Wizards play Jazz and sound good doing it!
Wizards 108 Jazz 101
The Washington Wizards are on a two game winning streak and that is the first time I have ever said that. Why you ask? Because this is the first winning streak of the year for the Washington Wizards. This is also the first time the Wizards beat a team with a winning record (whoa).
Having Rashard Lewis helps lot as he did not have an impact statistically but his leadership and play has helped this team improve since he was traded from the Orlando Magics for the former face of the franchise, Gilbert Arenas. What Rashard is doing different is, he is playing the small forward role more because in Orlando, he was playing the 4 (power forward) position. He now is going back to his roots at the 3 (small forward), where he was an All Star for the then Seattle Supersonics.
Blatche was hype from the start and it showed. Andray finished with a double-double, 21 points and 11 rebounds. Another good game by the big man who displayed a good shot. I was one of the people who have criticized him in the past about not taking the ball in like a typical power forward should, but the man has something that power forwards rarely have, a shot.
JaVale McGee had a SportsCenter top 10 play as he took an alley oop from Jimmy Wall and through it down but not just a regular alley oop dunk, he through it down reverse! It was a taste of what to see at the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. That dunk was a shout out to Blake Griffin. People do not believe me but I believe that McGee will win the Slam Dunk Contest. People sleep on the fact that McGee can do dunks that a 6 foot 6 player can but make it look that much better!
Wizards BIG stepped up to the challenge. Flip Saunders said pre game that the Utah Jazz were one of the most physical teams in the league. With that said, the Wizards big men didn't mind because they played really well.
"I thought Andray, probably played his best, better overall game," said Flip after the game.
Flip added that JaVale McGee had a good game also, "he had a couple of assist, nice assist, which I like to see."
McGee had a nice overall game and not just stats wise, he had a nice game despite being in foul trouble in the first half. He played well and rebounded well. He looked mature today as I saw him not jump as much into defenders as he usually does. First half, he was the 'old' JaVale, but the new JaVale came out in the 2nd half. JaVale said after the game that he is more patient when he in foul troubles as it showed this game.
The big men were not the only ones who should get credit, the back court as a whole, from Jimmy Wall who had 19 points and a career high 15 assist to Kirk Hinrich and his solid minutes and defense. It looked like John found every one at their sweet spots, which a true point guard does usually. Deron Williams, who in my opinion is the top point guard in the league. He finished with a game high 28 points and 11 assist. He hit 6 three pointers (6 of 10 shooting from 3 point land).
The Utah Jazz came out physical and Raja Bell had the duties to cover Nick Young. Raja did a really good job of covering Nick in the first half as Nick only had 3 points but Nick came back scoring 22 points in the 2nd to finish with team high (get used to that) 25 points.
"His thing is to get into your head, I knew from watching him (Raja) from back of the day, and watching film of him, I knew that was what he was trying to do, I know night in, night out, they are coming for me,"
"It's been a two year process, lot of Rip Hamilton type drills, he's like RIP as he is 6`7," says Flip about Nick Young's game as of late. Flip added that he thought Nick played better then Gilbert at times (when Gilbert was here, of course). Flip also stated that Nick has matured and is showing it. This is what happens when you give home grown talent the chance to compete and play.
John gave a huge assist to Nick who hit a huge three pointer in the corner to ice the game. "John found me in the corner, and that's kind of been our theme all season," said Nick after the game.
Nick Young classified this as the best game of the year for the Wizards, "yeah you can, but we got a lot more to go, and hopefully we can continue this winning streak."
The next thing they have to conquer is a road win against the Milwaukee Bucks. Can the Wizards make it three in a row? Possibly? We shall see!
"We gotta come out with the same intensity, and treat the Milwaukee fans like our fans," said McGee about playing their next game on the road. Hey, whatever works, just go out there and get that big gorilla off of your backs.
Washington Wizards/Utah Jazz Game Stats Courtesy of ESPN.com
Utah Jazz/Washington Wizards
|Andrei Kirilenko, SF||31||2-4||1-2||1-2||0||4||4||4||1||1||1||2||-9||6|
|Paul Millsap, PF||34||4-13||0-0||3-4||2||4||6||3||1||1||3||4||-7||11|
|Al Jefferson, C||34||11-18||0-0||3-6||6||4||10||1||1||0||2||2||-4||25|
|Raja Bell, SG||32||2-8||1-3||0-0||1||1||2||1||3||0||2||5||-8||5|
|Deron Williams, PG||39||9-18||6-10||4-4||1||3||4||11||2||0||2||3||-7||28|
|Earl Watson, PG||9||1-2||1-1||0-0||0||1||1||0||1||0||1||1||0||3|
|Mehmet Okur, C||13||2-4||1-2||3-4||1||1||2||3||0||0||0||3||-3||8|
|Francisco Elson, C||6||0-0||0-0||1-2||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||-3||1|
|Ronnie Price, PG||11||2-3||2-3||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||-1||6|
|C.J. Miles, SF||28||3-10||2-6||0-0||0||3||3||3||0||0||2||3||+4||8|
|Jeremy Evans, SF||2||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||+3||0|
|Kyrylo Fesenko, C||DNP COACH'S DECISION|
Fast break points: 6
Points in the paint: 32
Team TO ( points off ): 14 (17)
|Rashard Lewis, PF||36||4-7||2-5||3-4||1||7||8||2||1||1||1||1||+4||13|
|Andray Blatche, PF||38||8-15||0-0||5-7||4||7||11||3||3||4||3||4||+11||21|
|JaVale McGee, C||24||3-6||0-0||1-1||3||8||11||2||0||1||2||3||+15||7|
|Nick Young, SG||37||7-12||3-5||8-8||0||3||3||2||0||1||2||2||+11||25|
|John Wall, PG||40||7-12||0-0||5-7||1||4||5||15||1||0||7||2||+12||19|
|Kirk Hinrich, G||25||2-6||1-3||4-4||0||0||0||3||2||0||2||2||-5||9|
|Al Thornton, SF||18||2-3||0-0||0-0||1||3||4||0||0||0||2||1||-8||4|
|Yi Jianlian, PF||20||5-10||0-1||0-0||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||4||-2||10|
|Trevor Booker, C||1||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||-3||0|
|Hilton Armstrong, C||DNP COACH'S DECISION|
|Cartier Martin, GF||DNP COACH'S DECISION|
|Kevin Seraphin, F||DNP COACH'S DECISION|
Fast break points: 21
Points in the paint: 34
Team TO ( points off ): 20 (18)
What I Saw/Heard (Wizards Kicks)
* JaVale McGee was wearing some kind of shoes that I have no idea about and I'm pretty good with shoes.
* John Wall Shoes in the other hand....
* Rashard Lewis Kicks
* And ouch.....
Pictures Courtesy of Joe G. of WizardsExtreme.com
Post Game Quotes Courtesy of the Wizards PR Department
WIZARDS HEAD COACH FLIP SAUNDERS
On the game:
“We were able to control the game from beginning to end. We’ve played the good teams good if you look at the Orlando and Miami games. We just haven’t been able to sustain, but we were able to today against a marquee team. I think we did good off the bench, Yi especially was good for us defensively and overall we did a great job on their team. I thought Andray played one of his overall best games; he had quality buckets and did a good job of rebounding. He did well with blocks and weak-side help. JaVale also did a great job in the second half, with some nice assists and huge follow-ups.”
On John Wall:
“We’ve been asking a lot of him and I think he’s been exceeding expectations. He can have an impact in a game without even having to score a bucket. He played with enthusiasm and it carried on with the whole team.”
On Nick Young:
“This is his maturation process. Now teams are coming out and saying, ‘We are going to stop Nick Young.’ They were physical on him and when we made some adjustments in the second half, open looks got his rhythm going. He ended up with 25 tonight, after five in the first half so that really shows his maturity. It’s been a two-year process with him, and he had some struggles before but he kept on working and had a great summer. He made a conscious effort to hit the weights and get stronger.”
WIZARDS FORWARD ANDRAY BLATCHE
On winning four straight home games:
“We take care of home and now we just need to find a way to get wins out on the road.”
On John Wall:
“He’s a great young point guard and he’s starting to slow down and take his time.”
On the team’s defense tonight:
“Flip and the coaching staff put us in a position to be in certain spots and they scouted the other guys pretty well so we were well prepared for this game.”
WIZARDS GUARD JOHN WALL
On closing out the game against the Jazz:
“We did a great job of getting out in front. We know that they don’t really give big leads up. Get a lead in the first half and they know they are strong third and fourth quarter team. They made a tough run. I think we did a great job of keeping our composure and making shots and getting defensive stops when they got it down two with a minute and something to go.”
On the difference between playing away and home:
“The crowd (is the difference). At home you know you feel more excited, you have the crowd behind you.”
On having 15 assists in the game:
“It was great to get the assists. I also want to get my turnovers down but we keep going by getting a big win for us against a marquee team.”
“I like to get assists. I like to find my teammates. When I have an open shot I feel more confident shooting. Coach has been telling me to come out looking aggressive and shooting, but at the second time I’m always looking for my teammates and they know if they are on the floor most of the time I’m going to find them.”
WIZARDS GUARD NICK YOUNG
On how he feels about getting the win against the Jazz:
“It means a lot. We have been working hard, playing hard. We are starting to get it a little bit. We are starting to feel the chemistry. Hopefully it will continue to grow.”
On his last corner three that sealed the win for the Wizards:
“John Wall drove. It’s kind of the play that we always run so I know where he is going to find me. I sat there he looked me in the eyes and passed it. I had no choice but to knock it down.”
JAZZ HEAD COACH JERRY SLOAN
On the Wizards:
“I thought [the Wizards] did a good job. Coming down in the second half it seemed they shot the ball really well. They shot the ball well all night long. When we zoned them a couple times, they scored about four possessions in a row. We couldn’t stop that. We had a difficult time dealing with the pick and roll. They had guys getting on top of the basket, creating easy baskets or pitching to somebody wide open. They did a good job and for some reason we couldn’t handle what they were doing.”
On the slow start by the Jazz:
“It’s been very hard for us, the way we’ve come out. We seem like we come out and everybody tries to get themselves going taking jump shots rather than use the offense. That’s kind of the kiss of death. You can’t always rely on post-ups all the time. We had to have something where we get some guys moving to the basket. It seemed like tonight when we had anything involved with pick and roll we always stepped out instead of rolling to the basket and putting more pressure on them. I think you have to give them credit. They are big and long and we had a difficult time getting inside. I think our guys were looking for their big people because they can block shots.”
On the run at the end falling short:
“We couldn’t get a shot and missed a couple shots out on the floor. Give them credit for that. They did what they had to, to be able to win. We had open looks at the basket. It wasn’t wide open shots, but they didn’t go in the basket.”
On Rashard Lewis and Nick Young against the zone:
“[Rashard Lewis] is a tough matchup because they move him to four and three. He made six or eight points in that one stretch when we were zoning and that’s always a concern you have. Nick Young made a basket out of it. Those things you’re rolling the dice I guess you might say. When you play that way, you aren’t going to get much done.”
On John Wall:
“He’s a terrific young player -- very, very lively guy and very active with the basketball. The way he works at his game it looks like he has nothing to do but get better.”
JAZZ GUARD RAJA BELL
On the Wizards:
“If you’re not putting them into positions where they have to recover, play help side defense and keep the ball moving, they are as good as anyone or maybe better. When we got away from our offense and stopped executing we got into trouble.”
On playing on the road:
“Sometimes you come out on the road and miss some shots early but you have to stick with it and execute and trust it’s going to get you back in the game. I think that’s been a characteristic of ours, if we get down we don’t play the right way after that. We have to learn to win as a unit instead of individually. “
On John Wall:
“He is a good player and he played well.”
JAZZ GUARD DERON WILLIAMS
On the tough start:
“It’s the same problems we’ve been having all year. We got off to a bad start, but we were able to get back in the third quarter. Especially when we fight our way back, almost even coming into the half and then we do the same thing, we get off to a slow start in the third quarter and never regain.”
On too much one-on-one play
“It’s because we don’t execute. If we don’t execute it’s going to be one-on-one play. We’ve said that all year. We don’t run hard, we don’t run through, we don’t execute, we don’t screen, we don’t know the plays.”
On John Wall:
“I’ve been impressed with the kid since he was there in Kentucky. He’s playing great this year. He’s definitely one of the best point guards of the game already. He played well tonight, picked us apart with his passing, scored what he needed to and hit free throws down the stretch. He’s one of the fastest, quickest guys. He’s a smart point guard, he knows how to get others involved, and he’s going to be in his league for a long time and be one of the tough point guards for a long time.”