Tough loss at home for the Wiz Kids against the tough Chicago Bulls
Wizards 80 Chicago Bulls 87
It was a tale of two halves again for the Wizards. They were up at half time, 50-46 but than it was all down hill in the 2nd half as they only scored 30 points total. "They were playing more physical," explained Nick Young.
Andray missed a wide open layup, he looked confused and didn't know if he should have went up for the layup or the dunk as Carlos Boozer was trailing him. "After that layup, I knew it was gonna be a long day,I tried to prepare myself more mentally, it was probably one of the worst funks I have ever been on, it was getting worst and worst."
He had a bad game and looked really frustrated. He was even boo'd in the 4th quarter as he missed one of two free throws. Man, this city is beginning to be like Philadelphia with all these boos. Andray was surprised, "Was I surprised by it? Yes, because these are our fans, there suppose to support us, but at the same time I was playing like crap, and they will let you know."
Looked like a mental game out there as Blatche was very frustrated, at one point in the game, he was called for a traveling call, he than grabbed the ball and it looked like he was going to throw the ball at the referee out of anger but Kirk Thomas (who had one hell of a game) took the ball away from before he could make that motion.
Blatche needed this game more than one thinks. In order to get better as a player and as a team, you must go through these tough games. I do agree that the Referees were not home town refs but it's not always going to be like that.
There was a big lineup on the floor for the Wizards at one point in the game as Rashard Lewis played the 3 (small forward), Josh at the 2 (shooting guard), Kirk Hinrich at the (point guard), JaVale McGee at the 5 (center) and Blatche 4 (power forward). Rashard gives lot of versatility with this team. He just needs to hit his jumpers. He missed plenty of jumpers as he finished with 8 points with 4 of 10 shooting, 0 for 5 from three point land,"I just didn't have good rhythm," said Rashard. He played more of the 3 than the 4 but saw plenty of action for both.
"I tried to learn the offense....trying to catch up to speed with everything." Rashard added, "there's alot of different options in this offense."
One option the Wizards love going to is the jerry curl superstar, Nick Young. Young poured in a team high 22 points, 9 of 19 shots. The difference between this game and any other game is, Nick played a little bit more 1v1. Coach Flip Saunders said after the game that you can't play 1v1 with this kind of defense. Nick is a catch and shoot guard in this system and it has been working for him.
Wizards are going on the road as they play the hottest team, the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio, on Sunday December 26th.
HIGHLIGHTS of the GAME courtesy of CSNWashington.com
Post Game Quotes Courtesy of The Washington Wizards PR Department
WIZARDS HEAD COACH FLIP SAUNDERS
On struggling in the fourth quarter:
“They had a lot of free throws. They are a good defensive team. I thought defensively we did some things pretty positive at times. When you hold a team to 87 points at home, you should have an opportunity to win. We played well the last two games prior because we played as a team. We really moved the ball and didn’t do too much dribbling. Now you play a team where their strength is their ability to lock down on you and play aggressive and we started playing a lot of one-on-one dribbling and put ourselves in very difficult situations.”
On Rashard Lewis fitting in with the team:
“I think he’s going to fit in. Rashard is a direction-oriented player. When he understands where he can go and where he’s going to get his shots, that’s where he is going to be effective. He missed some threes tonight, but he’s just getting comfortable with everything we’re doing. Every time he shot, because that’s what he can do, the whole arena expected him to make it. He’s going to be okay. Like I said, he’s still learning as far as what we’re doing. We just have to keep on working to get comfortable.”
WIZARDS GUARD KIRK HINRICH
On the game:
“We knew they were going to come in and play hard, and we did the same. We definitely tried but offensively we got a little stagnant. I thought it was a great game though. I think we fought hard. As for me, I was cramping during the last couple of minutes but I think it’s good we are going to be able to take a few days to rest before our next game.”
Thoughts on his role:
“I’m not fully comfortable yet playing both spots since I came into the league as a point guard and that comes with different situations. We lost tonight and that hurts but I think we’re playing hard right now and that is a big step for us.”
WIZARDS GUARD NICK YOUNG
On the game:
“They were playing really physical and picked it up on defense especially in the second half. Shots weren’t really falling for us, but we were playing hard. Both teams started to get tired, but we missed some shots that really could have helped us win the game.”
On Rashard’s first game:
“I really like what I saw. He’s an aggressive player and he doesn’t shy away from taking shots. That’s the shot I know and that’s the Rashard I know. I’m used to watching his game and that’s what he brought here tonight, I think he played great.”
BULLS HEAD COACH TOM THIBODEAU
On the turnovers:
“We made it hard on ourselves because of the turnovers. Particularly with their team, putting them on an open floor is something you don’t want to do, especially on the road.”
On the game:
“In the first quarter we gave up 33 points and a high percentage. I was concerned about that. In the second quarter we changed our mindset and established the paint. We got the ball into Carlos and I thought that helped us get control of the game. Then in the second half we attacked and in the fourth quarter the defense was fantastic.”
BULLS FORWARD CARLOS BOOZER
On his strategy on the offensive end:
“I just had a good matchup going. I tried to be aggressive, tried to get to the line a little bit, and just keep playing. You know Joakim is out so we got to do everything we got to step up a bit, including myself.”
On Coach Thibodeau allowing him and Kurt Thomas to continue to play with five fouls:
“He knew that we are both threats. We have played in a lot of playoff games, played a lot of games where we had 5 fouls. For us we know what to do, just play smart defense. Even Kurt’s sixth foul was a smart play, he was able to make him miss one at the line.”
On having seven assists:
“They doubled team me a little more, and I just tried to find the open guy. I turned the ball over a little bit trying to get it to him, but for the most part I thought we did a good job of moving when they double teamed me and I thought I did a good job finding the open man.”
BULLS GUARD DERRICK ROSE
On how he felt about the win after a low scoring game:
“A win is a win no matter what. They are a good team and we still came here and got a win.”
On their strong defense after the first quarter:
“We really just stepped up our intensity, making sure that we contest every shot. Kirk and Nick Young were making some shots…people with hands in their face. It was just a tough game in the beginning but we got a lead a little bit and we were safe with that.”