The Wizards Haven’t Partied In San Antonio Since 1999
By Kyle Weidie
Updated: December 26, 2010
- The Wizards played well enough without Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee (due to their one-game suspension for getting in a fight with each other at a D.C.-area club) to fall just outside the 13.5-point spread by which the Spurs were favored, losing 94-80 in San Antonio on Sunday evening.
- Washington is now 0-14 on the road for the season and the team hasn’t won in San Antonio since December 11, 1999 — Rod Strickland, Mitch Richmond, Michael Smith, Juwan Howard and Ike Austin started against Avery Johnson, Mario Elie, Chucky Brown, Tim Duncan and David Robinson that night and beat them 99-89.
- They never had a chance to win, but when upsets happen, you say, ‘Well, that’s why you play the game.’ But I guess that only really happens when teams play like they have a chance to win.
- You’ll hear some analysis on the game say that the Spurs were a deeper, stronger team with more weapons. Sure, I’ll concede to that, but not as much as it’s hyped up to be. The answer is actually more simple than that simple analysis. The Spurs move the ball much better than the Wizards, to the tune of 27 assists to 18 for Washington. All the players Gregg Popovich plays buy into his system, they share the ball, and Spurs management has done a great job of providing Popovich with more players who relent to the team concept. The Wizards, on the other hand, seem to go after sheer talent in hopes that they can teach them to play like a team … and that can be a painstaking process, clearly.
- Not sure if it was Manu Ginobili stock-piling points on him early, or if it was just him missing shots, but Nick Young had a retro game, for him. The early futility clearly had an early affect on Young’s psyche. He once called his buddy Andray “Sonic” and referred to himself as “Tails” … guess Tails couldn’t make it without his hedgehog friend in San Antonio. Young went 5-19 from the field with 10 points and couldn’t do much right. His night was epitomized by the .GIF above where, after Manu had already made three three-pointers, Nick just failed to pay attention to him in any regard … more concerned with the potential screen than about the space he’d given Ginobili all night.
- Josh Howard shot 4-12 from the field and really looked to force some things on several offensive possessions. He also had a team-worst plus/minus of minus-12. Of course, here’s where the inaccuracy of plus/minus in it’s ability to give a true picture comes into play. Howard gave good energy and always found a way to get himself involved in plays. In the long run, Howard certainly deserves to eat into Al Thornton‘s minutes … he had six rebounds in 24 minutes to Thornton’s three rebounds in 28. Of course, with the current makeup of the team, Howard looks to get more time at the two.
- Rashard Lewis had 21 points and went 4-8 from beyond the arc, but he needed 19 total shots to get there. Maybe that’s about the efficiency we can expect from him … and making those three pointers does actually make him more efficient (52.6 eFG% vs. the Spurs), especially when that’s an area where the team needs help. Lewis also got 12 rebounds and certainly seems more interested in boxing out than Blatche.
- A lot of people will surely try to analyze John Wall’s return to the court, because it’s popular and brings eyeballs, I suppose, but really, this window — how Wall “looked” against the Spurs — is not really worth dissecting. His stat line off the bench: 19 minutes, four points, 2-9 FGs, no trips to the free-throw line, four assists, four turnovers, four fouls, a block and six rebounds. To me, Wall looked a bit gimpy in his knee at times, maybe it was stiff or whatever, but he did look almost as quick, noted by that sweet spin move he put on Manu before the half. About the only thing I take from Wall’s performance was that he finds ways to impact the game in other areas.
- Kirk Hinrich had 15 points on 7-10 shooting with seven assists and four turnovers. He tried, earnestly. And for some weird reason, Hinrich’s admirable presence makes the Mike Miller and Randy Foye for the fifth pick trade seem even worse. Don’t ask why.