Report: Post Game Wrap Up, 76'ers/Wizards
Talk about a crowd that was going crazy. This crowd reminded me about the time when I went to the season opener of the Redskins game when they played their rivals the Dallas Cowgirls, I mean Cowboys. Crowd was very passionate and were in it most of the game but were alive mostly in the 2nd half. That 3rd quarter started everything off as the Wizards were on fire.
Speaking of being on fire, JaVale McGee had career highs in points, 24, and rebounds, 18. This is exactly how JaVale needs to play. "Ever since the all star balloting, he's been playing like an all star," says Coach Flip Saunders after the game. JaVale McGee has been such a better rebounder in the last 3 games. JaVale went to say that, "I was trying to get 10 rebounds in the first half, that's my goal."
On the inspired play of lately, "I'm just tired of coach telling me that I'm not rebounding so I'm tired of being yelled at by coach."
Crowd wanted to kill Elton Brand as he basically pushed JaVale McGee in mid air who got the and 1. When it initially happened, I heard people going crazy and just cursing towards Elton Brand. JaVale was hurt on the floor as it took a minute before he got up on his own will power and the crowd cheered as he shot his free throw in which he made. "My butt was hurting a little bit but I was fighting through it."
I asked Flip if this is exactly what he wants to see in JaVale and Flip said, "yeah, rebound, protect the rim, hard roles to the basket, clean up on the glass, score around the basket, score...he's one of those guys, he should be able to get 14, 16, 17 points without running any plays for him," and went on to say, "he can make a huge impact on the game, they had him for 4 blocks but he had more than that."
One player that has been coming alive is Nick Young, made some huge shots including the game winner with 7.6 seconds left. Flip said, "He is one of our most consistent players." I think he said the same about Al Thornton but Nick has been en fuego both offensively and defensively. Nick said after the game that this was his first game winner of his NBA career, "We needed a little spark, and we did not have that much energy, and I know I got to come off the bench and be that spark for the team."
Speaking of Al Thornton, I could not find out what happened to him as he was not in the locker room after the game and even Flip could not tell at the time. I am sure we will find out exactly what is wrong.
The face of the franchise John Wall was looking hesitant and was actually not in the flow of things with the offense in the 1st half. Actually when he came in, the offense was stagnate and the Philadelphia 76'ers were building a lead early and it looked like the Wizards were going to lose this one. 2nd half was a completely different story for them as the energy was brought and the crowd was surprisingly into it. All of his points (25 points) came in the 2nd half as he was scoreless in the first half.
John had a horrible shot which lead to his luck, overtime. He shot from "Gilbert" range when there was 3.3 seconds left in the game and was fortunate to be fouled but later found out that he knew that he was going to be fouled. He tied the game by hitting 3 clutch free throws which shows the nerves of steel.
Gilbert was the usual Gilbert as he went for 17 points and 7 assist as he started the game, and John Wall coming off the bench. Gilbert shot 3 of 7 for three point range.
He is slowly becoming more comfortable in this offense and his role with this young team. He still gets the loudest cheers when they call his name during introductions. Gilbert is slowly becoming the 'old' Gilbert, which is always a great sign.
Random Things I Saw/Heard
* Jrue Holiday got crossed over twice and then another time on a fast break by Kirk Hinrich and this sentence was brought to you by And 1.
* At one point, the Wizards hit three straight threes from Nick Young, Gilbert Arenas, and even John Wall which ignited the crowd and it was the loudest I have heard this crowd all season so far.
* Double double's by JaVale McGee (24 points and 18 rebounds) and Andray Blatche (17 points and 12 rebounds)
* Alonzo Gee debut's for only 4 seconds as he came in as a sub for Gilbert as the half ended. Wizard's fans should not expect Gee to play much as of right now until he can show otherwise. Gee can play the small forward or shooting guard role but he can't shoot much. With the emergence of Cartier gaining more minutes, you should not see much of Gee. But then again, Flip's substitution rotation makes me wonder somtimes but thats for another day.
Post Game Quotes by the Washington Wizards PR Staff
WIZARDS HEAD COACH FLIP SAUNDERS
On his thoughts on the game:
“As I told our guys, I was happy how we won; happy how we came and hung in there and played; very disappointed in how we played early as far as our lack of energy coming off the game that we had in Detroit. We played [there] so well, we needed to bounce back, but we made plays.”
On John Wall’s return:
“John Wall gave us a great lift and made plays. I think the one thing he does bring is that character of never quitting. He made a veteran move (at the end of regulation). He heard the whistle, threw it up, got three shots, and made all three in that type of situation. I say a lot of times one play can change the whole complexion of the game and you never know when that one play is going to happen.”
On JaVale McGee’s performance:
“We had great individual performances. Ever since JaVale was put on the All-Star ballot, he’s playing like an All-Star. He’s played great in playing his role and I think that’s his big thing. If he can stay and play within his role and not try to play outside of his role, he becomes so much more effective.”
WIZARDS GUARD JOHN WALL
On hitting three clutch free throws in the fourth quarter:
“I could tell how he was walking up to me that he was going to foul me so in that situation I just tried to shoot the ball before he got there and see if he was going to foul me and luckily I got the call and got to shoot the three free throws. I was thinking this is a chance for us to tie the game up and hopefully get a stop and then go to overtime so I was concentrating on making my free throws.”
On his return to action:
“For one, I was a little out of shape. I was tired for the first couple of minutes so I had to get some energy drink, but I didn’t have the same explosiveness that I had [before] but I fought hard tried to help my team out as much as I can.”
WIZARDS GUARD NICK YOUNG
On hitting the game winning shot:
“I didn’t want to let my teammates down. I was a little nervous but I always want to take that shot. I stayed before in warm-ups… and it’s crazy because I worked on that shot before warm-ups. I kept saying this is what would have happened in Detroit…Gil passed it to me and I was open, and I’m happy to knock my first game-winner down.”
On his third quarter play:
“That’s what we needed. I need to be a spark off the bench, that’s what I’m here to do. I see my teammates looking a little sluggish and I wanted to pick it up, and Andray Blatche passed it to me, I hit the shot and kind of got people going.”
WIZARDS GUARD GILBERT ARENAS
On the growth of the team:
“We’re learning, we’re getting better. JaVale is playing a lot better basketball than he was at the beginning, he’s rebounding for us, he’s blocking shots, he’s understanding what his role is. Wall came and gave a great effort, playing on one leg, one foot, one knee, we needed that. Nick played a hell of a game. For us to be good he has to step up.”
WIZARDS CENTER JAVALE MCGEE
On getting ten rebounds in the second quarter:
“I was just trying to get ten rebounds in the first half, that’s my goal every game I go in. Once I did it I know I’m being aggressive and as a team we’re going to go hard on the boards.”
On closing out games:
“We’re definitely trying to be a consistent team. We’re trying to have more wins than losses. We’re at least trying to get to .500.”
On rebounding and getting a double-double:
“I just don’t want to get yelled at anymore… I’m just trying to get rebounds, I’m not really worried about getting points, I’m just trying to get rebounds.”
76ERS HEAD COACH DOUG COLLINS
On the game:
“All we had to do is finish out the game and we made some critical mistakes again. That’s been the story of our first 14 games this season; we’ve got to find a way to win a close game.”
On fouling John Wall at the end of regulation:
“That’s where you have to be careful. When a guy is running with the ball like that, you have to know that when he sees you coming he’s going to pick up and launch it.”
On if Elton Brand being ejected was a game-changer:
“We can talk about that all we want, but we were still in a position to win the game. They had no time outs. At the end of the day we had a three-point lead, shooting two free throws, with 8.5 seconds to go.”
On the second half:
“We’ve been a bad third quarter team and we said if we come out and get our defense set, then we’ll be fine. They scored on something like eight of their first 10 possessions.”
More on the game:
“In the first half, we had 11 points off turnovers. I told the guys that if we get 22, we’ll win the game; I think we ended up with 18. A big part of that was because in the second half our defense was not nearly as good but we made a nice push and got the lead back, then they threw in a couple amazing threes, which happens. But again, 8.5 to go with a three point lead; we have to close that game out.”
76ERS FORWARD ELTON BRAND
On his flagrant foul:
“It wasn’t a frustration foul. It just was we didn’t matchup correctly. McGee was going to get another dunk so I was trying to stop the dunk. He’s really athletic quick to the rim. I definitely tried to foul him but I didn’t want him to fall awkward like that.”
Elton Brand on losing twice in overtime at the Verizon Center:
“The way we lost here has really been incredible. It’s just eerie how we lost these games, and to their credit they never gave up, but we probably should have won these games.”
76ERS GUARD EVAN TURNER
On how he feels about his missed free-throws at the end of the 4th quarter:
“I had an opportunity to make some free-throws to put (the game) away. They ended up going out. I don’t ever, ever do that. I don’t know how that happened.”
76ERS GUARD ANDRE IGUODALA
On his missed shot at the end overtime and his team’s loss in overtime:
“I got the look I wanted. I had a shot earlier in the overtime, a three that was down, but I shot it a little long. We got to do a better job of executing in overtime. When one thing doesn’t work we get in like a standstill, like blocks, we don’t know how to finish our possessions when the initial play doesn’t work.”
Pictures Courtesy of Pam Chvotkin