Before I get on with the depressing recap of the Wizards-76ers game from tonight I want to do a quick little introduction, as this is my first post for Wiz of Awes. I was born and raised in Chevy Chase, MD and have been a diehard Wizards fan my whole life. Currently I am a sophomore at the University of Miami. I ran a blog last year called Momentum Three, where I did a good amount of Wizards coverage, but I am excited to cover and write about Les Boulez full time here. I love Gilbert Arenas, and my favorite Wizards moment was watching him drill the game winning three against the Bucks live at the Phone Booth. I hate Andray Blatche, I think Flip and Ernie need to go, I am a big supporter of the #FreeBooker movement, I believe that winning meaningless games at the ends of seasons is meaningless, and I am always willing to chat about the Wizards, or any sport for that matter on Twitter. You can find me at @matthouston91. So without further adieu let’s get sad and depressed about the Wizards, together!
Well…at least the Wizards only play the 76ers one more time?
This game was about as ugly as it gets for the Wizards, and that is ugly. After stringing together five competitive performances at home, which only led to one victory, the Wizards reverted back to their old ways in Philadelphia. After taking an early 8-7 lead it was ALL 76ers. At one point in the first quarter the Sixers went on a 15-0 run that for all intensive purposes ended the game.
The final score ended up being 103-83, but it felt more like a 50 point deficit after the first quarter and for the rest of the game. Elton Brand, who missed the Sixers shoot around this morning because he was “sick,” came out thinking it was 2005. At one point in the first quarter it was Elton Brand 11 Washington Wizards 10. He finished with 17 points and 9 boards. Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee had absolutely no idea how to guard him, not that they ever have a strong sense of how to guard somebody.
While Brand might have been the star of the first quarter it was the Wizards turnovers that really let the Sixers pull ahead. The Wizards finished the game with nine turnovers, which really isn’t bad, but in the first quarter alone the Sixers forced five turnovers that led to 12 points.
The Wizards half-court offense continued to be abysmal. The team, fueled by Andray Blatche, settled for 20 foot jumper after 20 foot jumper. The three point shooting also continued to be horrendous for the Wizards. Rashard Lewis has probably lost his three point shot for good, but he has 22 million reasons not to care. The team as a whole went 0-7 from beyond the arc.
After notching 28 assists in a tough loss to the Denver Nuggets two games ago the Wizards have fallen back to their black hole ways, only assisting on 32 buckets in the last two games.
With two minutes left and the score at 99-78 the Sixers fans began booing their home team because they had missed their last couple of shots and had put the fans free Big Mac’s in jeopardy. Lucky for them though rookie Lavoy Allen (who?) came in and saved the day knocking down a jumper to eclipse the 100 point mark. It was an embarrassing night for the Wizards…
MVP: Jordan Crawford
While no Wizards really deserved praise this game, to avoid only posting wicked pixels I will give the award to Jordan Crawford. Crawford came off the bench and did Jordan Crawford things, shooting basically every time he touched the ball. He finished with 17 points (6-16 fg) 3 boards and 3 dimes. Most of his points came after the game was long over, but it is hard to knock his effort as he continued to attack the basket all game long.
I haven’t been Crawford’s biggest fan this season, but his play the last few games has at least provided a slimmer of hope towards his future.Yet, the Wizards seem to live and die (mostly die) by Jordan Crawford hero ball at the end of remotely close games. He has the ability to pass, it is just whether or not he chooses to do it.
LVP: JaVale McGee
After stringing together a few solid games McGee was a complete non-factor in this one. He finished with a dismal line of 2 points (1-4 fg) 2 rebounds 2 blocks and a steal in 21 minutes. It was tough to tell where McGee vanished more, offense or defense. His defense was horrendous (he didn’t even have to guard Spencer Hawes, who missed the game with an achilles injury) and his offense was nonexistent.
At least he is the future of the NBA…
What was Flip Saunders doing with his rotation? It boggles my mind that Jan Vesely, Trevor Booker and Chris Singleton would only play 11, 12 and 6 minutes respectively. This game was quite clearly a goner by halftime, yet Flip decided to stick with guys like Blatche and Rashard Lewis for basically the entire third quarter. Even when Flip benched Blatche and Lewis for the fourth quarter he decided to go with a three guard set consisting of Shelvin Mack, Jordan Crawford and Nick Young. There was no need for Nick Young to be playing at that point in the game. Why not give Vesely some playing time? Sure Trevor Booker and Chris Singleton had bad games against the Celtics, but they certainly didn’t perform any worse than Blatche or Lewis have the entire season.
After showing some improvement over the last week this game was a real setback. In the Wizards three games against the Sixers this year they have lost by a combined 64 points. Luckily the next and final meeting between the two teams doesn’t come until March 30.
The Wiz Kids, who are now 0-7 on the road and 2-15 overall, now head back to DC where they will face the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday.