In going down 102-95 to an Orlando Magic team that appears to be suffering from mental fatigue due to uncertain cohesiveness, at least the Washington Wizards looked better at losing than they have in the past. Similar to the second half of the Milwaukee game, Randy Wittman opted to keep Nick Young and JaVale McGee benched in favor of a starting lineup of John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin. And while this unit struggled out of the gate, they did their jobs and stayed mostly within themselves.
Certainly there were mistakes. Furthermore, missed shots. All to be expected from young team making an earnest attempt while lacking size against a specimen like Dwight Howard and shot-makers who can be trusted to not disrupt the offense. Crawford caught fire with 14 points in the third quarter to go with four assists, giving him a hand in most of the Wizards’ 29 points scored in the period to Orlando’s 25. Once trailing by 17 points in the first half, Washington was down just 71-70 heading into the final 12 minutes. Unfortunately Crawford got cold in the fourth and went 0-for-6 from the field.
But John Wall picked up the slack. He scored 10 straight points for Washington after a timeout at the 10:27 mark of the last quarter when the Wizards were down 79-71. Wall capped his efforts with an assist to Mo Evans for a 3-pointer; it was a 13-4 run that tied the game at 83 with 6:56 left. But back-to-back threes by Orlando’s Jameer Nelson and Ryan Anderson after a Magic timeout at the 6:34 mark helped bury Washington. A long Nelson offensive rebound resulting in a Hedo Turkoglu 3-pointer that put the Magic up 100-91 with 1:32 left served as the dagger. But the point is that the Wizards fought, as a team, and with strong contributions from Booker, Singleton and a handful of others in addition to Wall and Crawford.
This post is certainly a couple days late and definitely several dollars short amidst the pixels urgently begging for your attention as soon as it happens. But words last forever and video preserves them further. This is what Randy Wittman, Erik Spoelstra, Shane Battier, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Mo Evans and Nick Young said after they played on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 in a 106-89 Miami Heat win over the Washington Wizards.
x “My challenge is always finding a way to be aggressive.” x “Every team plays hard against us, they bring their ‘A’ game against us. We understand that.” x “We’re always a day late and a dollar short.” x “I think that’s what the fans came to see. They love to see their favorite players do amazing things, and they got a chance to see that on both sides … Hopefully everyone that came to the game, paid their hard-earned dollars for their ticket, and got their money worth tonight.” x “I’m the best 3-point shooter in the world.”
Look, it’s not *all* about Jeremy Lin, I just wanted to get his name in the post title via #LinsanityPixels. But the video below does feature the Washington Wizards (Randy Wittman, John Wall, Trevor Booker and Mo Evans), along with Lin, talking after Wednesday’s Wizards-Knicks game. These are the things you need to know:
Randy Wittman doesn’t need to be reminded of the exact number of free-throws the Knicks took in the third quarter, he knows it was a lot.
Mo Evans mentions sharks.
Various parties talk about the pick-and-roll: Booker, Wall and Lin.
Evans says he spoke with John Wall about how what Jeremy Lin and the Knicks did to the Wizards is actually encouraging because they can use John in the same way.
Wall responds to a query on if his teammates left him high-and-dry on that Jeremy Lin dunk.
Wittman gets to a breaking-point with the #Linsanity.
And… an awkward question about Tim Tebow.
The Wizards Said WHAT? Yes they did, it’s all there.
Look, the Washington Wizards gave Jeremy Lin a wide open lane to dunk. You understand, don’t you? Let’s watch.
Yikes. Not good. I’m not sure if Jordan Crawford or Mo Evans or Jan Vesely froze, but… um… wow. John Wall and Trevor Booker also totally got duped by Lin turning down Tyson Chandler’s screen. So, team effort. Evans was asked about the dunk after the game. Let’s watch his answer.
Yes, it is just Wizards basketball right now. Also, take note of the crowd cheering Lin’s dunk. Very loud.
[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. Game 19 contributors: Sam Permutt, John Converse Townsend and Kyle Weidie.]
[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. Game 13 contributors: Adam McGinnis and John Converse Townsend with first-hand coverage and Kyle Weidie from watching on T.V.]
Merry/happy time of the year for whatever it is that you and friends/family enjoy celebrating/taking part in. Hope all of that is going well. What you will see in this Christmas Day post is scenes from scrimmaging at Wizards practice on Thursday, December 22. Prepare yourself, fans of the team, for an ugly start to the season as a young team looks to progress toward improvement in uncertain times, i.e., enjoy!
What You Will See:
The Wizards making extra passes in the early offense — even JaVale McGee passing out of the post, go figure (I imagine this happens because McGee knows a double team is coming) — and Jordan Crawford ultimately finding Mo Evans in the corner for a jumper.
Big Bad John Wall wants to know. Beckley Mason, Rashad Mobley, John Converse Townsend and Kyle Weidie ask and answer hot topic questions about the Washington Wizards.
MOBLEY: Do we hold Ernie Grunfeld, Flip Saunders and the Wizards to any expectations during this abbreviated season, or do we just assume no significant strides will be made until next year?
MASON: My expectations for this team aren’t altered a bit. The summer is a time when, from a basketball standpoint, players need to be spending their own dime to work out with the best trainers possible. The lockout shouldn’t have affected that reality. Flip probably wishes he had more time with his newest players, but an extra week of training camp wasn’t going to solve the problems with McGee and Blatche, or help the Wizards to land a major free agent.
MOBLEY: John Wall has raised expectations for the Wizards with his play this summer, so it is entirely fair to hold Grunfeld and Flip to the same standard. But given that Grunfeld hinted that he plans on using the amnesty clause next year, he may have bought both he and Flip an extra year. However, if the Wizards win 25 games or less, a new coach/GM combo should reap the amnesty benefits.