The Reaction: Wizards Bucked, Discover Loss No. 41 From a 112-98 Score
The Washington Wizards lost for the 41st time in 53 attempts last night in a 112-98 contest against the Milwaukee Bucks; the result also marked the 219th loss in the last 299 attempts for the Wiz. TAI’s Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie are here with their reaction.
Brandon Jennings. The Wizards (led by John Wall, who hit four free throws) began the second half on 5-0 run to pull within two points. The Bucks then went on a 12-2 run that Jennings owned with eight points and two assists. He played all 12 minutes of the third quarter, ended up with 17 points during that time (19 total on the night to go with seven assists and six rebounds), and the Bucks stretched their lead from eight to 14 points. Meanwhile, Wall scored just one more bucket for the rest of the night after his four free-throws in the first 75 seconds of the third.
Fans during rebuilding. Can you really give any single Wizard the “LVP” tag? OK, surely some would like to designate Jordan Crawford — 23 points on 8-for-17 shooting — as such. Finding teammates for pick-and-roll dunks or drive-and-dish 3-pointers one minute (Crawford had six assists), and then taking shot jacks that only familiarize themselves with backboard glass or off-balanced attempts as if the sport was evaluated by Olympic judges looking at difficulty instead of a scoreboard the next minute, Crawford is truly a mixed bag. But don’t blame the sore thumb on a crappy team. Blame karma or whatever other unknown entity for the Wizards playing understandably unentertaining basketball featuring a bench of Cartier Martin, Roger Mason, Shelvin Mack, and Brian Cook, along with the youngest starting lineup in franchise history. This ain’t bringing a knife to a gun fight, this is bringing a wedge of cheese as protection in Kabul.
Shaun Livingston. Livingston did nothing but grab four rebounds for three quarters, which was fine because Monta Ellis (14 points, four assists, four rebounds in the first 24 minutes) carried Milwaukee in the first half, and Jennings carried the team in the third quarter. In the fourth, when Jennings didn’t play and Ellis was scoreless (he attempted one shot in nine minutes), Livingston scored 10 points, had two assists, and ran the point guard position to perfection. He took the open shot when he had it, he kept his head up and made the right pass, and more importantly, his play kept the Wizards from mounting a fourth-quarter comeback. And he did all of this against the team that chose not to re-sign him in 2010.
That was… “a run-out-the-clock situation.”
If you’re a fan of The Office, you might remember an episode called “Boys and Girls” where Michael takes over the warehouse for his own “Men in the Workplace” gathering in response to a “Women in the Workplace” seminar sponsored by corporate. At one point, as the office workers are helping the warehouse workers do their job, Ryan comes up with an idea about improving efficiency (of moving boxes or something). Stanley immediately responds by saying, “This here is a run-out-the-clock situation.” I hear ya, Stanley… so are the Wizards. Now, I don’t want to be completely pessimistic — I’m thrilled with the current development opportunities for the likes of Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely — but who wants to invest so much time in watching bad basketball? Evidently I do, and I’m one of the few — Feel like the guy who gladly accepts, and pays for, the fly in my soup.
When John Wall picked up his second foul of the game with 5:22 left in the first quarter; the Wizards were leading 17-16, and the young PG had two points and three assists. Shelvin Mack entered the game for Wall and proceeded to go scoreless with zero assists and three turnovers. The Wizards scored just two more points in the period while the Bucks scored 12; Washington never led again. Randy Wittman kept Mack on the bench until there was 2:47 left in the game, when Milwaukee was up 21 points.