Wrap Up Report: Hot Knicks on Fire, Wizards Don't Have An Answer
The Wiz kids are exaclty that, they are kids that are learning to play this game and learning to play as a team. I would watch the game and wonder to myself, "What the hell is the issue?"
I came to the conclusion after the Flip press conference as he actually gave me the answer I have been looking for. He basically told us media folks, that these kids are coming from a college game that doesn't involve the traditional pick and roll offense. Wall and Flip both claimed that the Knicks ran over 75 pick and rolls on them. That is insane but that is a blue print to beat the Washington Wizards.
It all makes sense, as I always thought to myself on why JaVale McGee didn't have the instincts to turn his hips after a pick and roll to set up a good enough defensive stance to stop the play or player. Now I know, he just has never seen it as much as we thought he did. One can not justify the fact that the Wizards young bucks have not seen the pick and roll as much, is the reason why they play bad defense. This year is just a learning curve for the team, but it will get better, and possibly even sooner than later.
Flip stated that Josh Howard, the one player who can play defense and probably is the best defensive player not named Kirk Hinrich, may make his debut for the 2010-2011 NBA season. Last year, Josh was one of the main players, after last year's trade deadline, that came in and helped the Wizards get a 4 game winning streak going. On top of that, the Wizards were only a few games away from the 8th spot. I asked Josh last year about playoffs and he just smiled and said that it was possible.
Can Josh bring that aura of playoffs once again if he is healthy? Possibly.
John Wall and Gilbert Arenas had different games. A good game by Arenas and a bad game by John Wall. Gilbert had team high 20 points with 9 of 18 shooting. Wall only had 8 points with 4 of 14 shooting. They both had 6 assist each. Wall is going to hit the rookie wall, which is expected. Nobody should expect Wall to have "Steve Nash" type numbers, well not now at least.
Nick Young with confidence is something great to see. He has this swag about him that is great. It's his last year of his rookie contract. Will he re-sign? Will he come back? We shall see. I'll tell you what though, if he keeps playing the way he is, he will stay a Wizard.
It was disgusting to see that there was so many New York Knicks fans. I am guilty of having so many friends who were Knicks fans who were at the game. That doesn't help my arguement that they have beaten the Wizards twice so far. If this is an example of how it will be next week, then it's going to suck as the Lakers and Heat will come into town. Wizards fans need to come out and support the team and not let the band wagon fans come out and destroy the home court feel. Sadly enough, the band wagon fans are going to come out and ruin it.
Speaking of band wagon fans, the New York fans were screaming, "MVP, MVP, MVP," during the end of the game for Amare Stoudemire. The guy was doing great and all, he had game high 36 points. He can't play a lick of defense though. Reason why you did not see him cover Andray Blatche at all. With all those people cheering for Amare, they must have forgotten that they were playing the Washington Wizards.
What I Heard/Saw
* Spike Lee and my daddy (Ted Leonsis) were hanging out and sat next to each other, courtside, the whole game
* Al Thornton started the game but he did not play well as he was in foul trouble most of the game. Ended up with only 13 minutes and 2 points
* More fans at the Verizon Center this time around, as the official head count was 18,542.
* Inactive Wizards were, Josh Howard, Kevin Seraphin, and H (N`Diaye). Along with those inactives, were Hilton Armstrong, Alonzo Gee, and Cartier Martin who did not play because of coach's decision.
WHAT DID GILBERT WEAR?
Gilbert tonight wore his Nike Scottie Pippens. All black with the white outline of Air on the side in big letters. He has wore different shoes for every game almost. The last game against the LA Lakers, he wore some high top Dolce & Gabbanas. With Gil, you may never know what he will pull. He actually showed me what he may wear next game. It was a pair of white and blue high top Louise Vattons! Whoa!
GAME HIGHLIGHTS COURTESY OF CSNWashington.com
Courtesy of the Washingon Wizards PR Department, Post Game Quotes
WIZARDS HEAD COACH FLIP SAUNDERS
On the game:
“We’re in a tough position because a lot of our best guys play the same position so it’s hard to put them all on the floor. We played two nights ago so the preparation for this game is like being on the road. We didn’t have a lot of rest. We had things going at the start, but it’s always tough to come back to a game off the road after a west coast trip. We played hard and didn’t give up.”
On Wall’s performance:
“He’s a young player, he’s only 20 years old. Our league is designed differently. For example, New York ran about 75 pick and rolls tonight and in college you don’t run pick and rolls. It’s going to take some time. Every night is a learning process.”
WIZARDS GUARD GILBERT ARENAS
On Amar’e Stoudemire’s play this season:
“For one, he’s not depending on Steve Nash to get him the ball anymore. Now he’s creating a lot more for himself than he did in the past, and it’s just showing what kind of player he really was.”
On the team’s record:
“You’ve just got to keep playing. You have to keep going out there fighting. Eighth spot is only one or two games ahead and you don’t want to look at it like that but you just still have to fight; fight and play hard.”
WIZARDS GUARD JOHN WALL
On injuries holding him back:
“It’s really tough. I feel like at times I can’t go as fast as I want to, or finish at the basket, or do something that I’m used to doing. It’s tough because I don’t have the same ability. I still have the ability to do certain things but not all of the stuff that I’ve done before (injuries).”
On the team trying to improve:
“I think we’re a talented team, it’s just certain little things that don’t help us out. At times we don’t rebound, at times we turnover the ball, it’s the little things we work on. We fix it one game then we go back and go back to something we did well on the game before. We’ve just got to get it all down packed. First half of the game we followed Coach’s game plan and then second half I think we got away from it a little bit.”
KNICKS HEAD COACH MIKE D’ANTONI
On what the team is doing well during the winning streak:
“We’re playing pretty well. I don’t think we played great tonight, but that’s even more encouraging that when we didn’t play well we won on the road. You can’t negate the fact that our schedule has been good, but now it gets hard and these will be great tests coming up. I think we’re ready for them.”
On coming back in the 2nd half:
“It’s good. We’ve been doing that. We needed to up our energy a little bit in the second half. We were a little flat. Amar’e keeps being superb. He was unbelievable tonight again. Anytime you have a guy like that on your team you always have a chance to win.”
On the most impressive thing during the streak:
“[We’re] coming up with big blocks or defensive stops. Amar’e is scoring the ball at will against a lot of teams; a lot of players. Guys keep playing better. [Gallinari] was good tonight. [Chandler] in the first half was unbelievable. In the second half, he didn’t get a lot of opportunities but he was still great. It’s a lot of guys contributing, knock on wood, staying healthy and having a little luck.”
KNICKS GUARD RAYMOND FELTON
On the success of the Knicks at the end of the game:
“We had a couple of defensive plays. Amar’e had a great block on John Wall at the end of the game. There are a lot of things we are doing other than scoring…defensive stops, big rebounds…whatever it takes to win the game.”
On the Wizards future:
“The (Wizards) are young, and they have got a lot going on right now, but they are going to be fine.”
On Amar’e Stoudemire’s strong play this year:
“One thing about Amar’e is he can score, and a lot of people didn’t know about him that he can score from a lot of different ways. All anybody knew that he was dunking all the time in Phoenix. He can shoot, he can face up, he has a nice hesitation dribble and he can put the ball on the floor. There are so many things he can do with the ball. There are so many ways he can score, and he is shooting free-throws extremely well. He’s getting to the free-throw line a lot and he’s hitting shots, hitting free-throws.
KNICKS FORWARD DANILO GALLINARI
On Amar’e’s ability to play strong in the 4th quarter:
“Amar’e’s done an unbelievable job. He’s been carrying us every time in the 4th quarter on defense and offense. He rises up, and we have to keep playing smart with poise and he is going to do a great job every time.”
KNICKS CENTER AMAR’E STOUDAMIRE
On his ability to have success on the offensive and defensive ends:
“I was just trying to get to the bucket to get easy baskets. I wanted to turn the game in the 4th quarter, had great timing and got a blocked shot.”