The Reaction: Stuckey Sticks The Wizards | Truth About It.net

The Reaction: Stuckey Sticks The Wizards

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Updated: March 26, 2012

Due to work, I caught the last minute or so of Washington’s 97-95 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Monday night, giving me just enough glimpse of a close game that came down to a last second shot, in favor of Rodney Stuckey. And that’s how loss No. 255 during the lifetime of this TruthAboutIt.net Wizards blog (this season being the fifth) went down. TAI’s Rashad Mobley and John Converse Townsend were on-hand at the Verizon Center for his achievement. They now provide their reaction.

M.V.P.

-Rashad Mobley

Rodney Stuckey scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter by repeatedly bulling his way to the rim. And when the game was on the line, he calmly hit a tough jumper over Jordan Crawford. All this from a guy who had not played since March 18, a guy who is still nursing a sore toe. Said Stuckey after the game about the last shot, “I knew I had the step back [jumper], I wasn’t going to go in there and try to force anything, I just tried to take the easy basket, and the step back was the one.”

Defining Moment.

-John Converse Townsend

The Wizards still found themselves ahead by nine points at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but the Pistons began to chip away at the deficit, in large part thanks to Stuckey, who scored all 12 fourth-quarter points in the final eight minutes. With just over a minute left to play, the Wizards lead trimmed to just two points at 73-71, Tayshaun Prince was looking for the game-tying basket in the post. Chris Singleton was holding his ground against Prince without much issue, but Jordan Crawford decided to help off his man, Stuckey, who was camped at the top of the 3-point line. Prince recognized the Crawford’s double-team, which was slow to arrive, and hit Stuckey with a perfect pass. Stuckey swished the wide open 3-pointer, winning the Pistons their first lead since the 9:32 mark in the second quarter. The two teams traded baskets in the final minute before Stuckey dealt the knockout blow: that step back with two-tenths of a second remaining to end the Pistons’ five-game game skid.

X-Factor.

-Rashad Mobley

Jordan Crawford’s defense. As well as he played offensively (20 points on 16 shots, five assists and three steals), he’s still a liability on the defensive end of the floor, and it showed in the clutch against Stuckey. When Tayshaun got the ball in the post against Singleton, Crawford over-helped, and Stuckey drained the three. And for the game-winning shot, the 6’5″ Stuckey was able to drive, step back and nail the jumper over the 6’3″ Crawford, who seemed to relent more and more space as the seconds ticked away. This would not be a major issue if Crawford’s poor defense against Avery Bradley on Sunday night had not affected the outcome of that game too. JC’s 20 points were nice, but they mean nothing when Stuckey scores five in the last 55 seconds.

L.V.P.

-Rashad Mobley

John Wall had a strong third quarter that stretched the Wizards’ lead from five to 12 points, and it looked like the Wizards were going to pull away. But when the game was on the line, Wall could not deliver a clutch basket or the clutch assist. And in the fourth quarter, he was only able to muster one assist, zero points. Wall also missed a point-blank layup, albeit a tough one from the baseline, with 11 seconds left that could have been the game winner.

That was … par for the course.

-John Converse Townsend

The Wizards let another double-digit lead slip away in the final moments of the game. They first blew a 22-point lead against the Pacers last Thursday, and then allowed a 16-point lead slip away against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday. On Monday night, the Wizards allowed the Pistons, a team that has now been held to fewer than 80 points in three consecutive games, to climb out of a 13-point hole (Washington led 43-30 2:37 into the third quarter).

“At some point, we got to get to the point where we get a lead and we don’t play just to play,” said Wizards coach Randy Wittman after the game. “We begin dribbling around — I don’t know what we’re running — we just go out and play, and all of a sudden: BOOM! It’s down to 10, it’s down to seven, it’s down to five and they’re in the game.”

“If you keep running into the same guy and he keeps punching you in the face,” the coach exclaimed, “you’re going to learn to put your hands up. This is three straight times.”


6 Comments

  1. Michael

    March 27, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Jordan Crawford sucks. He may have a had a couple decent shooting performances as of late, but he will revert back to his typical sub-40%fg form and once again be a complete liability on both ends of the court.

  2. Ayo Obayomi

    March 27, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Michael: You’re completely right, but that will get swept under the rug by everyone. He’s always been poor on D, but luckily his O has been decent so far (except for the 3s that he shouldn’t take). He’s good for tanking at least!

  3. Robert

    March 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    john wall sucks at offense and defense; if only we could sub him out in all half court situations and just have him be in the game for 10 fast breaks per game, that would be ideal.

  4. nich

    March 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Crawford brings about as much to the floor as you’d expect a late first rounder his age to.

    I doubt he’s a starter going forward if they can get a legitimate two-guard on this roster, but I think he’ll be an outright excellent 6th man / irrational confidence guy.

    I don’t think people “sweep it under the rug” as much as realize that he has only played in like 90 games and has plenty of room to grow as a player. We all realize that Crawford is majorly flawed.

    I’m one of the biggest Crawford supporters and I still think we need a starting 2-guard on this team. I don’t know who out there is acting like he’s the long term answer but he really reminds me of Jason Terry’s rookie year before he got the 3-ball going.

    Unfortunately, Crawford getting better at hitting 3s would help this team infinitely more than Crawford not shooting 3s so the fix isn’t as simple as “Hey JC, stop shooting 3s”- I still think his ceiling is higher than Nick Young’s and I’m excited that we’ll be able to find that out over the next 3 years for a “mere” $5 million bucks.

  5. Chris

    March 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    There seems to be a serious lack of teaching taking place between the Wizards’ coaches and players. I say this because it seems no guards or perimeter players on the team understand how to run the pick and roll at all. I realize the lockout had a powerful effect on player development, but you’d think someone on the staff would pull John Wall and Jordan Crawford and Shelvin Mack aside and show them how to pull their defender in close and run them into a screen, how to be patient and let the screen man get in position, how to come off the screen and see the floor, etc.

    John Wall is a tremendously talented and competitive player, but until he learns how to operate in the pick and roll, they might as well just stop using it and go back to the motion offense.

  6. Michael

    March 28, 2012 at 9:46 am

    “I still think his ceiling is higher than Nick Young”

    - A guy with subpar athleticism, no defense, and who has shown no ability to shoot the ball with any efficiency his entire career has a higher ceiling than Nick Young?

    Let’s be honest, if he was still on the Hawks he would never get in the game. He only plays cause he is on arguably the worst team in the NBA.

    I still fail to understand why Crawford is in the NBA let alone that he could possiblly be better than what he is now.

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