On a night that began with Nick Young being on fire and 37 first quarter points for the Wizards, the Wizards weren’t able to close the deal against the Denver Nuggets. However, the positives were abundant for the Wizards.
Even without a good shooting night from the floor, John Wall played well for the third straight game as he posted 13 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds. While he did have 4 turnovers and shot only four for seventeen, Wall was a positive coming out of this game.
Nick Young’s first quarter could only be described as unconscious. In a 37 point first quarter, he added 17 of them on seven made field goals. The downside was that he added only 8 points over the final three quarters, but one of the most peculiar decisions of the night was Flip Saunders’ decision to leave Nick on the bench for most of the second quarter while he had the scorching hot hand.
We also had a Shelvin Mack sighting. With all five of his assists in the first quarter and nine points in 10 minutes he had a great night — particularly with his defense on Andre Miller in the second half. Mack and fellow rookie Chris Singleton helped make up for Jan Vesely’s ugly performance where he picked up three fouls in as many minutes in the second quarter.
In the end, Al Harrington once again proved to be too much for the Wizards. For whatever reason, Al Harrington plays like an All-Star when he plays this Wizards team. He finished with 29 points and 7 rebounds and he provided the dagger. The Wizards trailed by two with just over a minute to go, the Nuggets had the ball and the shot clock was winding down. Al Harrington gets the ball in the middle of the court at about 35 feet and makes it as the shot clock expires to send the Nuggets’ lead to five.
And I can’t write a summary for this game and not talk about how terrible Andray Blatche was. He finished with 2 points, 6 rebounds, 0 assists, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls, and made zero shots from the field on his seven attempts. While his numbers were terrible on their own, he was even worse watching live. The crowd continued to boo Blatche after each miscue, which has become customary at the Verizon Center now and it definitely got inside Blatche’s head as he became progressively more passive as the boos grew louder.
While the aforementioned John Wall, Nick Young, and Shelvin Mack in particular stood out, the overall energy was very good once again — which is a huge sign of progress — and the Wizards will need that same energy again Sunday afternoon at the Verizon Center when the Boston Celtics come to town. The Celtics are a team the Wizards usually play well against so this is a very winnable game for the Wiz Kids.
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