While this game may have been ugly, nothing can compare to the ugliness that occurred this afternoon at the Boston Marathon. I received an email earlier today letting me know that I did not have to cover this game in light of the attack in Boston. We should not allow a particularly heinous action disturb us from our lives and responsibilities. The wrong people would take pleasure in true Americans shirking their everyday lives to grieve; I would be defeated; we would be defeated.
And with that, the recap:
The Washington Wizards surrendered a large lead and played poorly down the stretch (what else is new?) in tonight’s loss in Brooklyn. With Trevor Ariza, Martell Webster, Nene, and Bradley Beal all unavailable, the Wiz didn’t have much to rely on. After Okafor exited the game with a right ankle sprain, the vaunted big man rotation of Jan Vesely, Trevor Booker, and Kevin Seraphin made the transition from the bench to center stage at the brightly lit Barclays Center and performed admirably.
Jan showed that he can still throw down alley oops and John, who has likely thrown the fewest alley oops per minute this season (due to JaVale’s departure last year), showed he can still throw them. Jan still seemed largely lost on defense and did not score in the second half, but it is inspiring to see him contribute, even if against a JV version of an NBA team.
Alarmingly, John Wall shot it poorly and often from mid-range. I get that he is confident in his jump shot right now, but he has to realize that a PUJIT (Pull Up Jumper In Traffic) during a fast break is possibly the worst shot in basketball. Not only is it a lower percentage shot (especially for John), it also has a miniscule chance of being rebounded by an offensive player. The odds of scoring there are slim. Poor shot selection is not a criticism only John was worth tonight. Every Wizard seems to much enjoy stepping a foot or two in from the three point line for a long two without considering the average points gleaned from each type of shot. The Wizards have SportsVu. This is not an organization that shuns advanced statistics, so why do the players act like that is not the case? Aside from this criticism, Wall played well, dishing out 12 assists and grabbing six rebounds while leading the team in scoring with 18.
To cap the reacp, it is only fitting that we talk about Andray Blatche. It is equally as fitting that he came up big late with a strong lay up through a foul to take the lead and a hard-fought rebound on the subsequent defensive possession. As @WizardsXtra put it, it’s easy to play free when you’re collecting two checks. Blatche played well, assuming the starring role for the Nets’ B-Team and taking it to the Wizards for 38 minutes. But! He was 2-7 from the free throw line, so can all take solace in that fact and snicker at him over the internet.