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…
[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. 22, Washington Wizards vs Atlanta Hawks in D.C.; contributors: Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie from the Verizon Center.]
Tonight is the third time, with his third team, that DeShawn Stevenson has been back to play in D.C. since he was traded away in February 2010.
As a member of the Dallas Mavericks, before they won the title, Stevenson returned to Washington, played two minutes and missed one shot in a February 2011 contest, a 105-99 Dallas win. As a member of the New Jersey Nets last season, Stevenson made a brief 12 second appearance at the Verizon Center in a 90-84 Nets win on opening night of a lockout-shortened season. Now, as a member of the Atlanta Hawks, having been traded last summer in the Joe Johnson deal, Stevenson returns to Washington, yet again.
Take the opportunity to speak with DeShawn before Tuesday night’s Wizards-Hawks matchup? Certainly.
TAI: Anything to being back here in D.C., or has all that passed by now?Read more »
[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. 10, Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks; contributors: Adam McGinnis, Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie from behind the T.V.]
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 10th game of the season against the Hawks in Atlanta are TAI’s Sean Fagan (@McCarrick) and guest Daniel Christian (@DChris_Hawks), who writes about the Hawks for the ESPN TrueHoop blog HawksHoop.com.
Wizards Starters (0-9):
Who knows? Randy Wittman indicated that he will change his starters, but will he have the balls to bench Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor? Can’t hurt at this point.
The Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks face off for the second time in eight days tonight in Washington. For tonight’s 3-on-3, John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend) and I, Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) are covering the game at the Verizon Center, and we sourced some pre-game quotes to answer the questions about tonight’s game. The 28-20 Hawks are favored by three points over the 11-35 Wizards. The Q&A starts now…
#1) The last time these two teams played, in Atlanta on March 16, the Wizards were short-handed, as well as playing their fourth road game in five nights. Washington lost, 102-88, and were outscored by the Hawks, 30-5, on fast break points. What needs to happen this time for Washington to be successful?
RANDY WITTMAN: “We’ll see how the game goes, but obviously we got to make shot when that happens, from the perimeter. We didn’t knock down open jump shots [in Atlanta] and that shrinks the floor even more when that happens. But this is a new day and we’re going to come out here really focused on what we have to go try and do.”
TREVOR BOOKER: “We just got to play like we did in the first half when we played in Atlanta. We had great defensive pressure, we were out on the wings denying passes, we were digging out of the post, we just played great team defense in the first half. That’s how we have to play the whole game tonight.”
When a key deadline trade goes down between a playoff team needing help and a non-playoff team needing to rebuild, most feel bad for the veteran going to the losing situation — Sasha Vujacic, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, Mike Bibby, Maurice “Mo” Evans come to mind from this season. The secondary consideration, partially because he’s going to that losing team, is the young player who would gladly trade riding the bench during a playoff run for a chance to suit up for a team going nowhere. Jordan Crawford got that and more when he went from Atlanta to Washington. He got off to a hot start with a new team that he wouldn’t give up on, even when hindered by a back injury. He got that treasured green light, which is rare, even for a lottery team. But what happens when that green light ends?
Crawford arrived in Washington at February’s trade deadline along with the 18th pick of the 2011 draft and a good veteran influence in Evans. In exchange, the Wizards gave up Kirk Hinrich (owed $8 million next season) and Hilton Armstrong. They also got the unexpected bonus of a money-saving buyout of Mike Bibby, who also came with Crawford and Evans from Atlanta. Because of a knee injury to Nick Young, he suddenly found himself going from the 12th or 13th man on the bench to full-time starter by his seventh game with the Wizards. He ended up starting his final 17 games in Washington, out of 26 total games with the team. The carefree Wizards bunch went a respectable 7-10 in those last 17 games, during which Crawford averaged 20 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists (to 3.1 turnovers), and 1.3 steals. Pretty impressive for the 27th pick of the 2010 draft.