For all the media members there tonight, it was clear that no one in the Wizards’ locker room was in the talking mood after losing 110 to 99 to the Portland Trail Blazers. After the game I immediately made my way down to the interview room where Randy Wittman came to the podium shortly after the end of the game. Most of his brief stint at the podium was focused on the poor defense his team played tonight:
We couldn’t get in a situation where we could get stops. LaMarcus (Aldridge) is a tough cover, but we can’t let their guards do what they did. He also added that, ‘We have to be more committed defensively.’
Another point Wittman made was about the free-throw shooting. Portland was 26 for 27 on the night and the Wizards shot only 64 percent, going 16 of 25 from the line. “Add that in there and it makes it difficult to win that game.”
After that brief two and a half minute media session with Randy Wittman, we made our way over to the locker room where Andray Blatche and Jordan Crawford were on their way out of the locker room as the media was just about to enter.
However, we did get to talk to Trevor Booker and John Wall.
Before the game Randy Wittman compared LaMarcus Aldridge to Pau Gasol (who the Wizards played Wednesday) in their abilities to play inside and out. So I asked Trevor Booker what he thought of them and how he compared the two All-Star power forwards to one another.
Both of them are big bodies, probably got like four inches on me, both of them. Both of them had great footwork. The only difference is we trapped Pau (Gasol) and LaMarcus (Aldridge) we just went one-on-one. I mean, he can shoot over any player that guards him, so with me giving up four inches it’s probably a little easier.
Mike Prada of Bullets Forever asked the follow-up question by asking Booker, “how do defend someone that has that type of height advantage on you?” Booker responsed:
The only thing I try to do is push him out as far as I can. That’s the only thing that I can think of other than double-teaming, but we went one-on-one the whole night so I just tried to push him out.
Both Trevor Booker and John Wall were asked what they thought went wrong with the defense tonight, and both echoed the same thing — everything.
Booker said “We didn’t play much defense tonight. Maybe we were too focused on the offensive end.” Shortly after, John Wall said, “Basically they got whatever they wanted whenever they ran the pick-and-roll, and Raymond Felton got going, Jamal Crawford got going, guys cutting to the basket — especially LaMarcus (Aldridge) scoring on the block.”
John Wall was also asked about the attention to detail tonight after Randy Wittman praised his team’s focus after Wednesday’s win. Wall said:
Tonight wasn’t good. Basically did the same thing we did against the Lakers, we wanted to do against them. We wanted to rotate, trap, double-team, and get back to the other end… We didn’t do a good job of that tonight.
And while we didn’t get to talk to JaVale McGee, he did talk to us as he was getting dressed in front of his locker. He looked towards us — a big huddle of media members standing in the center of the locker room — and asked if they allow male media members inside of the locker room after WNBA games. Apparently it is allowed, but JaVale wasn’t paying attention for the answer. Oh well.