No. 1 on this week’s list of stupid NBA basketball stuff: this guy.
[original image via Evan Vucci, AP]
First of all, cool story, bro. [Is 'cool story, bro' played out yet? I mean, it is on t-shirts and stuff. Nonetheless, it applies to this guy.]
Second of all, nobody cares. [Wild guess: You, bro, are also a NY Jets fan.]
Third of all, the Heat won a championship recently. You might have heard about it through the Internets if you’ve been a fan of the team for long enough. So, why don’t you go suck on that for a spell. Should provide plenty of nourishment.
Fourth of all, even though your sign does not specifically outline such, you did not pay all that money for tickets to “see Lebron play.” Nope, you paid to see the Wizards of Washington play the Heat of Miami. Susan O’Malley is no longer around, so I’m pretty sure that LeBron wasn’t featured on the ticket that got you into the arena.
Indiana Pacers Coach Frank Vogel addresses the media after a loss to the Washington Wizards
Prior to last Saturday night’s game against the Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel wrote the following words on the white bulletin board in the visitor’s locker room, ”He’s a difference maker.”
The “he” was John Wall, and Coach Vogel was well-aware of Wall’s torrid play during the month of March, when he averaged 22 points and eight assists per game, also putting up a career-high 47 points against the Memphis Grizzlies. Vogel undoubtedly knew that earlier in the week, Bradley Beal, the other formidable offensive threat on the Wizards’ roster, was ruled out for the rest of the regular season with a stress injury to his right fibula. In the first game after the announcement about Beal, the Wizards lost 88-78 to the lowly Raptors in Toronto, and Wall was harassed into a 5-for-18 shooting night, including 1-for-10 outside of the paint. Coach Vogel went on to give specifics about the game plan for stopping Wall:
“He’s a sensational young talent, he changes their team offensively, and you really have to put most of your defensive game plan into limiting what he brings to the table … you still want to keep him out of the paint first, and hope that he’s not getting hot from the perimeter.”
[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. 76, Washington Wizards vs Indiana Pacers; contributors: Kyle Weidie and Rashad Mobley from the Verizon Center.]
[Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld speak to the media about the '78 championship and more.]
John Wall on flexing muscle and
playing in front of the
1978 national world champion
[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. 30, Washington Wizards vs Pacers in Indiana; contributor: John Converse Townsend and Kyle Weidie from behind the television screen.]
Watch a man with two first names whoop Washington’s behind:
[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. 9, Washington Wizards vs. Indiana; contributors: Rashad Mobley and John Converse Townsend from the Verizon Center with Kyle Weidie from behind the T.V.]
Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s fifth game of the season against the Pacers in Indiana are TAI’s Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) and guest Jared Wade (@Jared_Wade), who writes about the Pacers for the TrueHoop blog 8 Points, 9 Seconds (@8tps9secs).
“Right now, I see the draft and trades as the best way to use cap space to rebuild or replenish with certainty. I am hopeful we can use free agency as well—time will tell. But it may be that having cap space is a bit over-valued in free agency.” —Ted Leonsis, on the thing about cap space.
That’s a bit of wisdom shared by the Wizards’ owner at a time when the contracts being thrown at some of the NBA’s available talent pool leave you scratching your head—it’s seems to be more about dollars than sense.
Restricted free agents Roy Hibbert and Eric Gordon are set to make max-contract money (nearly $60 million in Gordon’s case), though the teams they’ll be playing for are still in question. Crash Wallace, 29, will earn about $10 million per year as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. Wallace’s teammate Deron Williams, a stud, inked a five-year $98 million (!) contract.
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 »