Share Bullets: The Wolverine Panda Lives, Optimus Dime Shines | Wizards Blog Truth About

Share Bullets: The Wolverine Panda Lives, Optimus Dime Shines

Updated: May 5, 2015

ShareBullets: Links, pixels, bullet points, other stuff … shared.

john wall, washington wizards, otto porter, kyle korver, atlanta hawks, game 1, truth about it, adam mcginnis

[Credit: Monumental Network]

After a disappointing first half in Game 1 on Sunday, Washington stifled Atlanta’s offense to take a 1-0 series lead in the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. With Chris Paul taking out the defending champs, and Washington continuing to roll hot postseason dice, the once-derogatory “Clippers of the East” nickname may finally have a new, positive meaning.

Well, let’s take a trip around the intertübz to see what online pixel chatter is out there about your Wizards.


The Game 1 victory story from Washington Post Wiz beat writer Jorge Castillo contains these money quotes from Paul Pierce. I mean, “who else gonna truth?” [Washington Post]

“Those guys got as much heart as anybody in the building,” Pierce said of Wall and Beal. “Everything that happened today is stuff I already knew about us. I knew we were a resilient team. I knew we played with a lot of grit. I knew we had heart. That’s just our identity.”

Michael Lee, also of the Post, has covered both the Hawks and the Wizards in his stellar sports journalism career so his perspective on this series is definitely worth highlighting. [Washington Post]

If this Wizards team — which has won its first five playoff games — still doesn’t make much sense, don’t stress over it. Just tell yourself that late January, February and March never happened. Forget about those bizarre letdowns in places such as Minnesota and Philadelphia. Forget about those moments when you begged Beal to shoot more, Porter looked lost, Pierce didn’t look as if he would be walking upright in May or Gortat fumed on the bench in the fourth quarter.

The second half defensive clampdown (or missed shot-a-thon, depending on your perspective) is featured in this statistical piece. [ESPN]

The 63 points the Wizards allowed in the first half matched the most the franchise has allowed in any half of a playoff game in the past 25 years, which spans 45 games in seven playoffs. In the second half, Washington allowed 35 points, its fourth fewest in any half of a playoff game in 25 years.

The Hawks shot 25.0 percent (13-of-52) from the field in the second half, their worst-shooting half and their most missed shots in one half this season.

Umair Khan dissects how the coaching staff made the proper defensive changes on the fly. [Bullets Forever]

This is shaping up to be a phenomenal chess match between the two teams. …But the defense will be the story of this series, and that largely falls on Randy Wittman, who will have to continue to make the tough in-game adjustments as he did in game 1.

When Washington fizzled to begin Game 1, folks on the Twitter machine had jokes.

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washington wizards, atlanta hawks, nba playoffs, game 1, truth about it, twitter

After the game, when takes were safer, the TAI crew reminded them of their premature conclusions, because we are awful, deeply sensitive people!

washington wizards, atlanta hawks, nba playoffs, game 1, truth about it, twitter washington wizards, atlanta hawks, nba playoffs, game 1, truth about it, twitter


washington wizards, atlanta hawks, nba playoffs, game 1, truth about it, twitter washington wizards, atlanta hawks, nba playoffs, game 1, truth about it, twitter

Amin Elhassan and Arnovitz were among 10 of 14 NBA experts that took Atlanta to win the series over Washington. [ESPN]

Wall and Bradley Beal caused fans much discomfort with injury scares. Steinz has the painful Vines. (Both will play tonight.) [Washington Post Sports Bog]

Big Panda’s professional career is littered with just as many injury dodges as actual setbacks. TAI’s Adam Rubin’s 2014 piece on this topic is relevant. [TAI]



An Atlanta fan was overjoyed when Nene picked up his fourth foul on a questionable call. [Vine]

Many have been reluctant to credit Washington for playoff success over the past two postseasons. After wiping out Chicago in 2014, it was because Joakim Noah was hobbled and Derrick Rose didn’t play. No one seemed to care about those injuries when everyone chose the Bulls to prevail beforehand.

Before the outset of the Wizards-Raptors series, there was an estimated 4.6 percent chance that Washington would defeat Toronto in four games, yet the main talking point after the Wizards sweep was about the Raptors sucking. And here’s lightning striking again:


Atlanta All-Star forward Paul Millsap has a new definition of a “moral victory” and feels his team “internally” won the game. For reals… [CSNWashington]

The Grantland crew is painstakingly singing the praises of Coach Randy Wittman. [Grantland]

Then, something amazing happened. The playoffs happened. And in these playoffs, Wittman is stunting on haters left, right, center, and virtual. The Wiz are taking 24.4 3-pointers per game, almost eight more than their regular-season average. Paul Pierce, like the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs, returned to push Drake’s Raptors into extinction, appearing without warning at the 4. Otto Porter’s minutes went from sub-20 per game in the regular season to 32.4 per game in these acid-trip playoffs.  After waylaying the 60-win Atlanta Hawks in Game 1, the Wiz became the first NBA team to win four straight playoff road openers, and they’re 5-0 in the postseason with a playoff-best 16.1 NetRtg. It’s like the world spent the regular season bugging Wittman to ditch his flip phone and now all of a sudden he’s writing iOS apps. “Hey, listen, you guys are going to knock no matter what I do,” Wittman said. “I’m surprised I haven’t read that we’re shooting too many 3s.”

NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers is boys with Drew Gooden from his time in Milwaukee. The Green Bay Packers QB was back showing online support for Drizzle. [@AaronRodgers12]

Gilbert Arenas continues to talk trash after every Wizards triumph and he delivers with this solid smack on the ATL: “hawks are SOFT…lennox Mall soft.” [Instagram]

The old Wizards Jump Man Logo refuses to die. [@LedellsPlace]

The Hawks and Wizards generated a record low TV ratings on ABC. [Sports Media Watch]

The case for John Wall as Playoffs MVP is being made. [ESPN]

The playoff success of both the Washington Capitals and the Wizards has made Theodore Unit a busy man. Ted’s travels were featured by Dave Sheinin. In the lengthy piece on Leonsis, and Monumental’s financial gamble, there are details about how the Wiz and Caps are filling up the Verizon Center. [Washington Post]

After enduring the wrath of pop-music fans last year when a Lady Gaga concert had to be moved to a later date because of a conflict with a Wizards playoff game, Monumental decided to keep Verizon Center clear in late April and May. If both teams missed the playoffs, May would have been a bad month. With both teams advancing an extra round, though, the company already has had six previously unexpected home dates (four Capitals games and two Wizards games as of Friday), with at least four more coming.

Monumental representatives declined to say how much they make on each home playoff game, but sports business experts said each additional game, conservatively, generates at least $1 million of new revenue and potentially much more. Teams can charge more for tickets and usually sell a lot more merchandise than during regular season games. Additionally, deep playoff runs fuel season ticket sales, suite sales and advertising sales for the next year.

Wall wanting to see the Caps play Game 7 is fantastic.

On the night the Wizards completed their sweep of Toronto, Leonsis made his way to the victorious locker room — something he said he rarely does — to congratulate the players. As soon as he made it through the door, according to Leonsis, John Wall, the Wizards’ all-star point guard, ran up to him to see whether he could get Leonsis’s front-row, on-the-glass tickets to the next night’s Capitals-Islanders Game 7 at Verizon Center. Other players followed Wall until there was a scrum around Leonsis.“We all want to go to the game tomorrow,” Leonsis said they told him. And so Wall and three teammates — Paul Pierce, Marcin Gortat and Rasual Butler — took the front-row seats, decked out in Capitals gear and banging the glass, and another 15 or so Wizards players and employees had a suite of their own.

There is confirmation that “Skinny T” is a consumer of #WizardsTwitter.

As the games wore on — the only time in the first round when both of Leonsis’s teams played simultaneously — he shifted his attention, and his neck, from the action on the ice in front of him to the television in a corner of the suite, tuned to the Wizards-Raptors game, with sporadic glances down at his iPad for a check of social media chatter.

Mike Prada does a deep dive into the awesomeness of John Wall. Simply, Optimus Dime is a problem. [SB Nation]

Game 1’s postgame press conference featured classic Wittman, but the microphone going out briefly at the 2:35 provided some unexpected humor. [Monumental Network]

The Coach of the Year, Mike Budenholzer, is being critiqued for his subbing pattern in Game 1. [ESPN]

Herein lies the challenge for Budenholzer. The Hawks feature one of the league’s most lethal starting units, one that is comparatively well-rested. When the starting five occupies the floor, it puts on a clinic. When it doesn’t, the Hawks get beat. Admittedly, the starters can’t each play for 48 minutes, but right now that unit represents just over a third of the Hawks’ total minutes this postseason.

The struggles of Atlanta’s bench continues to be an issue in the postseason. [Peachtree Hoops]

Washington’s Game 1 comeback has set up a mini must-win for Atlanta in Game 2. [Hawks Hoop]

Game 2 of this series will be Mike Budenholzer’s most important game in his young head coaching career. Win it and the Hawks have new life and will look forward to Game 3 on Saturday in Washington. Lose it… and the Hawks’ season, which saw them win a franchise-best 60 games, will essentially be over.

The Pixel-and-Roll Show, TAI’s Wizards podcast, is now available for download on iTunes and Stitcher. The next episode will be recorded on Wednesday evening and my guest will be Kris Willis, site administrator of SB Nation Hawks site, Peachtree Hoops. If Washington goes up 2-0, I will likely be unbearable to talk to and he will regret agreeing to being on with me.

Anyway, please subscribe! More exciting guests on tap. [iTunes Pixel-and-Roll, Stitcher Pixel-and-Roll]


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Adam McGinnis
Reporter / Writer / Media at TAI
Adam is a bro from the Midwest who's been bopping around the District of Columbia for years. He's down with a range of sports, etc. and has covered the Washington Wizards for TAI since 2010.