Wizards guard Nick Young recent joined some very exclusive company– we’re talking a club that only has 20 members over the course of NBA history (the time period being since 1979-80 when the 3-point line was officially introduced to the league). With his three 3-pointers made to just one assist against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, Young now has 316 made 3-pointers for his career to 315 assists. There are now 20 players in NBA history who have: played in 300 or more games, played 7,000 or more minutes, and have more made 3-pointers than assists. This exclusive list, via Basketball-Reference.com, includes the likes of Rashard Lewis, Kyle Korver, Quentin Richardson, Peja Stojakovic, Jason Kapono, Matt Carroll, Tracy Murray, Charlie Villanueva, Matt Bonner, Matt Bullard, Eric Piatkowski, Andrea Bargnani, and a handful of other cats. Young ranks 12th amongst the group in career 3-point percentage (38-percent) and is tied with five others for eighth most assists per 36 minutes (1.5 per 36 minutes). So… Congrats Nick! Otherwise, the Wizards play the Blazers in Portland at 10 pm EST tonight, and for today’s 3-on-3 we have none other than ESPN TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott (@TrueHoop), along with TAI’s Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis) and Sam Permutt (@sammyvert). Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1) While reports indicate that Nate McMillan will not make a lineup change for the game against Washington on Tuesday, there are issues of concern that might need to be addressed; to be exact, removing struggling point guard Raymond Felton in favor of Jamal Crawford or someone else. Whatever the case, is any Portland point guard equipped to stop John Wall? Or does it not really matter given the surroundings that the PGs from each team have to work with?
HENRY ABBOTT: Almost nobody in the league can stop that short list of speed freaks one-on-one. But the team approach works well. Portland’s defense, in general, is as good as it has been — fourth in the league at defensive efficiency so far. So, the Wizards will have trouble scoring, regardless. The guard issue that worries me, as a Blazers fan, is on the other side of the ball, where Crawford has always been shoot-first, ask questions later, and now Felton has been looking gassed, with a five-game stretch of hitting 23 of his last 61 attempts, with a mighty seven total rebounds to go with 15 turnovers. But I’d play Felton, simply because he has to develop great chemistry with LaMarcus Aldridge if this team is going to make noise in the playoffs.
ADAM McGINNIS: Felton’s shooting percentages (37-percent FG, 20-percent 3P) are abysmal and his last game highlighted these woes, as he went 4-17 from the field in Portland’s double-OT loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Jamal Crawford never has been any team’s answer at point, where his strengths are instant offense off the bench and closing out games with his big shot-making ability. I would give rookie Nolan Smith a shot at starting since Linsanity over the past week has taught us that you never know what can happen, and especially since Smith displayed defensive prowess at Duke. The Philadelphia 76ers executed the most successful defensive game plan against John Wall. They crowded the lane with bodies, calling it ”Building a Wall to stop Wall,” so the Trailblazers will clearly need a team effort as well.
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