After a promising start to the first game of the new season, the Wizards fell apart and allowed a bad New Jersey Nets team to come back from a twenty plus point deficit and win last night at the Verizon Center.
Here’s what we learned from tonight’s game:
- John Wall had a terrible game: Four turnovers aren’t terrible but they were at costly times; most notably with roughly 23 seconds remaining and only down three points. Wall pushed it and attacked the basketball far too early before forcing a pass while up in the air. He was looking for Jordan Crawford, who was open, but Kris Humphries was right there to tip the ball and lead to a steal by Sundiata Gaines. John was also only seven of thirteen from the line, including 6 misses from the charity stripe in a row. If the Wizards want to become a better team, their face of the franchise John Wall needs to play better because his performance from tonight won’t cut it.
- Ronny Turiaf and Chris Singleton were exactly what the Wizards needed—Ronny Turiaf played only twenty minutes and posted a mere 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 blocks but anyone who watched the game knew how important he was, including two charges he drew. Chris Singleton was also a defensive force in his first NBA game. He had two steals, one of them being on Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams. He also contributed a block and tons of hustle, which has something the Wizards have lacked in recent years.
- Nick Young is still a legitimate scorer—We saw when he entered the game for Jordan Crawford how good Nick can be as a pure scorer. While he scored 16 points in only eighteen minutes, he was also limited by an ankle injury sustained late in the third quarter after Andray Blatche fell on him after a rebound. We learned nothing new about Nick, but after an elongated off-season, we were reminded just how special he is at just scoring the ball.
- Blatche and McGee still have a lot to work on—They both showed the usual signs of talent, whether it was blocking shots by McGee or Blatche sinking some jump shots and making some nice passes, but there was too much of the same stupidity. JaVale McGee was only one for six on his free throw attempts and losing focus on defense boxing out. Blatche once again continues to take ill advised shots and be out of control going for rebounds and just being his usual clumsy self. Also worth noting that both Blatche and McGee combined for a -29 in the +/- statistic.