Flat Tuesday: Milwaukee Bucks Slam Washington Wizards 95-76 | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Flat Tuesday: Milwaukee Bucks Slam Washington Wizards 95-76

Updated: March 10, 2011

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Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis transparently concedes rebuilds are messy and painful, as he asks fans for patience and faith while the roster is retooled for the future.  He forgot to mention the word that immediately came to mind after witnessing the Milwaukee Bucks 95-76 destruction of the Wizards on Tuesday night at the Verizon Center: Embarrassing. Those partaking in Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras festivities were better served than fans suffering through another demoralizing defeat.

Flip Saunders was disappointed that his backcourt did not respond to the challenge, Trevor Booker questioned the team’s heart, and John Wall admitted to playing terrible.

The Bucks, who the Wizards hammered just a few weeks prior, blew open a tight game in the second quarter and never were seriously challenged again. They toyed with the Wizards and were able to get any shot they wanted. Milwaukee has struggled with scoring all season, yet, they appeared to be high offensive juggernaut versus Wizards hapless defensive resistance.

Andray Blatche was unable to return after spraining his right shoulder early in the first quarter. To the shock of Blatche haters, the “third option” offensive presence was definitely missed as the Wizards struggled to score points. Sloppy ball-handling did not help the cause either, the Wiz Kids finished with 22 turnovers to only 17 assists. Rookie Jordan Crawford led the team with 22 points but tallied a plus/minus of minus-22.

Washington also playing without Rashard Lewis and Josh Howard due to injuries. However, let us refrain from using their absences as an excuse since Lewis has performed poorly for over a month and Howard’s offensive contributions have been non-existent all season.

It is easier to swallow home wipe-outs to championship caliber teams like the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs than it is being crushed by middling Eastern Conference teams like the Bucks and Indiana Pacers on your own court. The talking point that the 2010-11 Wizards struggle on the road and play well at home, reasonably true for large parts of the season, finally needs put to rest.

Rebuilds are damn tough, especially in the star-driven NBA, and surely there are more drubbings like these to come. I just hope after the Wizards follow George McPhee’s hockey plan to the promise land that these losses will be worth something more than how awful they feel right now.

Game Notes:

  • Now for some positive, the Wizards employed an all rookie lineup of John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin and Hamady N’diaye for 3:46 spanning from the end of the first quarter to the beginning of the second. It was a glimpse into the future and while laboring for points, they pretty much held their own on the court.  Booker told me that he wants to see more of those five out there together.
  • N’Diaye logged the longest playing action of his NBA career with 5:28 of time. He was active on both ends and overjoyed after the game locker room to finally be able to contribute.
  • Kevin Seraphin is a big boy and his ability to prevent opponent And-Ones with hard fouls is definitely an asset. When a play breaks down on offense, he still sometimes seems to be in the way, but overall, he has definitely improved his court awareness and understanding of Saunders’ system with increased confidence. On a few different occasions, he even told teammates where to be on the court, which was unfathomable just awhile back. Watch him closely on Wizards free throw attempts, I have never seen a player crash in as hard as he does for a potential offensive rebound. Assistant Coach Randy Wittman encouraged Seraphin on his play in the locker room after the game and told him to go up quicker on his shot attempts.
  • Crawford has the green light at all times and his athleticism is impressive around the rim. However, I am not a big fan of him ending the quarters with a 1-4 clear out when Wall is in the game. He does get props for sporting a Washington Nationals hat after the game.
  • Although the results are spotty, JaVale sure does not lack any confidence in his offensive post game. He rarely has a hesitation but the execution is not always ideal.  One funny sequence occurred when McGee was in the middle of a low percentage move. One of the Bucks defenders, I believe Brandon Jennings, yelled “forget that” before McGee had even shot it. Predictably, the contested, awkward left-handed 8-foot heave between two defenders was unsuccessful. On another offensive trip, McGee was subbed out after he tried to volleyball an attempt, alternating spikes between hands, instead of passing it back out. McGee is also rolling with a new mini Mohawk haircut that makes him look like a tall eighth grader.
  • Another positive take away from Bucks debacle was being able to meet Maurice Evans for the first before the game and engaging in a highly intellectual conversation with him. He was professional, articulate and respectful. After conclusion, he even shook my hand and said nice to meet you. I was startled because that had never happened before to me.  I can see why he is admired by his peers and was a wise selection to be on the NBA Player’s Association Executive Committee.  There will be more later on my chat with Mo.
  • Coach Saunders stated post game that the next few days before Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder come to town would be a mini training camp at practices with all five starting jobs up for grabs. He compared it having a “wrestle off” in wrestling to determine who will start. Results pending.

Post Game reaction from Coach, Booker, Wall, and N’diaye:

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{All Photos By Adam McGinnis, Truth About It.net}

[Adam McGinnis has followed DC pro sports teams since moving to the District in 2001 and became an ‘intense’ follower of the Wizards (via blogs) in 2006. He’s been through enough to be called a full-fledged fan. Follow him on Twitter: @AdamMcGinnis]

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Adam McGinnis
Reporter / Writer / Media at TAI
Adam is a bro from the Midwest who's been bopping around the District of Columbia for years. He's down with a range of sports, etc. and has covered the Washington Wizards for TAI since 2010.