On Tuesday night, the Wizards beat the Mavericks in Dallas, 97-94, on a game-winning three-pointer by Lester Hudson.
Sure, it’s only the preseason, but hey, there are certainly a few positives/negatives to take from the game. Let’s start with the good.
- John Wall had a great “first” game–21 points (9-11 at the free throw line), 9 assists, 4 steals, and just 2 turnovers. He showed great patience in knowing when to attack the basket and when to step back and set up the offense. My only worry is his jumpshot. Jason Kidd left him wide open on purpose and Wall still bricked threes/longer jumpers. But hey, Wall is only 20, he’s got plenty of time to grow.
- Andray Blatche certainly didn’t look like the third or fourth option on offense. He led the team with 22 points and consistently knocked down mid-range J’s over Dirk Nowitzki and other Maverick big men. For what it’s worth, Blatche’s plus/minus was -2, which was the only negative number out of any starter. I wouldn’t put much stock into that though.
- Gilbert Arenas wasn’t anywhere near Hibachi-Agent Zero mode, but he was effective. He had a quiet 12 points on 5-9 shooting but really was deferring more to his teammates. I was impressed with his patience in the flow of the game–there were no forced shots as far as I can remember.
- Yi Jianlian had a double-double! 11 points, 10 rebounds. He still plays soft but does a nice job of securing defensive boards. If he can cut back on some of those jump shots , I envision Yi as a combo PF-C. I’d like to give him a shot as the sole center for a few minutes next game and see how that goes.
- JaVale McGee had six blocks and added some nice-looking buckets (including a running hook). He wasn’t perfect though (see the negatives).
- Lester Hudson hit another game-winner. He deserves a spot on this team.
- Two of Washington’s first round picks didn’t log a single minute of action. I wasn’t expecting Kevin Seraphin to see the floor, but I was shocked that Trevor Booker didn’t play. Also, no Adam Morrison appearance, despite the fact that Washington doesn’t really have a true small forward other than Al Thornton (who didn’t play very well).
- Hilton Armstrong was terrible. You could tell Flip Saunders wanted Armstrong to go out there and play well enough to warrant more minutes over JaVale McGee (as evident by benching McGee at the 7 minute mark of the first quarter), but the newly acquired center really couldn’t get anything going. And in crunch time, Hilton messed up on a switch and allowed for Dominique Jones to have a wide-open jump shot. The Wizards have some big-man issues.
- On paper, Javale McGee played pretty well. On the court, however, he wasn’t as good. McGee fumbled plenty of defensive rebounds and still jumps every time anyone on the court pump fakes. I liked his six blocks, but he needs to be more patient and control the glass better.
- Nick Young was 1-7. It was a typical game for him. Shoot every time he touches it, even if he’s having an off night.
It’s hard to not let tonight’s performance get me (and other Wizards fans) a little excited. John Wall has such a promising future and even though it was the preseason, the Wizards did beat a Western Conference contender on their home court. The next Wizards game is Thursday at Cleveland.
And on a completely unrelated note, I need to finish this post with a rhetorical question–Now that Brendan Haywood is off the Wizards, can we all agree that he travels almost every time he makes a post move? Or am I just imagining things?
That’s all for now.
Tags: Dirk Nowitzki Gilbert Arenas Javale Mcgee John Wall John Wall Preseason Debut Lester Hudson Game Winner Washington Wizards Wizards Mavs Wizards Mavs Recap Wizards Mavs Recap October 5 Wizards Recap