The Wizards played hard tonight, coming back from a 21 point deficit at one point, but in the end it was another very “Wizard” sort of loss. Following a Brandon Jennings turnover with 12 seconds left the Wizards had a chance to take the lead, and indeed they did as John Wall hit a ridiculous one handed sort of running floater has he was going full speed down the right side of the court. Sadly Wall and the Wizards left the Bucks with 6 seconds to try and hit their own game winner. Jennings then took a shot somewhat similar to the one Wall had just converted, but it clanged off the rim…and then into the finger tips of Ersan Ilyasova who calmly converted the easy tip in at the rim with 2.2 seconds remaining. The Wizards had a timeout remaining so they got to take the ball out in the Bucks half-court. Randy Wittman drew up a solid play that left Roger Mason open in the corner, but Mason then pump faked to try and get even more wide open, and while doing so he proceeded to travel and the game was lost.
There were some positives from this game though (JaVale McGee not being one of them). The Wizards got surprising contributions from Mo Evans, Chris Singleton and Roger Mason as well as good performances from John Wall, Jordan Crawford and Trevor Booker, who set a season high with 20 points. Evans, Mason and Singleton combined to go 9-14 from three-point land and the team as a whole went 13-24. The three’s got the Wizards back in the game after they trailed 40-61 with three minutes to go in the first half. It was fun to watch the Wizards transition game with Mo Evans and Roger Mason taking off to the corners and knocking down threes. I couldn’t help but think/remember that this is how our team should be built around John Wall. With Wall’s incredible ability to go from coast to coast he will draw practically every defensive player who is back on the transition allowing for guys like Evans and Mason to get to the corner and have wide open looks.
While the game might have ended in typical heart breaking Wizard fashion, it was a fun one to watch (not a moral victory). Here are some other notes and tidbits from the game with the Bullets Points…
- The Wizards went 21-21 from the free throw line. If basketball-reference is doing me right, then that marks the first time since at least 1985 that the Wizards have shot 100% from the line with 20 or more attempts. The team went 19-19 on March 27, 1996 in a loss to the Pacers. Calbert Cheaney led the team going 8-8 from the stripe.
- The Bucks announcers were in love with saying how much certain Wizards were scoring above their season averages, so here are some numbers. Mo Evans: season average 2.4 ppg tonight 15 points, Roger Mason: season average 2.3 ppg tonight 14 points, Chris Singleton: season average 3.8 ppg tonight 16, Trevor Booker: season average 7.3 ppg tonight 20.
- It was nice to see a resurgence from Singleton, who played 40 minutes tonight while posting 16 points 9 boards 3 assists 2 blocks and a steal. He only shot 4-14 from the floor (2-4 from three) but made all six of his free throws. More importantly Singleton reminded us that he has a future in the NBA. However, it was Singleton who allowed Ilysova to get inside position on the last second tip in. But still, moral victory.
- JaVale McGee had an awful awful night. He seemed disinterested and out of it. His night ended after he made a bonehead play by fouling Drew Gooden on a last second three attempt at the end of the first half. Wittman was done with McGee after that and relied heavily on Booker and Singleton to provide the front court presence in the 2nd half.
- Nick Young also had a night to forget scoring just 7 points on 3-11 shooting (1-5 from three). Wittman chose to go with Jordan Crawford, Mo Evans and Roger Mason over Nick for much of the second half.
- Jan Vesely had another dud of a night. In a game where JaVale only played 17 minutes, Vesely could only manage to get 7. He almost completed a clean sheet in those seven minutes, but he ended up going 0-1 from the field with 1 turnover and 1 foul.
- Watching Mike Dunleavy shoot makes me happy. He had a season high 28 points on 9-17 shooting (5-10 from three).
- Brandon Jennings had 10 assists. Shocking, I know.
- Who would you rather have on the Wizards: Jan Vesely or Jon Leuer?
- Who would you rather have on the Wizards: Jan Vesely or Tobias Harris?
- I will give some props to Randy Wittman for having the Kahunas to bench the ineffective duo of JaVale McGee and Nick Young, now Ernie just needs to find a way to trade them.
The Wiz Kids take the floor tomorrow at home against the Orlando Magic. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. Be there or be square