The Reaction: Wizards Expose Clippers without Paul and Griffin
The Wizards beat the Clippers, 98-90, on Monday night. This is your reaction…
The proverbial set-up: ‘So Randy, how about those Clippers and injuries…?’ (L.A. played without Chris Paul, knee bruise, and Blake Griffin, hamstring strain.)
Where would the Wizards be without Martell Webster? That was the first question I asked myself after the game. Washington made seven of their 12 measured 3-point attempts. Well, mostly measured. Jordan Crawford chucked up an ill-advised 3 with 7:18 left in the second quarter that got him benched for the rest of the game, but that’s another story. Webster was the star of this night with a team-high 21 points on 5-for-6 from deep. It was his fourth 20-point game of the season, and to that he added five rebounds, three assists and zero turnovers. The Wizards have long been desperate for shooters. And they knew Webster could shoot, but did they expect this?
“I wouldn’t call myself a 3-point specialist. To define a 3-point specialist, a perfect example would be Kyle Korver or Ryan Anderson—I actually have more slashing in my game, back-door cuts … I’m able to put the ball on the floor, one to two dribbles. … I’ve been working on more of that this offseason.”
Webster is now shooting .427 from 3-point land on the season (73-for-171), which would be a career-high percentage. In team history, only five players have made more than 70 3s and shot better than 42 percent from deep: Brent Price, Tim Legler, Scott Skiles, Tracy Murray, and Mike Miller [via Basketball-Reference.com]. Whatever Webster is doing, it’s pretty special. Of course, he keeps this up and the Wizards will run the risk of losing him via free agency in the offseason, which hasn’t always been good proposition for this franchise.
That game was … Statistical.
Certainly an interesting stat sheet to gander at… So went the post-game media buzz before Randy Wittman’s presser. Some highlights:
- Season-high in points for Garrett Temple (15)
- 5:12 of action for Jordan Crawford
- DNP-CDs for Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker
- Career-high 22 rebounds for DeAndre Jordan (seven came in the first quarter, seven in the second, and three in the fourth)
- John Wall had seven assists in the first half (17:40 of run), but just one assist in the second half (14:29)
- Finally, the Wizards took 12 more free throws than the Clippers (17-for-27 for Washington to 12-for-15 for the other side). Does that happen if Blake Griffin plays?
Garrett Temple finally stepped up in the absence of Bradley Beal. In his fourth start—after showings of two, four, and two points—Temple scored a season-high 15 points on 12 shots and did a little bit of everything in the stat book.
“Havoc,” was Temple’s word of frequent choice during post-game questioning, and that’s exactly what he caused on the defensive end. He and Trevor Ariza, whose defense could have also been nominated as an x-factor, had a nice, disruptive chemistry going, working together to get a key steal from Jamal Crawford late in the fourth.
Before speaking with the press, Temple was also quick to proclaim that his glasses contained prescription lenses. So, bonus points for that.