Ok, so the Wizards blew a game against the Knicks tonight. Maybe Earl Boykins and Fabricio Oberto have played their last road game in the NBA … come bid them farewell at home on Wednesday. But really, what’s fun about writing about a game in which I couldn’t quite force myself to root for the Knicks (or against the Wizards), but don’t mind that they won, keeping Washington’s futile draft lottery hopes drinking from a glass slightly more than half full?
So, in lieu of writing about Andray Blatche putting up good numbers while kinda, sorta trying, I present a photo-blog from last Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. For that game, I changed places with Adam Douglas, the TAI site photographer since the last time the Wizards faced the Hawks in D.C., and sat baseline to capture the game from up close. Here that goes…
JaVale McGee tends to be quick to leave his feet on pump fakes. You’ve probably already noticed that opponents are increasingly using ball fakes that will get the JaValevator a floor above them and then rising up when his cord is cut and the elevator gets the shaft. After the game, McGee expressed that he was willing to give up one foul for five misses. Lovely.
It’s also worth noting that McGee had a career high 20 points in a Wizards 105-99 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. JaVale was very active on the offensive end, proving he can be a great weapon for a transition team, or one that sets solid screens and has a point guard who can penetrate the lane. The elevator went eight floors up with that number in dunks to go with nine rebounds, five fouls and one turnover. Lovelier.
Inexperienced players just need to learn quick trigger jumping is not always a good idea, especially when Al Horford knows it’s coming. This is evidenced below. Photos courtesy of Adam, the new site photographer/media guy. Read more »
Just as holistically in-sync the Wizards looked on Tuesday in Dallas, they looked about the exact opposite on Friday in Atlanta. What gives?
Sure, the team came on late behind some yesteryear Hibachi appetizers and a little Epic Vale pogo-stick length. But when Agent Zero goes from eight points and one turnover in the game’s first 6:20 to Agent Turnover with one point and five giveaways in the first half’s remaining 17:40, the team is digging itself a hole.
Not to discredit the Hawks, they are a good team. But it was less of them beating the Wizards and more of the Wizards beating themselves. Oh … and well, Atlanta was also 31-34 from the free-throw line while the Wizards shot 14-22. The disparity seems dramatic, but the Wizards migrated between trying to carelessly attack the basket and settling for jumpers. So in that regard, the Wiz really don’t have anyone to blame but themselves … but I’ll also credit Atlanta’s defense just a tad.
Looking for areas to pin blame? Point guard play and poor initiation/stewardship of the offense stand out to me. To others, it was the defensive presence of Haywood (minus-11, tied with Arenas for the second worst plus/minus) and Blatche (team worst minus-17), and their inability to contain Al Horford and Josh Smith.
Just released: Team President Ernie Grunfeld announced that the Wizards would exercise the contract options on Nick Young and JaVale McGee. Young will be retained for his fourth season (2010-11) for an estimated $2,630,503, and McGee for his third season (also 10-11) for an estimated $1,601,040. [Salary Source: HoopsHype]
Now on to the preview of tonight’s game … back to the ATL already?
The Wizards were in Atlanta just over 10 days ago for a preseason game that was disappointing … to put it simply. Of course, they were without Gilbert Arenas and Mike Miller due to the flu, and Antawn Jamison due to a shoulder subluxation. Still, lack of effort is lack of effort.