Game 1 of the 2010 NBA Summer league is in the books as John Wall and the Wiz Kids showed off their skills In front of a huge crowd at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas. The gym was comparable to a high school gymnasium but of course the Wizards were playing and not Oak Hill Academy. The anticipation was high and you can sense the John Wall in the air. The Wizards were coached by the ever favorite, Sam Cassell. I of course, mentioned to several NBA officials, and not one disagreed with me.
The Wizards came out with the starting lineup of Trevor Booker at the 4, JaVale McGee at the center position, Cartier Martin as the shooting guard, of course John Wall as the point guard and surprised of the night, at small forward Raymar Morgan of Michigan State.
It was a tale of two halves as the Wiz kids were a little jittery to begin the game which transcended into the 2nd quarter. Felt like John Wall was rushing his shots and was a little tad bit nervous as expected. Comcast’s very own, Chris Miller pointed out to me, that this is his first game played since March, when he was on Kentucky in March Madness.
Nervous as they were in the first, it didn’t show in the 2nd half. As it seemed like John Wall was reading my tweets at halftime (yeah right!) he came out in the 2nd half with much more confidents and showed a little bit more calmness. He controlled the offense as if he was Tom Brady, and pretty much was the person with the ball 98 percent of the time. Coach Cassell would yell at anyone who would try to bring the ball up, and made sure they gave the ball up to their QB, John Wall. The Wizards responded to his play, as the more confident Wall was, the more the team would be also. They ended the game with 51% shooting which isn’t great but the fact that they don’t have many shooters.
Spot up shooting is a concern, as they only have Gilbert Arenas and Nick Young as the true shooters on the team. Cartier Martin showed hustle and a shot as he was all over the floor. He would be a candidate to be one of the other shooters. Wizards did have Mike Miller but he is on the verge of signing with the Miami Heat possibly. Cartier, if he plays his cards right, has a real chance to play this year on a limited role for the team, but still would get playing time regardless. This team needs shooter, and an inside presence. Enters JaVale McGee and Trevor Booker!
Trevor Booker is a beast, and I mean that with all my heart. The guy is a hustler, who can rebound and even shoot. He does the little things that you won’t see on the stat line. McGee in the other hand, he was a little loss on offense at times but is definitely improving. Still had a good game overall with 8 of 12 shooting and scored 21 points and 13 rebounds, which gave him the double-double. I was talking to an unnamed source that is close to the situation, he told me that JaVale is getting better with his attitude, physically, and even mentally. It’s not there yet as you can see but he is getting there. The sky is the limit and I mean that by every ounce of breathe I have. He had one dunk in game, which made the crowd go crazy which was Jordan-esque to say the least.
check out the :48 second mark, that was the exact dunk he did in game!
Even after showing off his Jordan type dunk, he showed a nice touch around the basket. From his infamous finger roll to his soft baby jumpers, it’s scary to think how great he can be.
Other players that stood out were Hamady “H” N`Diaye and Jerome Randle. Hamadi, stood tall in the paint. His defense was pretty solid and Kyle of TruthAboutIt.net pointed out that it was possibly because of the 4 years he went to school. Lesson learned, go to school if you want to become a solid player with your technique, but if you want millions, skip school and become like LeBron. That’s for another day and story but back to “H.” He had no points but his presence alone in the paint was pretty good. He misdirected a lot of shots when the Warriors came his way.
Jerome Randle is a point guard who can shoot, and has the shooting first mentality. He hit a lot of key jumpers and handles the rock pretty well. He is known as a shoot first point guard, which is the complete opposite of what Coach Flip Saunders wants. Flip went on record to say that he wants a pass first point guard and believes John Wall is. Randle can possibly win a roster spot if he can handle the rock, and show coaches that he can handle the point guard duties in general. He has a nice shot on him and hopefully we can continue to see that.
Overall, the Washington Wizards won and that sounds great to hear and say. With John Wall at the helm, it’s safe to say that the Wizards are in good hands literally. The Wiz Kids have a lot to work on but they took the first step to becoming better as a team.
WE Post Game Videos
John Wall post game comments afer a nice performance!
WizardsExtreme.com Exclusive as Joe and I talk to Trevor Booker
Athletic high flyer JaVale McGee talks about the team effort and his performance
Coach Sam Cassell post game comments after a win against the Golden St. Warriors