The crowd at the Phone booth, ladies and gents, looked like its a home game for the Atlanta Hawks, and they’re going to the playoffs. Mike Miller got the ball rolling for the wizards to start the game. He was hustling, rebounding, and even shooting with aggression. JaVale has been getting better and better. He had two great dunks in the first quarter, one an alley oop from Mike Miller himself, and the other being a put back jam. It shows to me that the minutes he is getting, the more comfortable he is. Blatche had his rough start with 3 turnovers to begin with, but I would not discount the fact that these turnovers are a learning curve for the young big veteran. Sean Livingston got some early playing time as he entered with around 4 minutes to go. It should not surprise people; WE are short of some people. Livingston looks healthy and well as he was playing the point guard position. It’s really unique to see a 6-6 point guard, if only he can make his open jump shots. Andray Blatche was doing the usual Andray Blatche and that was SCORING! Knowing Blatche can score, take the team and put it on his back, makes me feel a tingle only my girlfriend can give me. And I mean that in the most professional of terms. After one quarter of play, the Wizards were down 22-27.
1st Quarter notable Stats: Shooting Percentage – Wizards, 50%; Hawks , 65% Blatche : 9 pts; Joe Johnson, 8 pts Blatche/McGee; 3 rebounds; Joe Johnson, 3 rebounds As the 2nd quarter began, the Wizards brought in Nick Young and then I heard this name I remember hearing back in the 90’s, it was JOE SMITH. HOLY CRAP BATMAN! That man still plays? He’s probably the oldest man on that team. I saw JaVale McGee pretend like he can dribble and then shoot, and I hear Mike Prada from BulletsForever, scream, “NOOOO,” after knowing he made the jumper, it turned to laughs. Alonso Gee made his presence into the game with 9 minutes to go, from what I’ve seen on YouTube and in warm-ups, this kid can fly. He had a nice put back dunk that excited the crowd. If you would have told me before this glorious season, that the lineup of Alonzo Ghee, Nick Young, James Singleton, Sean Livingston, and JaVale McGee would be on the floor in the same time in a season that started off with Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler, I would have told you to punch me till I can’t think no more. Who would ever expect that? Our very own Joe Glorioso said he heard JaVale McGee just call Alonzo Ghee, “young fella.” Wow this is really weird.
In other Javale news, JaVale had a nice dunk by taking it from the top of the key straight to the basket, but then had one ugly turnaround jumper following it; it was uglier then how LeBron James walks. JaVale is growing up fast, but he does need a post move or two and he would be feared by other centers in the league. As the half ended, a three pointer was made by the Hawks Marvin Williams who a couple of years ago couldn’t shoot paper into a trash can. But that’s the Wizards luck.
Notable 2nd Quarter Stats: Wizards shoot 52.6% percent, Hawks shoot 61.5% Nick Young, 13 pts; J. Crawford, 7 pts 1st half: Nick Young and JaVale Mcgee came alive and were playing well. The Wizards new superstar Blatche was going at Josh Smith with his reverse layups and jumpers. Josh Smith usually blocks a lot of shots but was having trouble with Andray Blatche. Dray had 13 points and 3 rebounds but had 5 turnovers. McGee had 10 pts and 6 rebounds at the end of the 1st half. Coming out of half, the Wizards came out a little sluggish. Singleton came in and brought his defense also. Blatche continues to be the leader of this young Wizards team. Crawford forced the Wizards to think twice about playing zone as he hit two straight three pointers. The man can get on fire easily, hotter than your mama’s cooking. Every time I see Blatche, I love seeing the confidence in him. It fires up the crowd and gives confidence to everyone in the building. The man is living up to his 2nd round hype and more. Crowd gave a loud cheer for Singleton, who hustled to get an offensive rebound to reset the shot clock. They cheered even harder when Thornton scored the layup after the hustle play by James Singleton.
Notable 3rd Quarter Stats: Wizards shoot 50%, Hawks shoot 55.2% Wizards out rebounded the Hawks, 29-20 3rd quarter thoughts: Blatche with 24 points leading up to the 4th quarter. Blatche only had one turnover which is good but in the other hand, he had 6 turnovers total. The last quarter, the Wiz Kids were down as much as 10. JaVale McGee must have been practicing at half time a post move because he did a nice sweet layup after posting up Marvin Williams. Foye doesn’t seem like he is comfortable playing the point guard position. He’s naturally a two guard and should stick there in my humble opinion. It seemed like one thing he could do well as a point guard is lob the ball to McGee every chance he could get.
Reminds me of a Chris Paul to Tyson Chandler/David West type play, where they would pick and roll all day. Final thoughts: The intensity was picked up in the 4th quarter as always. The Wizards played defense, hustled, and rallied but not enough to put away the Atlanta Hawks. This team needs someone who is clutch, someone who they can depend on in the final minutes of a game. The referees made some questionable calls, especially towards the end of the game. JaVale McGee had a career high 20 points and is showing that he can be a real force in this league. JaVale could have shot a 3 pointer and it would have gone in. He did have one great fact that won’t be on the Friday morning stat line, and that is 8 dunks. The learning curve continues with the Wiz Kids.
WE Correspondent: Asad Naqvi
Wizards Shoot around:
Javale McGee post game:
Andray Blatche post game:
Mike Miller post game:
Al Thornton post game:
Coach Saunders post game: