The most dependable aspect of Nick Young’s game, perhaps, has become his 3-point shooting. No, he’s not knocking them down at a career-high rate (36.6-percent this season compared to 38-percent total in his first three NBA seasons; he shot 40.6-percent from deep last season), but he is taking them at a higher volume, so that certainly could take some getting used to for him. In his first threes seasons, Nick averaged 3.5 3PA per 36 minutes, making 1.3. This season he’s averaging 5.7 3PA per 36 minutes while making 2.1.
But the ultimate factor involving the higher-volume long-range Nick is that he’s shooting 48.6-percent from the field this season, a career-best by far. In NBA seasons 1-3 combined, Young shot 43.4-percent from the field. Nice improvement, I’d say.
The assists still aren’t there for him, he’s now averaging a career-worst 0.6 assists per 36 minutes (and that’s on top of an already horrendous career when it comes to passing). However, the turnovers aren’t there either. Up to this season, Young has averaged 1.97 turnovers per 36 minutes. This year he just has four turnovers in 258 total minutes (0.6 per 36 minutes). Wizards fans will take improvement from Young wherever they can get it, especially when he hits game winning bombs.
And to think, it all could have something to do with Nick’s lucky fox tail. Or not.
Nick Young talks about his first game winner:
[video via Bullets Forever]
What A Weird Stat.
John Wall is the first rookie to score at least 25 second-half points after being held scoreless in the first half since Adam Morrison on Feb. 21, 2007. Morrison scored 26 points in the second half in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Top Wizards-Sixers Quotes.
If you turned the channel when Marreese Speights made a layup to give the Philadelphia 76ers a 15-point lead with about eight minutes left, or when 76ers rookie Evan Turner stepped to the foul line for two free throws and the Wizards trailing by three with eight seconds left, then you are probably disappointed that you missed the end of this one. But if you stuck around for all 53 minutes — sometimes excruciating, other times incredibly enjoyable — you were treated to yet another thrilling, John Wall-inspired overtime victory for over the 76ers.
Wall was actually worse than his 0-for-6 start from the field would indicate. He had no lift on his jump shot, no explosion with his first step, no rhythm or tempo with an offense that had started to run more sets in his absence over the last four games.
“I told him at the first half, what you’re doing is you haven’t played a lot of time, you’re settling on taking perimeter shots,” said Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. “You’ve got to get your motor going. You’ve got to get to the basket a few times, get hit a little bit, loosen up, and then you’re outside game will come to you.”
Including three clutch free throws to tie what was a three-point game late, after Jrue Holiday appeared clueless and then played clueless in defending him in regulations final seconds. Javale McGee jumped his way to 24 and 18, Andray Blatche took a series of infuriating shots before nailing a needed 20-footer to help put the Sixers away in OT (17 points on 21 shots overall, ugh), Nick Young got a rebound (three, actually) along with his 18 points, Gilbert Arenas had eight turnovers, and Kirk Hinrich dribbled a lot.
So, yeah. Gong show.
Blatche was absolutely porous tonight, failing repeatedly to close out the lane or provide proper help defense. He became such a liability as the game wore on that Flip had to go to Trevor Booker in situations where Booker would normally be riding the bench. Making matters worse, Blatche had one of his jumper happy spells tonight, routinely shooting fading 17 footers rather than take the ball to the basket against the slower Sixer front line. I’m growing more concerned that the McGee and Blatche combo may not be tenable over the long term, which calls Blatche’s summer extension into question.
One of Abe Pollin’s last thoughts was about attending a Washington Wizards game.
Evan Turner got caught ball watching Gilbert Arenas and completely lost track of Nick Young on the game’s winning basket. Here’s a breakdown:
Photo of the Game: JaVale McGee battles some Sixers.
Gilbert Arenas and Nick Young get silly over a “solid” that cost Arenas 50K.
[DC Sports Bog]
John Wall is the cover boy for the latest issue of SLAM Magazine. Lang Whitaker previews the story:
“We shot John down in DC earlier in the month, and I went down for the shoot and to interview John. He talks fast, and it wasn’t until a couple of days later when I was listening to the interview that I was struck by how much John’s voice reminded me of another NBA player: lower than you’d expect, a little bit of a Southern accent. A few days later I asked my main man Michael Lee at the Washington Post, and he agreed. It wasn’t just me—Wall sounds a little bit like Allen Iverson.”
Nice pic of the exact moment JaVale McGee dunked on Elton Brand.
Trey Kerby’s big book of basketball facts is out. Check it out (free PDF download).