Derrick Rose had a tough Sunday against the Miami Heat. His team lost, and he missed two crucial free-throws with his Bulls down one point and 22 seconds left. He missed a potential game-tying jumper with three seconds left too. He took it kind of hard.
“I think of my legacy, I want people to think of me as being a clutch player,” said Rose before facing the Wizards in Washington the next night. “Someone that always comes through a majority of the time when they’re on the court, and yesterday it hurt a little bit, but I know it will help me in the long run.”
Rose was later asked if it’s hard to adjust, coming off a tough 97-93 loss like that on the road in Miami and into a road game the next night in another city.
Andray Blatche is out 3-5 weeks with a strained left calf muscle, Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman announced prior to tonight’s game. In the locker room a couple hours before facing the Chicago Bulls, John Wall spoke with the media about life, for the time being, without ‘Dray.
Q: How do you replace Blatche’s points?
WALL: “Look for Jan [Vesely], Book [Trevor Booker], Kevin [Seraphin], and each of those guys to step up in that role and play the four position… Just do the best they can. We’re not telling them to be ‘Dray [Blatche], but just be the player they is and do the right thing to help us out. You’re going to lose a lot of points from ‘Dray, but you can bring out the assets on the defensive end with the other guys. So they can still help us.”
Q: How does the offense change without the skill set Blatche provides as a big man?Read more »
Chicago Bulls in town, not the Charlotte Bobcats. Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton? Back for Chicago. Luol Deng? Out for a bit. Andray Blatche? Questionable. President Obama? Nope. The last time people expected Washington to lose this much (aside from pretty much all the time) was the Oklahoma City Thunder game. The Wizards somehow won that one. Chicago is favored by nine points on the road this evening. Should you get any ideas? Probably not. Chicago has the second best Defensive Rating in the NBA (97.4 points allowed per 100 possessions)… the Philadelphia 76ers are best (94.6 DRtg), and we all know how games against the Sixers work out for Washington. Nonetheless, let’s do the 3-on-3 drill… featuring Beckley Mason of HoopSpeak.com along with TAI’s John Converse Townsend and Kyle Weidie. Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1) Derrick Rose will be walking into the Verizon Center with the weight of Sunday night’s loss to the Miami Heat (partly due to his missed free throws) squarely on his shoulders. Not only will John Wall have to face off against a motivated Rose, but he’ll most likely have to face off again John Lucas, who had a career game against him on January 11 (25 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds — although backup Bulls PG CJ Watson, unavailable in the previous meeting between these two teams like Rose, is also back). Who has a better game tonight, Wall or Rose?
MASON: Rose has the better game because he’s the better player playing on the better team. Especially troubling for Wall, who struggles with turnovers in pick and roll sets, is that the Bulls play awesome, suffocating pick and roll defense. I think the only way Wall has the better game is if it becomes a real up-and-down contest.
TOWNSEND: John Wall has flirted with triple-doubles for the past month; the numbers might convince you that Wall will get lucky tonight. But then you remember that Wall’s career averages against Chicago are, well, average — 13.3 points and 4.3 turnovers. Reality sets in: It’s Derrick Rose, not Wall, with the No. 1 stitched on the back of his jersey, and it’s Rose who has learned to bend the laws of physics, and it’s Rose who wins the game.
[The DC Council -- After each Wizards game: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the bench, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is over the table. Game 10 contributors over television screen: Rashad Mobley,John Converse Townsend, and Kyle Weidie. Oh, and you can now find our stuff on Google+. Go ahead and circle Truth About It.]
In terms of winning percentage and shooting, two kind of big things in basketball, this lockout-shortened season could be rock-bottom for the rebuild of the Washington Wizards. And in terms of record books and scoring, it is. They scored 64 points tonight against Chicago, a franchise all-time low, to 78 points for the Bulls. The previous Washington franchise low was 65 points scored in an away game against the New Jersey Nets on December 13, 2002.
The Wizards shot 31-percent from the field on Wednesday in Chicago, at least they shot 36.6-percent that night in New Jersey — and Michael Jordan and Larry Hughes were chucking up shots (14-34 FGs, 31 points combined) instead of Jordan Crawford and Nick Young (6-23 FGs, 19 points combined).
Speaking of Young and Crawford, their shooting and passing stats this year:
>Crawford is shooting 33.3% from the field
while averaging 17.9 FGAs per 36 minutes as well as 3.6 assists/36.
Last night the Wizards won for the first time in nine months. Tonight, they try to win their first road game in 283 days, which is about nine months and a week, and which would also give Washington just their fourth road win in one year and nine months. And all and all, the Wizards haven’t won in Chicago in three years and nine months. Some oblvious gambling weirdo probably thinks Washington is due. In any case, the 1-8 Wizards play the 9-2 Bulls at 8 PM… Three questions, three answers with Rashad Mobley, John Converse Townsend and Kyle Weidie starts now…
#1) Chicago is tied with Oklahoma City with the best winning percentage in the NBA (.818, both 9-2), but they will also be playing in their third game in as many nights this evening, and M.V.P. Derrick Rose aggrivated a “turf toe” injury in a 111-100 win in Minnesota last night [UPDATE: Rose's turf toe is evidently bad enough to the point where he is likely out tonight and to the point where Chicago has signed former Wizard Mike James.]. Do the 1-8 Wizards, buzzing from their first win and a new starting lineup, even have a chance?
MOBLEY: I was too busy watching the Wizards win their first game to see the Bulls defeat the T-Wolves last night, but I did make it a point to read a recap from A Wolf Among Wolves. The Bulls jumped out to a lead, Ricky Rubio led a furious comeback, and then Rose shut it down. If Wall, Vesely, Booker and Singleton can bring that level of energy, perhaps the Bulls and a banged up Rose, won’t be able to muster a response after playing their third game in three nights.
TOWNSEND: Sure, the Wizards have a chance … until Tom Thibodeau’s defense punches them in the mouf. After the initial shock, the question becomes whether Washington can maintain its focus and counter. The Bulls will likely be standing on lifeless legs, a step slower in taking the floor on a third consecutive night, but the Wizards must again choose smart over swag to keep the game close. It won’t be easy: this year’s Bulls have allowed the fewest points (206) in their first three homes games since the start of the shot clock era.
As Kyle Weidie wrote yesterday, Lester Hudson has returned to D.C. from the South for his second tour of duty with the Washington Wizards. The injury of John Wall and the trade of Gilbert Arenas meant there was a void at the point guard position, and Hudson was a safe, logical choice. He was with the team from the Las Vegas Summer League in July all the way up until November 22nd, when he was cut in favor of Alonzo Gee.
Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was also a member of the Washington Wizards as an assistant coach in 2007, albeit briefly, if you can even call it that. It was announced by the team, but never official. Thibodeau agreed to be an assistant coach in charge of defense under then-head coach Eddie Jordan, then a few days later he stepped down and ended up with the Boston Celtics, where he was a part of their 2007-08 championship team. Allegedly, Thibodeau was under the impression that he would be lead assistant coach under Eddie Jordan, and when it became apparent that he would not be, he bailed.
Through the first six months of the 2009-2010 season, Hudson and Thibodeau saw each other just about every day, as the Celtics drafted Hudson in the second round of the 2009 draft. With them, he appeared in just 16 games, averaging 1.4 points in 4.4 minutes per contest. Still, as an assistant coach, Thibodeau got a chance to watch Hudson practice and battle Rajon Rondo on a daily basis, and apparently Hudson made quite the impression.
Here were Thibodeau’s thoughts on Hudson before last night’s game:
In his Washington Wizards debut, Rashard Lewis performed about as expected for a 31-year-old 3-point-shooting wing player who just got traded from a championship contender to a rebuilding team. In 22 minutes off the bench, Lewis scored eight points on 4-for-10 shooting (0-for-5 from 3) with three rebounds, one block, an assist, two turnovers and five fouls.
The biggest challenge for Flip Saunders is how to integrate Lewis into a team that’s also just welcoming Josh Howard back into the mix after offseason knee surgery. Saunders is not only getting to teach his young team — a lot — but he’s also getting to experiment.