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John Wall turned 22-years old on Thursday, September 6. Kevin Willis turned 50 on Thursday, too. (Could’ve sworn he was 60 … he was still playing in the NBA less than 2,000 days ago.) Who else celebrated a birthday on September 6? None other than Pippa Middleton, Foxy Brown (the rapper), Jeff Foxworthy (the redneck), Rosie Perez, and Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire). Now let’s check out some John Wall birthday club fliers — Wall surely won’t become the next “Party All Dray,” right? (H/T DC Sports Nexus)
First, there’s New York…
And then Miami, where there will be girls holding boobs, clearly…
With about seven minutes left in the third quarter of Wednesday night’s Wizards-Pacers game, Jan Vesely, with hyperactivity as he is wont to do, got his hand on a deflection that sparked a Washington fast break. However, as the Wizards are wont to do, the transition opportunity was mismanaged. John Wall recovered Vesely’s steal and passed the ball ahead to Jordan Crawford (Wall probably should have forced the defense to commit with a dribble). Unfortunately, Paul George, the only Pacer back, was in the right position to defend against just about anything Crawford would try to do. And what he tried to do, from my seat above section 104 at the Verizon Center, was make a lob pass (perhaps even one off the backboard) to either Wall or the trailing Vesely. George consumed whatever it was with his 6-foot-8 frame and took the ball for Indiana the other way, where eventually Danny Granger hit a jumper. The official score-keeper credited Crawford with a shot attempt; because I guess if you are going to credit George with a block instead of a steal, someone’s got to attempt a shot. Crawford didn’t quite agree. “Naw, I was passing it,” he said, “You know I shoot a lot, so they added to the field goals.”
Let’s watch the play, Jordan Crawford’s post-game response, and where, exactly, he got his Galaxy Foamposite Nike shoes.
That’s right… the reaction to the Wizards losing to the Pacers 109-96 on Wednesday night and another video rendition of “The Wizards Said WHAT?” all rolled into one. Enjoy.
Danny Granger was methodical to an aesthetically pleasing degree. His best work came in the third quarter when he scored seven of his 20 points. Granger read Chris Singleton’s defense, turned down the screen from his teammate, and nailed a 3-pointer that put the Pacers up 67-63 with 7:21 left. The game never got closer than that. Going 8-for-12 on field goals with five rebounds, two assists and zero turnovers in 27 minutes, it was a rather chill night for Danny.
John Wall seems like he’s doing more to help the Wizards just “play basketball” while the clock ticks, and he’s not so much taking actions that would aid efforts to win. And while we don’t relish continuing to pile on Mr. Wall’s struggles, between his seeming refusal to attempt to finish at the rim, him feverishly shaking his head in frustration going into a late third quarter timeout, and his robotic blandness in the post-game session with the media, this is not as engaging of a John Wall as we’ve seen in the past, in any manner. Then again, his Wizards aren’t competitive in too many engagements these days either. So how much do we blame the 21-year old?
The Wizards and Pacers face off tonight in Washington for the third time in about two weeks. Indiana is coming off an emotional 112-104 comeback victory over the New York Knicks in Indiana last night, and the Wizards are coming off an emotionless effort at home against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday. For tonight’s 3-on-3 we have Tim Donahue (@TimDonahue8p9s) from the ESPN TrueHoop Pacers blog 8 Points, 9 Seconds, along with TAI’s Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20) and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It). Let it begin…
#1) What stat and what player will most determine the outcome of this game?
DONAHUE: Oscar Wilde says, “Talent borrows, genius steals,” so I’m going to shamelessly steal from Kyle Weidie’s response to a similar question from the last Pacers-Wiz 3-on-3: Offensive Rebounding. In the first matchup, the Pacers grabbed 11 of the 19 boards off their offensive glass in the second half, when they outscored Washington 54-32. In the second one, the Wiz stayed close by grabbing 38-percent of the rebounds on their offensive end. The player most likely to influence the outcome of this game is two of them: George Hill and Leandro Barbosa. They are the barometers of the Pacer bench.
MOBLEY: It sounds simple, but its all about rebounding. The final boxscore from the last Pacers/Wizards game shows the Pacers had the advantage 40-35. But in the second half of the game (when the Pacers outscored the Wizards 54-32), Indiana had a 26-11 rebounding advantage. Roy Hibbert had nine rebounds in the second half and David West had four — three of which were kept the Wizards from taking the lead in the last minute. With Nene and Booker likely to be out again, the Wizards will need collaborative rebounding effort, while the Pacers could (and should) exploit the Wizards’ replacement frontline.
Another game, another competitive loss for the Washington Wizards, this time at the hands of the Indiana Pacers on the road, 93-89. TAI’s Adam McGinnis and Kyle Weidie have the reaction.
John Wall… what on earth was he doing in the end? Undoubtedly the worst decision-making ever seen from him. First, there was the charge call drawn by Paul George with 3:36 left with a chance to keep momentum and tie the game at 82; Wall just barreled into him with no choice otherwise. He then took a tired jumper on the break with 19 seconds on the shot clock that could have tied the game at 87 with 1:35 left. He didn’t wait for Nenê, who was running with him, to get set for a pick or a rebound; it was like Wall was using the late game moment to improve his own jumper rather than make the smart decision. But he was the pass-first point guard with 30 seconds left, it’s just that he should not have been. Changing speeds and jetting to the basket off the pick, Wall pulled a hesitation move and started to go up against Roy Hibbert. It looked like Wall had room to get to the rim, or at least the other side (or draw the foul), but he threw the ball back to Nenê instead. Or at least he tried to. Wall’s pass was low and off, it skidded into the backcourt. It was the turnover that led to the Wizards foul that then led to Danny Granger free-throws which gave Indiana an 89-85 lead that they didn’t look back from. Wall finished with 13 points on 4-for-9 shooting with five turnovers, two assists, two steals, and two rebounds.Game Changer, indeed.
Nenê was questionable due to back spasms entering the game, but you would not have guessed the Brazilian big man was battling a lingering injury while watching him score 16 points and pulling down 13 boards while limiting Indiana’s All-Star center Roy Hibbert to just nine points. Nene continues to provide a legitimate low post scoring threat that Washington has sorely lacked. He was 2-3 in 4th quarter with his only miss being a no call where he was clearly slapped on the wrist by Hibbert. The Wizards struggled down the stretch by not running enough offense through him in the post or by not having him cutting toward the basket off pick-and-rolls. Read more »
#1) Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel is quoted as saying “coach coached teams don’t go very far, player-coached teams usually go on deep playoff runs.” But after a bad loss like the one Indiana had last night against short-handed New Jersey, should it be the head coach or one of the players who provides the motivation to keep that from happening against an equally short-handed Wizards team?
DONAHUE: The cure for what happened in New Jersey can only come from the players themselves. The loss in New Jersey had nothing to do with coaching or strategy, and everything to do with players simply not doing their jobs. They thought it would be easy. If you want one name, then it starts with Danny Granger, who was a microcosm of the whole team. But, everyone in a Pacer jersey was responsible for that failure last night.
McGINNIS: The average tenure of a NBA head coach is around three seasons, so with such a short leash granted to them, Vogel’s point has merit. Coaches have a major role in determining the offensive and defensive schemes along with dictating late game strategies and finding a productive rotation. However, the onus of pure motivation lies mostly on the players. Players respond better to their peers, who can lead vocally or by example. Coaches can put the players in the correct positions to succeed but it is the players who must execute and adapt quickly to game situations on the fly. The words of David West will be more poignant to his teammates than anything Coach Vogel will cook up to get them focused tonight for a bounce back performance against the Wizards.
“Nene is a versatile player who will bring experience and a physical presence to our frontcourt. He is a strong rebounder, tough defender and a fierce competitor. His veteran leadership and postseason experience will be a positive influence in our locker room.”
“Nene is coming to us from a winning program. He has played in a system that we admire. It is up tempo and high scoring and he has good hands; runs the floor well; and is very strong. He is a team first kind of player. He is about winning and is a respected teammate. He is a family man; a player who is secure in who he is; and a player who has battled through adversity and is dependable and strong in spirit.”
That same March 15 NBA trade deadline day, Derek Fisher was unceremoniously traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Houston Rockets, had his contract bought out, and then signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder that next week. Thunder general manager Sam Presti spoke of Fisher providing intangibles and veteran leadership to Kevin Durant, rookie Reggie Jackson and Russell Westbrook. Fisher did not shy away from the role: Read more »
[NOTE: This is a late, RETRO-active post RE: Wizards vs. Pacers last Thursday. But good news, reads JUST LIKE WIZARDS LOSS TO HAWKS on Saturday night. But it's okay. At this point, they're just games. At least that's what they feel like... robotic, fabricated games. 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. Click here for cumulative DC Council 3-star ratings over the course of the season. Game 46 contributors: Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis), Rashad Mobley(@Rashad20), and Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It).]
Mike Dunleavy is definitely no longer a Pacer; Andray Blatche is barely a Wizard; But, I still love this pic… Andray kicking it with Tyler Hansbrough’s chin.
[photo: K. Weidie, Truth About It.net]
The trade deadline came and went one week ago today, and even though they didn’t land Dwight Howard, the Wizards and the Pacers made moves to get better — and those moves coincidentally involved two members of the Brazilian National Team. Pacers team president Larry Bird said the addition of Leandro Barbosa, “added depth and scoring off the bench and will help us as we make our run to the playoffs,” while Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld said Nene is a “versatile player who will bring experience and a physical presence to our frontcourt … a strong rebounder, tough defender and a fierce competitor.” Barbosa had 12 points in 18 minutes in his first game as an Indiana Pacer on Tuesday night, while Nene scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in just 31 minutes in his first game as a Wizard last night. The two Brazilians will go head-to-head (presumably not against each other) tonight at the Verizon Center, but before they do Ian Levy (@HickoryHigh) from the SB Nation Pacers blog Indy Cornrows, Jared Wade (@jared_wade) from the ESPN True Hoop Blog Eight points, Nine seconds, and yours truly, TAI’s Rashad Mobley (@rashad20), will give three answers to three questions…Read more »