Did you watch the Wizards play the Nuggets in Denver on Friday night? Didn’t think so. Well, if you didn’t sit through the loss, you’re in luck, because below is a recap of words, moving pictures and still pictures.
10:30 - JaVale McGee chases down a long loose-ball rebound, the Wizards were scattered in their transition defense after a wide-open Denver missed shot. Upon securing the ball, McGee really has only one Nugget in front of him, Kenyon Martin. You don’t mind the breaking attempt so much — one man to beat, open court, why not? The manner is the other side. McGee contorted his body, tried to twist around Martin and made life more difficult than it should have been, as opposed to if he’d just gone strong to the rim. Martin intimidation or self preservation, after McGee missed, he loafed a bit which immediately prompted Sam Cassell to jump off the Wizards bench and yell, “GET BACK!” with a wave of his arm. Denver scored on the other end. 4-2 Nuggets.
9:52 – Nene plants himself under the rim as Danilo Gallinari misses a layup, gets the offensive board and gets fouled on the floor. It’s evident that the Wizards need to have people on the court who can clear space. Yi and McGe don’t do that.
9:07 - You can quickly tell that the high altitude is getting to McGee — him expending a lot of extra, unnecessary energy at times doesn’t help. Combined with his asthma, you got to feel for his situation. He fouls Gallinari who makes one of two free-throws. 6-4 Denver.
8:26 - This.
6:53 - Nick Young checks in, being conditioned to the psychology of his game, I can sense he’s going to struggle. I hope he proves me wrong.
5:49 - Yi doesn’t have a chance against Nene on defense. But on the other end, the Chris “Birdman” Andersen is much less effective at guarding a Wall-Yi pick and pop than Martin was, who had to check out with two fouls. Yi gets the jumper, Wall gets his first assist. 16-15 Washington.
4:55 – Kevin Seraphin takes a bad foray to the basket with a semi-open lane and his teammates watching as they gather themselves in the half court. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to take it; Kevin will learn.
4:41 – Nick’s first offensive chance — he makes a curl cut off a ball-side screen by McGee and receives the ball at the top of the arc versus Gallinari for a one on one move. Young misses the contested jumper from the left elbow. I guess Flip would rather him return to the court and get comfortable with one-on-one moves instead of a Rip Hamilton-style play.
4:11 - This time Nick receives a hand-off from Jordan Crawford on the left wing and tries to get even closer to the hoop in a one-on-one move versus JR Smith. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have enough room away from help defense, gets pressured, slips, and misses the shot. With bad offense, the Wizards soon get down 21-16 to Denver.
3:25 – A dribbling turnover courtesy of JaVale McGee.
3:00 – A call doesn’t go the way of Jordan Crawford’s tough, gunning shot, and the Nuggets go the other way. Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin need to communicate — or maybe neither could see each other around the large body of Nene — but guarding the same man in transition will always get you beat versus the Nuggets. Raymond Felton hits a three. 25-16 Denver.
1:15 – Young misses a fading attempt from inside the lane in transition. Not a bad shot, he just doesn’t have it so far tonight — understandable, so we’ll see how this develops — but as Seraphin boards the miss and gives it back to Young for a wide open three, he misses again.
Around 40 seconds later, the Birdman would get this fourth block in around six minutes going against Young, who was attempting to take it to the rim in transition.
Nick Young checked in at the 6:53 mark, John Wall scored three free-throws and got Yi a bucket to give the Wizards 16 points at the 5:31 mark, and then the Wizards didn’t score again for the rest of the first period. Young went 0-5 from the floor in the process. 30-16 Denver after one.
11:38 – Nick finally gets going when Birdman Andersen gets switched on him for the first possession of the second. The possession requires a reset of Nick giving the ball to Wall and receiving it back, but he nails a long step back two from the top. 30-18 Denver.
9:41 – Yi just gets lost in technique and misses the big picture of the Nuggets running a play that gets the Birdman stuffing a lob dunk behind Yi’s back and down his throat … It’s now getting pretty ugly. 37-19 Denver.
The Nuggets are simply giving a lesson in relentlessness on the offensive boards … while the Wizards are just young foliage.
5:52 - The Wizards are thinking too much — or not thinking — because it’s much too easy for Denver. A simple drive and kick from Felton to Al Harrington nets a trey ball. Timeout Flip. 44-25 Denver.
3:46 - After another miss, Nick draws a foul in an isolation move versus JR Smith on the baseline. No more Rip Hamilton style for Nick, it seems; don’t see too much off-ball movement being set up for him on offense. Then again, when there aren’t many other scoring options, guess you have to run ISOs to get him going. But again, you (I) kind of felt Nick wouldn’t get it going tonight anyway. He had to come back to the court sometime, I guess, so not many excuses for poor shot selection. Young makes both free-throws and has four points on 1-7 shooting. 48-30 Denver.
2:42 - Wall gets closer to the rim versus Lawson and draws a foul again, this time on Kenyon Martin. Wall is 5-5 from the line with nine points.
2:29 - Young is getting duped by Gallinari and the Nuggets setup on defense. Three points from Danilo. 57-32 Denver.
2:20 - Wall keeps earning trips to the free-throw line, makes both — 7-7 FTs, 11 points. 57-34 Denver.
2:04 - And again… another Wall trip to the line, this time in transition. He can live on the line for his career, if he wants. He makes both, 9-9 FTs, 12 points. 57-36 Denver.
0:24.1 – Great run of the floor by Crawford to find Yi for a transition dunk … 62-45 Denver.
Wizards down 64-45 at halftime.
10:51 - Nene draws a shooting foul on McGee, his fourth. JaVale just wasn’t moving his feet and was left unable to beat Nene to the spot. Nene misses the And-1 free-throw. 66-47 Denver.
8:02 – The Wizards are down 18 and have had a couple chances to cut into the lead, but the ball is not changing sides enough and it is in Crawford’s hands too much. Wall needs to assert more control on the offense. It’s great that Crawford can handle the ball and that he and Wall might mesh well together in the backcourt, but Wall is the point guard.
7:42 - The ball is back in Wall’s hands, who commands attention. The Nuggets just fall asleep and leave Crawford wide open at the three point line for a make, Wizards down to 15. On the other end, Ty Lawson dribbles it off his foot (thanks to good defense from Trevor Booker). The door is very slightly open for Washington. 69-54 Denver.
6:32 - McGee’s baseline jumper hits the side of the backboard. Yep.
4:08 – Young dribbles a couple times, lazily misses a three … the Wizards are officially defeated, I think. Denver up 78-60.
3:25 – McGee puts in crazy offense and hard work on the offensive boards. Denver 78-62.
2:58 - More bad, forced attempts from Nick. Sure, he’s “stale,” as Phil Chenier says, but the type of shots he’s taking are so mentally terrible. He’s 2-10 from the field on the night.
0:55 - Trevor Booker puts in work and scores five points in a minute. That baby left hook is really coming along. 80-67 Denver.
0:01.6 - Young misses a shot at the end of the third. Again, another attempt of lazy mechanics. He can’t afford to do that coming off an injury … can’t afford to do that mentally as a veteran. 82-67 Denver.
11:30 – Crawford creates a dunk for Hamady N’diaye. 84-69 Denver.
9:31 – Denver starts the fourth on an 12-4 run and Flip Saunders calls a timeout. 94-71 Denver.
9:24 – Nick Young’s defense is off … and here, out of a timeout, he has an easy chance on offense, but travels.
7:58 – Young gets a step back jumper from the first hash mark after the right elbow … but it was against the smaller Ty Lawson, so it should happen. 96-77 Denver.
7:26 – Young comes back and takes a very tough fading shot. It’s an airball. He was looking for a call, but not making things happen for himself … just hoping it happens.
6:12 – Nick points for McGee to set him a ball screen when the shot clock is around nine. McGee doesn’t see or is unwilling and calls for the ball himself, but the Wizards end up creating space for Young as the shot clock runs down, and he hits a very tough reverse layup. 100-81 Denver.
4:06 - Denver turnover, Lawson fouls Wall in the open court, George Karl clears his bench. Russia, Greece and Italy enter the ball game in the form of Mozgov, Koufos and Gallinari. The game is effectively over as it’s seemingly been for a while.
Denver wins 114-94 … Blatche got burritos, at least.