night early on, as he appeared to be taking a “shoot first, ask questions later” approach to offense, subjecting his teammates to the status of spectators as he launched shots — and missed — almost every time he touched the ball. He had been so ineffective with his shot selection and later his turnovers that fans began to wince whenever he got the ball. But that didn’t deter Blatche from being aggressive and attacking the basket. He attempted 14 free throws — or 12 more than he had in the previous two games combined — and made 13, including the final two with 7.1 seconds left to give the Wizards the win.”
The defense Wizards’ big men continues to be a problem: when McGee isn’t blocking shots, his defense is pretty negligible, Yi is even worse, Blatche has a low-level of involvement in the D, and Hilton Armstrong is ‘okay’ — check out what Kevin Broom has to say.
[Washington Post Fan Blog]
Josh Howard has another good entry up on his blog. He talks about his approach to leadership, Andray Blatche and his digs in the District. Here’s one quote: “I was fortunate that I got to come back here because I like the opportunity to be around younger guys. I’m not saying anything was wrong with Dallas and the older guys, but being around younger guys, they keep me lively and keep my spirits up. I like it.”
In the process of doing the Dougie, John Wall left Yi Jianlian hanging.
[DC Sports Bog]
The official end to the John Wall-Evan Turner debate?
[SB Nation DC]
The defense of Andray Blatche on Philadelphia’s final shot.
Just one of many cool John Wall stats: “Wall is the first player in NBA history to have at least 29 points, 13 assists and nine steals in a single game.”
Yep, the marketing tactics of Susan O’Malley were pretty unideal.
[DC Sports Bog]
The Top 10 Wizards/Bullets of all time? You be the judge.
Michael Wilbon penned a column in the Washington Post about Wall – it’s not terrible, says a lot of what others are saying, and covers surface insight … as you’d expect from a national columnist. But I found this part to be rather off:
“Did the Wizards win tonight?” should at least for now be replaced by another question: “How did John Wall do tonight?”
Now, that may be the case for marketing dazzle and the interest of far-reaching media … but fans are interested in wins, and it’s on wins where Wall will be judged.