Last night the Wizards erased a 14 point half time deficit only to lose on a tip in by Ersan Ilyasova with 2.2 seconds to go. I actually wasn’t able to watch a majority of the game because I was at my own game, but I did get to see the 4th quarter and it was very entertaining. It was a strange scoring night for the Wizards as Mason and Evans both came off the bench to put up 14 and 15, respectively, and they hit a combined 7 3 pointers. Chris Singleton also chipped in for 16. John Wall had a great game with 19 pts and 15 assists, and my man Trevor Booker put up 20 pts and 11 boards. Jordan Crawford had another surprisingly efficient game scoring 19 points on 6-11 shooting. Other than some of these suprising stats, the big development of the day was coach Randy Wittman benching JaVale for the entire 2nd half and only playing Young less than 5 minutes in the 2nd half. He was quoted as saying “We played guys who wanted to play defense in the second half”. I love it, finally teaching these guys that playtime is over and if you want to play the wrong, dumb, and selfish way you can ride the bench. Can’t over-exaggerate how much I love this move.
Another real interesting part of this game was the very end when the Wizards actually put the ball in their best players hand at the end! They didn’t necessarily do the pick and roll that I had prescribed, but this was good enough as they gave Wall an isolation and he beat Brandon Jennings off the dribble and got that half a step he needed to have enough room to put up the go ahead shot. If the defenders would have helped on him than he would have dished it out to one of the shooters on the floor, ie. mason or Crawford, and they would have had a wide open shot for the win. Instead the defenders were slow to help and he hit the runner for the go ahead instead of our normal play of a Crawford or Young fade away coming off a screen. Good to see that good things can happen when you put the ball in the hands of your best player at the end of the game (or at any time of the game really). The Bucks final play wasn’t nearly as interesting, we actually played decent D on Jennings, forcing him to miss, but we just didn’t box out well enough allowing them to get the tip in for the win. Either way I though this was the perfect scenario for the Wiz, we played well, sat our guys who weren’t giving their all on the defensive end to teach them a lesson, and lost by 1 so it won’t hurt our draft stock. An overall good day to be a Wiz fan.