REAX Game 4: Wiz Kids Serve Sloppy Joes to Grizzly Bears in Vegas | Truth About It.net

REAX Game 4: Wiz Kids Serve Sloppy Joes to Grizzly Bears in Vegas

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Updated: July 18, 2013

[The Washington Wizards lost to the Memphis Grizzlies, 90-83, in their fourth summer league contest on Wednesday. Below, TAI's Conor Dirks, Adam McGinnis, and Kyle Weidie share their reactions. With the loss, Washington is knocked out of the NBA Summer League tournament bracket and will face New Orleans in a consolation match at 3:30 pm PT on Friday, their last game in Las Vegas.]

[Memphis' Jack Cooley skies for glass. -- photo: K. Weidie]

That was … uneven.

Imagine a six-year old version of yourself. You’re at the playground. Since mobile telephones didn’t exist, your parents are bored beyond belief. You find a seesaw and hop on opposite an older kid who looks nice but really isn’t.

The Wizards got the jump on the Grizzlies, thanks in part to Chris Singleton’s 10-point 1st quarter. After the initial effort was expended, though, the big kid’s weight stranded the Wizards up in the air, with inadequate leverage to regain control. There were runs: a 12-2 run by Memphis early in the second quarter, a 17-6 run by Washington right before halftime, and a brutal third quarter where Memphis outscored Washington 22-8. The Wizards even made a late attempt to get back into the game before Jack Cooley and a Tony Wroten 3-pointer shut the door. Ultimately, no amount of Jan Vesely summer magic could make up for the team’s inconsistent play, and Washington (technically) lost their first “playoff” game since 2008’s Game 6 loss against Cleveland in the first round of the real NBA playoffs.

—Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

Defining Moment

The Wizards accumulated seven of their 20 turnovers on the night in the second quarter. In total, Memphis scored 21 points off these transgressions, and 10 of those points came in that second period. Memphis did commit 21 turnovers themselves for the game, leading to 25 Washington points. Still, Washington defined sloppiness in the second quarter. And that slop carried over into the third quarter when the Wizards again gave the ball away seven times and got out-scored by the Grizzlies 24-8. The Wiz Kids did turn up the pressure in the fourth, besting Memphis 28-18 in the period and making one good run after being down 17 points through three quarters, but it wasn’t enough. It was hard to determine if the turnovers were more of a result of unfocused passing or too much passing. After the game, Coach Don Newman said it was probably a little bit of both. So, sure, let’s go with that.

Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

M.V.P.

If the ballot contains players from both teams, it would be Memphis’ Jack Cooley, the big kid on the seesaw. The undrafted, 6-foot-9 player out of Notre Dame threw his weight around against Washington’s small-ball(ish) front line—not small as in height, but small as in muscle girth. Cooley scored 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting and pulled down 12 rebounds, six offensive. He was a big reason why the Grizzlies out-scored the Wizards 25-14 in second-chance points. For ESPN TrueHoop, I graded Memphis’ Tony Wroten (B), who certainly had an affect on the night himself with a game-high 23 points. Nonetheless, I should have graded Cooley, because it’s rare  for a starting center to put up a 20-10 night in summer league.

In terms of the Wizards, I guess you could nominate Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton as co-MVPs, but not really. They certainly led the way for Washington, combining for 31 points and 14 rebounds, but they also combined for 10 turnovers and 11 fouls, which isn’t very valuable at all.

—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)

L.V.P.

Wizards point guard Sundiata Gaines. When I first saw Gaines at Wizards Summer Fest, I thought maybe the smooth-looking guard out of the University of Georgia had a fair shot at gobbling up the Wizards’ 15th roster spot. Gaines had some NBA experience and a decent outside shot. Last season’s MASH unit of point guards proved that you could never have enough lead ball handlers around. Then the Summer League began and Gaines stunk. He was so bad that after the first game he was benched for Marquez Haynes and didn’t even play in the third game. Gaines’ chance at redemption died quickly on Wednesday afternoon. He carelessly threw the ball away for two turnovers and was unable to get Washington into any semblance of an offense in his six minutes of game action. I bestow the LVP dishonor on Gaines because his opportunity to parlay this Las Vegas appearance into a full-time gig came up craps.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

X-Factor

Andrew Lawrence. Washington trailed 72-55 after three quarters. Their pitiful eight-point third quarter dug them a deep hole and a blowout appeared likely. Then the Wizards ripped off a 12-2 run behind the hustle of Lawrence and Jan Vesely. Lawrence fought for a loose ball, made a nice steal plus an assist to Vesely, and knocked down a 3-pointer. This key sequence kept Washington within striking distance. Ultimately, the Wizards came up short, but the British guard’s scrappy fourth-quarter effort deserves recognition.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

[Andrew Lawrence with the corner jumper. -- photo: K. Weidie]

[Glen Rice, Jr. glides to the hoop. -- K. Weidie]


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