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Fountain at Meridian Hill Park in Washington, DC. Photo Credit: Adam McGinnis
Um, Jordan? [via instagram/jcs_stelo]
SLAM writer and longtime Wizards fan, Abe Schwadron, had a great interview with Jordan Crawford two weeks ago. The answers on candy got most of the attention, but there’s also this tidbit about Crawford returning home to Detroit. Read more »
The Wizards beat the Clippers, 98-90, on Monday night. This is your reaction…
The proverbial set-up: ‘So Randy, how about those Clippers and injuries…?’ (L.A. played without Chris Paul, knee bruise, and Blake Griffin, hamstring strain.)
Where would the Wizards be without Martell Webster? That was the first question I asked myself after the game. Washington made seven of their 12 measured 3-point attempts. Well, mostly measured. Jordan Crawford chucked up an ill-advised 3 with 7:18 left in the second quarter that got him benched for the rest of the game, but that’s another story. Webster was the star of this night with a team-high 21 points on 5-for-6 from deep. It was his fourth 20-point game of the season, and to that he added five rebounds, three assists and zero turnovers. The Wizards have long been desperate for shooters. And they knew Webster could shoot, but did they expect this?
John Wall was waiting to grab a rebound during warmups before Washington’s game versus Orlando, and his face instantly lit up when he recognized Jay-Z’s voice over the loud speakers: ”Aw man, it is Big Pimpin’ Baby.”
Wall continued to sing verses of the Jay-Z hit single as he filed through the layup line, enticing smiles out of his teammates. John Wall was back where he wanted to be, and the mood of the team was noticeably lifted. This was a different scene than that of the Nick Young/JaVale McGee/Andray Blatche era, where jacking around reigned supreme in warm-ups and a level of seriousness never materialized when it mattered. Wall was chatting up Bradley Beal non-stop and the rookie could not contain his laughter. The future franchise core tossed each other alley-oops—Wall struggled converting some dunks on his “jiggly legs.” Jan Vesely and Kevin Seraphin followed Wall’s lead with impressive slams of their own. Later during warmups, Wall started playing around with Kevin Seraphin on the left wing, shaking the big man with a crossover. Both cracked up. Wall mocked Seraphin’s inability to stay on his feet.
Wall’s engaging personality is often hidden in the button-downed, risk-averse image he presents in media interviews. Spend any time around Wall and you see the happy-go-lucky attitude is real and genuine. He appears to know every elite basketball player and partakes in many pregame pleasantries with opponents. The Orlando game was no different, as he greeted Magic reserve guard Ish Smith at half court—both hail from North Carolina, and likely know each other from the hoop circuit in the Tar Heel state. As the national anthem approached, Wall’s roommate and best friend, Tyrone (Ty) Williams, came over for their pre-game conversation ritual.
Williams grew up with the dynamic point guard in Raleigh and, although not blood related, Wall call’s him his “brother.” Ty attends almost every home game and sits near the floor. Through Wall’s infamous club appearances (which certain bloggers passive aggressively concern troll), trouble and off-the-court drama has never surfaced in any capacity. This might seem trivial and not worthy of praise, but being a young, rich NBA player makes you a target when you are just doing a simple activity like being out socializing with your circle of friends. This can be difficult waters for famous hoopers to navigate in a world full of hanger-ons and distractions. Williams deserves credit for keeping Wall away from any negative publicity or troublesome situations. (If only Arenas and Blatche had similar peeps.)
Well, now that the return of John Wall is out of the way, the Wizards have the rest of this season (48 games left and currently 12 out of the playoffs) and beyond to look toward. If it seems like a lot, it is. But time is still short. Always is. Wall can sign an extension on his rookie contract this summer. When Derrick Rose signed his extension, he got five years, $95 million; Russell Westbrook got five years, $80 million. So the Wizards have a lot of evaluating to do over 48 games to determine if their proclaimed franchise player is worth franchise player money. (At this point, not sure Wall is worth a 5-year, $70 million contract, but we will see.) Wall has some of his own evaluating to do as well. He, like most supreme talents, clearly wants to play for a winner. The Washington Wizards are currently losers.
Decisions, decisions… But hey, John Wall is BACK! Might as well enjoy him while he’s around. Let’s go to the video…
A new season for the Wizards? It sure seems that way after the debut of John Wall and a win against the Atlanta Hawks. Sure, no one is getting ahead of themselves, but they can totally think about getting ahead. Past losses are not absolved, but the future looks a lot brighter, or at least more fun to watch, with a healthy Wall (and Nene, and others). What gets lost in both the over- and underestimation from the toll of losing is the importance of playing within roles. The difference between the seventh and eighth players in the pecking order trying to bump up to the fourth or fifth spots in the rotation is vastly unconsidered and under-appreciated Now, at least, the ensemble is more complete. On Saturday, A.J. Price said he didn’t feel like the Wizards had a “fair shake” due to all the injuries, but that they are ready to give it their all over the last 48 games. The playoffs? Shoot, these players just want to play.
“I really feel like we have a fighting chance to make a great impression on the league, to really show the league what we’re capable of doing. As long as we keep the mindset in understanding that John is the maestro, and we got to get out and run, I think we’ll be good.” —Martell Webster
New year? Same season? New life? Fresh breath? Whatever it is, it’s something, and it’s because the pack is (mostly) back together. And as Nene puts it: “It’s good to have our dogs, man, our dogs back.”
John Wall won’t start against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night and his minutes will be limited. How much? Randy Wittman wouldn’t say before the game. But that doesn’t mean Hawks Coach Larry Drew isn’t worried about the Wizards superstar. At the top of the opposing coach’s mind when it comes to Wall:
“Whenever you play on the road, the one thing you try to eliminate is momentum plays, and [John Wall] is capable of doing that, even if he’s just in the game for a short stretch of time. It can be a short stretch that can change the tempo and rhythm of the game.”
Thusly, via TAI’s Adam McGinnis, John Wall does the “cookie challenge” in less than 60 seconds…
When season recap of the 2012-13 Oklahoma City Thunder is pixeled, their 101-99 loss to Washington Wizards will stand out like a RG3 jersey in Dallas, or me drinking an O’Doul’s. The “worst beating first” result was improbable, but it was memorable because of its strange quirks.
Washington often gets buried by poor beginnings, but this time they raced out to a strong start with 30 points in the first quarter. And a devastating scoring drought (like the seven-minute stretch that cemented the Jan. 9 loss to Miami, ugh) never materialized.
Jan Vesely actually did positive stuff on the basketball court, finishing with 10 points. Honza had gone weeks without totaling that output, and get this: he only had two fouls. Emeka Okafor showed himself to be a rim protector with a gigantic rejection of a Kevin Durant slam attempt. Garrett Temple scored some huge offensive put-backs in the paint.
Serge Ibaka — OKC’s big man — was their best offensive player, pouring in a career-high 26 points; Ibaka even drilled a 3-pointer at first half buzzer. And Wizards, finally, inexplicably to followers of this squad, did not fold in crunch time, highlighted by Bradley Beal’s smooth, one-handed, game-winning dagger.
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 29, Washington Wizards vs Dallas Mavericks in D.C.; contributor: Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center.]
Vince Carter started the game with a dunk against the #SoWizards… Surprise, surprise.
Below is the brief reaction I submitted for ESPN’s Daily Dime, and then a video of some Wizards talking about losing to Dallas while witnessing some retro Vinsanity.
If a bad team like the 4-25 Wizards doesn’t get what’s left of Vince Carter’s juices flowing, what will? The artist formerly known as Vinsanity started the game with a monster dunk, of all things, and pretty much ended the night with a more vicious dunk. Carter finished with an efficient, game-high 23 points on 9-for-14 shooting.
Chris Singleton’s run of eight straight starts for the Wizards ended on December 19 against the Magic in Orlando. Actually, it ended at halftime of the December 18 game against the Hawks when Randy Wittman opted for the since waived Earl Barron to begin the third quarter. Since, Singleton has struggled to get on the floor. His coach hasn’t played him in three of the Wizards’ last four games, and the game in which Singleton did see the court, against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 26, he only managed to do so for 6.5 minutes, scoring two points and grabbing two rebounds.
Before tonight’s game against the Mavericks, Wittman’s reason as to the absence of Singleton was simple: not enough minutes.
“There’s not enough minutes to play everybody … can’t play everybody,” said the coach. Certainly there’s more to it. The coach also mentioned the oft-used concept of consistency. But will Singleton have a chance to find it, especially with depleted resources and underwhelming performances from those such as Jan Vesely?