The Reaction: Walled In By Sputtering Offense, Wizards Fall To Pacers 93-89 | Wizards Blog Truth About

The Reaction: Walled In By Sputtering Offense, Wizards Fall To Pacers 93-89

Updated: March 29, 2012

Another game, another competitive loss for the Washington Wizards, this time at the hands of the Indiana Pacers on the road, 93-89. TAI’s Adam McGinnis and Kyle Weidie have the reaction.


-Kyle Weidie

John Wall… what on earth was he doing in the end? Undoubtedly the worst decision-making ever seen from him. First, there was the charge call drawn by Paul George with 3:36 left with a chance to keep momentum and tie the game at 82; Wall just barreled into him with no choice otherwise. He then took a tired jumper on the break with 19 seconds on the shot clock that could have tied the game at 87 with 1:35 left. He didn’t wait for Nenê, who was running with him, to get set for a pick or a rebound; it was like Wall was using the late game moment to improve his own jumper rather than make the smart decision. But he was the pass-first point guard with 30 seconds left, it’s just that he should not have been. Changing speeds and jetting to the basket off the pick, Wall pulled a hesitation move and started to go up against Roy Hibbert. It looked like Wall had room to get to the rim, or at least the other side (or draw the foul), but he threw the ball back to Nenê instead. Or at least he tried to. Wall’s pass was low and off, it skidded into the backcourt. It was the turnover that led to the Wizards foul that then led to Danny Granger free-throws which gave Indiana an 89-85 lead that they didn’t look back from. Wall finished with 13 points on 4-for-9 shooting with five turnovers, two assists, two steals, and two rebounds.Game Changer, indeed.


-Adam McGinnis

Nenê was questionable due to back spasms entering the game, but you would not have guessed the Brazilian big man was battling a lingering injury while watching him score 16 points and pulling down 13 boards while limiting Indiana’s All-Star center Roy Hibbert to just nine points. Nene continues to provide a legitimate low post scoring threat that Washington has sorely lacked. He was 2-3 in 4th quarter with his only miss being a no call where he was clearly slapped on the wrist by Hibbert. The Wizards struggled down the stretch by not running enough offense through him in the post or by not having him cutting toward the basket off pick-and-rolls.

Game Changing Moment.

-Kyle Weidie

The game-changing moment is Trevor Booker playing on a bothered foot (Nenê too, on an iffy back). The Cook Book created some cold soup jumpers during the course of play (2-for-6 on FGs)… oh well. His four offensive rebounds in the first four minutes and 10 seconds of the game kicked ass. He ended up with 11 rebounds (six offensive) in 29 minutes, but it wasn’t just Booker. The presence of him, Nenê, and Kevin Seraphin was physical enough to let the roughneck Pacers of Tyler Hansbrough, Dahntay Jones, David West, and Louis Amundson know that they were not going to back down. There were a lot of tough fouls in this game, and well, the Wizards played tough. These big guys were the reason why Washington was unexpectedly in the game. They covered the spread, didn’t they?


-Adam McGinnis

Cartier Martin. The Welcome Back Cartier Express began with a bang with Martin knocking down a 3-point shot immediately upon entry in the first quarter (an assist from Jordan Crawford no less). Cartier finished the game with 10 points (4-for-7 FGs, 2-for-4, 3-pointers) and five rebounds in 20 minutes. He also came up with several loose balls on hustle plays. Martin tied the game up at 80 with a nifty steal and break away dunk at the 4:52 mark in the 4th quarter, causing the Pacers to call a timeout. Randy Wittman then inexplicably subbed him out for Chris Singleton for the remainder of the game, to the ire of many, many Wizards fans on Twitter.

That Was… Continued lessons, via trial and error, in what doesn’t work to win.

-Kyle Weidie

Jordan Crawford set a troubling tone midway through the fourth quarter, dribbling into three Pacers and turning the ball over. The next time down the court, Indiana ratcheted up the pressure on defense, and Crawford thought he could solve the problem by jacking a 3-pointer from several feet beyond the line. You thought, ‘Why doesn’t he let Wall run the offense?’ Well, as we know, the Game Changer failed horribly when it mattered most, too. You just hope these guys learn that whatever they were doing, don’t do it again.

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • Michael

    Since acquiring Nene, the Wizards are 1-5.

    All those people who thought Blatche, McGee and Young were the problem, what’s their excuse now?

  • They were the problem.

    Don’t you see how competitive this team is now?

    Do you think they would have been competitive against a playoff team on the road with those guys? Do you remember how crappy the team looked with those guys?

    Sure, Wall has his issues — and some of them are major — but there is no questions that the Wizards are a better team without McGee, Young and Blatche.

    Nick Young shot 40.6% from the field with the Wizards… now he’s down to 36.1% percent with the Clippers… that is TERRIBLE.

    The excuse now is that the Wizards are an incomplete team starting 3 NBA sophs, 1 rook, and 1 veteran in Nene last game. Their bench featured 2 rookies, 1 soph and Cartier Martin, Roger Mason and Brian Cook last night…

    Who’s going to win with that team? No one.

    The Wizards got rid of the bad eggs who were holding them back… now they need to get some good eggs so they can improve.

  • Since giving up Nick and Vale, we are 2-8. The losses have generally been close games against good teams.

    After the win in NO, there was ATL (w/o Nene), and we played them close the first half, lost by 12.

    Next, close loss to Memphis (5pts). Next, with Nene, a smattering of NJ, then a close lost to Indy (2pts), close loss to ATL (3pts), then a bad loss to the celts on back to back, then a 2pt loss on a buzzer beater to detroit (3rd night of back to back to back). Then, last night’s close loss to Indy.

    It’s been MUCH better

  • nich

    Totally with you.

    They allowed 100+ points in the 5 game losing streak before the trade.

    Since the trade, they’ve only allowed 100 points once- to the Hawks before Nene joined the team.

    The Wizards have shot a better FG% than the other team in every game since the trade except Boston & 2nd ATL game I believe.

    Neither of those stats means much by itself, but my eyes are telling me that they’re clearly a more competitive team.

  • Adam McGinnis

    Wizards are 1-4 in games Nene has played and could have easily won all 4 of those losses and should have taking home at least 2 or 3. Nene’s defense in the lane is really impressive and it is hard to show up on the stat sheet but you could a sense of his impact by watching him off the ball. He pushing his man away from the post, he takes up passing lanes and cuts off driving angels with killer help defense.

    The Wizards front court is setting up nicely with Booker,Seraphin and Nene.

  • Chris

    Michael, I don’t understand your point. The Wizards had JaVale McGee, Nick Young, and Andray Blatche together on the team for 3 plus seasons, and their combined record during that time was something like 78-213 during that stretch. If you’re trying to make the point that an NBA team can be successful with that combination of players as part of its nucleus, it has already been tried, and it was a catastrophic failure.

    They weren’t the whole problem, but getting the three of them out of the picture was a major step in the right direction.

  • Michael

    We were 10-34 before acquiring Nene.

    We are 1-5 since acquiring him.

    I don’t know how anyone could possibly call that an improvement.

    And note, I’m not trying to insinuate Nene is the problem. I’m just pointing out that all of the so-called “biggest problems” are gone, while replacing them with a quality center. Yet they are still losing. Just curious to see what the excuses are. Interested to see how all the anti-Young, anti-McGee people explain this continued losing since they don’t have them to blame any more.

    @Klye- Just wanted to answer this question you posed

    “Do you think they would have been competitive against a playoff team on the road with those guys? Do you remember how crappy the team looked with those guys?”

    You do recall that we blew out Detroit on the road with “those guys”? Right?

    I still don’t see a competitive team. Games are won and lost in the 4th quarter. This team has been thoroughly outclassed in the 4th quarter as of late. So no need to pretend this team is “competitive” now.

  • John Converse Townsend

    Since it looks like we’re just tossing numbers around, why not add a few more Wizards 2011-12 figures to the mix?

    Pre-trade point differential: -320
    Average pre-trade differential: -7.8

    Post-trade point differential: +10
    Average post-trade differential: +1

  • Robert

    Kyle, I agree with you that javale, blatche, and nick young were a problem, but I just don’t see how trading for nene helps the Wiz in the long run. By being more competitive, the chances of landing Anthony Davis keep declining. It will make the Wiz slightly more competitive, but to me, it’s not worth the long term investment and using that much cap space. Nene is sorta playing up to his 12 mill per year contract now, but what will he look like in 2 summers? We could have just let mcgee and nick young walk this summer; just because they were a problem, doesn’t mean the Wiz had to pick up a bad contract. Nene is almost 30 and has a history of injuries. I seriously doubt he will ever play more than 60 games in a single season with the Wizards. He’s got the type of contract that, in 2 years, could prevent the Wiz from going from average in the East to contender in the East. And why didn’t they demand that Denver take Blatche also? Now the wiz have to choose between amnesting blatche or Lewis this summer. That means one of them will be on the team next year, which is horrendous. Also, John Wall is just as much part of the problem as any of those guys are.