The Randy Wittman era has provided competitive losses, two road wins in a row earlier this week, increased energy, and an emphasis on accountability. Tonight we saw a regression to what we saw in the Flip Saunders era earlier this season. Much of that likely had to do with being away from D.C. all week and from playing thee games in four nights. Because of all that, the Wizards lost 114 to 100 in Salt Lake City to the Jazz.
Now on to the Bullets Points:
- The Wizards were absolutely dominated in the paint. Al Jefferson led the charge for Utah with his 34 points and 12 rebounds in 31 minutes. Starting power forward Paul Millsap also posted a double-double with 14 and 12. Even back-ups Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors had their moments. At game’s end the Jazz had 70 points in the paint compared to the Wizards’ 44. No matter who the Wizards threw at Al Jefferson, it didn’t matter. The Wizards simply had no answer for him.
- Nick Young struggled for the second straight game since his explosion in Portland. He finished with 10 points (4/12 shooting) and a mere 1 assist, per usual. Games like these further illustrate his complete uselessness when he can’t find his stroke from the field. If Nick isn’t scoring, he can’t help you.
- Former Butler Bulldog teammates Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack faced each other for the first time in their NBA careers tonight. Hayward had 5 points (2/6), 2 assists, and 1 rebound in 20 minutes for Utah and Shelvin Mack had 3 points, 2 assists, and 1 rebound in his nine minutes of playing time.
- John Wall continued his great play in the month of February. Throughout the game he was good, but began his great play at the end of the third quarter. He made a jumper with under a minute left and drained another long jumper as the third quarter buzzer sounded. For the game he posted 24 points (8/12), 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and four turnovers.
- While Nick Young struggled, his shooting guard counterpart Jordan Crawford actually had himself a productive game — mostly. Some poor shot selection couldn’t stop J-Craw from having 21 points — he had a rare efficient game shooting 7 for 14, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and only one turnover.
- JaVale McGee shot three jump shots, surprisingly he made one — his first one that he shot in the first quarter.
- One of the players that’s having himself a productive road trip is Jan Vesely. The hustle and energy we’ve all grown to love was once again on display. Anything Vesely is able to add in the box score is merely gravy, and he had 10 points and 5 rebounds vs. Utah. The main negative from tonight for Jan was Derrick Favors having his way with him in the first quarter. That’s one of the key areas Vesely has to improve on going forward — his strength, so he can defend in the post consistently.
- Even though the Wizards lost by 14 to Utah, it took a comeback to reduce the lead to that margin. The Utah lead in the third quarter had been extended too as much as 28.
- Jordan Crawford threw an alley-oop on a fast break when they were down 20 in the fourth quarter. Somewhere Flip Saunders was screaming or laughing.
- Box Score
The Wizards (7-24) play next on Monday night in Phoenix when they take on the Suns.