Washington Wizards Sneak Past Denver Nuggets, Log Second Road Win

January 18, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari (8) drives to the basket during the first half against the Washington Wizards at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards exploded in the second half for 67 points and rode Kevin Seraphin to victory. Seraphin continued to drain hook shots with ease and really asserted himself in the fourth quarter. John Wall was at times sloppy, but finished with 14-12-4 in 26 minutes. The Wizards are now 4-1 since Wall’s return, and have been playing much improved ball. The upgrade from the backup point guard to Wall is probably worth two points a game and it shows.

Let’s get to the Bullets Points:

  • Nene came out forcing the issue tonight, clearly trying to let Denver fans know they received the worst end of the deal for JaVale (they did). He forced it a bit too much, unfortunately, not hitting a shot until his fourth attempt.
  • The Nene-JaVale grudge match we all wanted never materialized. Nene logged seven points and four boards while JaVale countered with four points and rebounds. The two combine for $23 million in salary this season.
  • It seems pertinent to point out that Jan Vesely played his entire rookie season with JaVale the shot-blocking phenom and STILL tried a lazy hook over him in the first quarter. JaVale swatted it into the third row, obviously.
  • A few plays later, Vesely was ended at the rim by Wilson Chandler. So much for the European Blake Griffin.
  • John Wall made a jump shot. AND AGAIN IN THE FOURTH! I’d prefer a Bullets Point that read: “John Wall didn’t take a jumper all game”, but I’ll settle for pointing out when he drains a few.
  • Wall also had four turnovers in the first half. Not all were his fault, especially one where Kevin Seraphin decided he just didn’t want to extend his arms to grab a pass on a pick and pop.
  • In the first half, the Wizards left one of Denver’s few good three-point shooters, Corey Brewer, open from three multiple times. On one of his misses, a Wizard closed off of Brewer to prevent an ANDRE IGUODALA three. Let Iggy clank it next time.
  • In total, Wall badly telegraphed his passes tonight. He had multiple passes picked off where the defender looked like he was hoping and praying the pass would be thrown. I chalk this up as rust and the best bench he has faced. Wall has put up good numbers but mostly against reserves; Denver doesn’t really have a “reserve” squad.
  • Trevor Ariza hit a bunch of awful shots tonight. He’s still poorly selecting his shots, which is not comforting. At what point does Ariza’s play equal whatever got Chris Singleton in the dog house? There’s no way Ariza has been better than Singleton, who did not play tonight.
  • In case anyone was wondering, JaVale McGee still doesn’t quite get the sport of basketball. He is still clueless and did not finish the game for the Nuggets, although he has been closing games all year long.
  • Kevin Seraphin must have hit six hook shots tonight. He continues to show that he has a transcendent hook, yet he insists on shooting mid-range jump shots. Head Coach Randy Wittman has no control over where shots are taken. I wonder if the Wizards employ any statistical analysts…
  • Ty Lawson played a little bit of anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better with Beal and Wall throughout the night. He traded threes with Beal and, in crunch time, traded layups with Wall. Wall got the last laugh, however, blocking Ty Lawson’s game-tying layup attempt.
  • Bradley Beal had another awesome game, hitting four of his seven threes and logging his third best overall shooting game of the year (8-13). Beal has been the best rookie in the league since the middle of December and I even joked on Twitter that Confident Beal should have his own basketball-reference page since he is an entirely different player when he’s feeling good about his game.
  • Tonight’s box