Well that was something, wasn’t it? A lot of good came out of tonight’s game, a confident Bradley Beal, Chris Singleton making the most out of his playing time, and the brilliance of Kevin Seraphin. However, there was a lot of bad as well. Boston finally adjusted in the second half, throwing a lot of double teams at Seraphin which led to 6 of his turnovers. But the most pressing need for this team is a player that can consistently break down a defense. The teams’ 7 attempted free throws all night is the perfect example of this.
On to tonight’s bullet points:
- Bradley Beal went 6/15 from the field tonight for 16 points. Rather than running him off screens all night like they had in the previous 2 games this season, Wittman had him executing more dribble handoffs, come off pindowns, and pulling up. That’s the good news. His shot selection was excellent throughout, he had to force a few jumpers because the shot clock was running down and no one could break free of Boston’s stranglehold, but I thought he did a nice job staying composed.
- All that talk about the meritocracy system that Randy has preached was on full display tonight. He decidedly benched Okafor and Ariza after another poor start to the game, and it did wonders for the team offensively. Ariza was 1/6 tonight, and took a lot of one dribble pull ups early in the clock, while Okafor was getting manhandled on the glass again by Garnett. With such a solid frame for his position, it’s a shame he struggles to box out his opponent.
- For those counting, that’s $20 million dollars on the bench this season. Another sound investment.
- Jan Vesely had another typical Jan Vesely game. It’s a joy to watch him defensively, he rotates so well, immediately crashes the glass when a shot is up, but offensively, he’s a nightmare. As he catches the ball, he’s already looking to pass. He had a few good looks close to the basket, but didn’t take them.
- I was pretty dumbfounded that Vesely wasn’t on Garnett more tonight. KG is a perimeter threat now, he hardly takes his opponent on the block, which fits Vesely’s defensive prowess to a tee. Boston took advantage of the Garnett/Seraphin matchup all night. With Seraphin, Boston ran a lot of pick and roll, and because he’s not quick enough, he couldn’t recover in time to prevent the basket at the rim. Vesely would have.
- More on Seraphin – I love how he’s featured in this offense. Wittman doesn’t simply use his back to the basket game, at times you see him flashing to the high post for a jumper, which I think he’s getting better at. As more teams put him on the scouting report daily, he’ll have to improve on his decision making down on the low block. But to the discredit of the entire team, I didn’t see much communicating on the floor, players have to help him out. It’s something most big men struggle with, Andrew Bynum struggles a lot when doubled in the paint, so it’s not something to worry about a whole lot.
- Crawford was getting hounded all night by Boston’s perimeter defenders. He couldn’t get much going offensively, but one has to wonder if his playing time tonight had anything to do with the injury he suffered this past Saturday.
- Early on, AJ Price played up on Rondo more than most guards do. And it led to some ugly blow by layups.
- We’re seeing more of the same from last year. This team is scratching and clawing their way through games. In the end, that’s all you can ask for.
It wasn’t a terrible defeat. Washington took Boston to overtime despite a +27 FT advantage for the home team. You don’t see that too often.
Wizards host the Bucks this Friday at 7:00 pm, see you then.