Wizards lose another one, at home against the New Orleans Hornets 92-81.
John Wall came out early with 2 fouls with 9 minutes and 47 seconds in the first quarter. It delayed the Paul/Wall (Chris Paul, John Wall) match up that everyone wanted to see. But it showed in the end, who the 'Master' is and who is the 'Young Grasshopper.' Chris Paul makes it look really easy out on the court. Paul finished with 13 points, 11 assist, and 7 steals to go along with the win.
Flip stated afterwards the difference, "You see the difference between a veteran point guard and a young one, John is going through some growing pains."
John Wall showing lots of confidence in his shooting as of late, more then before. There was 3 separate instances where he just got the ball and you would assume he would drive to the basket as he would 95% of the time but he just shot the 3. Not sure how much that has to do with him being tired or being 100% from his injuries but he did indeed not hesitate.
Wizards were with out Kirk Hinrich who left the last game because of his left thigh contusion and Josh Howard is out because of a sore knee. The Wizards could have used them both. Their leadership is crucial to this young team. I honestly think if they were playing, this would be a W in the win column for the Wizards.
Andray Blatche loves to shoot jumpers, I don't understand why he doesn't want to take it to the hole more. He has great dribbling skills for a big man, he should honestly take it in more. That's the biggest knock on 7 Day Dray. He has the ability to be a great power forward but it's up to him to become that Superstar or just a regular starting power forward who does what he can and that's it. I am a huge Andray Blatche supporter but he needs to step it up just a tad bit. No more talking, more playing, and I think this city will embrace him more then ever.
Speaking of jump shooters, Nick Young had 24 points who lead all scores. He is working for every basket because teams now have him on top of their chalkboards so to speak. Before, teams would not worry about him but he is the focal point of this offense this year and teams have zoned in on the young smiling star (the dude NEVER stops smiling).
The last couple of games have been rough for Al Thornton, as he did not play the first game against the Pacers, but played the Pacers the 2nd of the back to back but only played around 8 minutes. Against the Hornets, he played around 20 minutes but had a bad shooting night as he shot 1 of 5 and finished with 2 points. I know for a fact that it's messing with his confidence because he was starting at the beginning of the season and started most of the games so far but with the emergence of Rashard Lewis and Josh Howard, it's been hard to get playing time on this team.
Al Thornton is a classic version of a hustler who just needs consistent playing time, as does most of the players but there is only so many minutes that can go around.
Overall, a tale of two half's once again for the Wiz Kids. It didn't help that Emeka Okafor was 7 of 8, 17 points and 15 rebounds to give him a double-double. Also, Trevor Ariza, had himself a solid game as well as he ended up with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 steals. He also turned the game around completely as he threw one down on JaVale McGee. That right there was the turning point of this ball game. "Even before that point, we were still playing catch up," said Coach Flip Saunders.
The next Wizards game will be Wednesday January 5th at Philadelphia as the Wizards are trying to win their first road game, as they are 0-16 so far. The Wiz Kids, who are 8-24 have the 3rd worst record in the NBA behind the Cleveland Cavaliers (damn you LeBron) 8-25 and Sacramento Kings, 6-24.
Andray Blatche's Kobe Bryant Shoes
Nick Young's Kobe Bryant Shoes
He's not a Washington Wizard but he has some nice kicks, David West's Nikes
Wizards/Hornets Game Highlights Courtesy of CSNWashington.com
Post Game Quotes, thanks to the Washington Wizards PR Department
WIZARDS HEAD COACH FLIP SAUNDERS
On the difference between John Wall and Chris Paul:
“You see the difference between a veteran point guard and a young one. John is going through growing pains. Paul is an established guy that has the ability to dominate a game with maybe not scoring a lot of points, with maybe not being as fast as he has to be, but just controlling the whole tempo of the game. When things got a little bit haywire he took control, while on the other end when it got haywire for us we tried to speed up things instead of getting into execution.”
On how he felt his defense handled the pick and roll:
“The difference is when we were running pick-and-rolls, they were into us. We played their pick and rolls soft sometimes. Chris is not the easiest guy to defend because he is so good with the ball, but you cannot give him space. We just gave him too much space.”
On how he felt JaVale McGee played:
“I thought JaVale was solid. It was nice to see him bounce back after he got into some foul trouble in the last game. We just need to get some consistency with our main guys, with those guys all playing well at the same time.”
On the team committing to many turnovers:
“We are in a situation where we are giving up 20 something points off turnovers, another 15 points off free-throws….so 40% of their points are coming off of our offense and at the free-throw line. It’s putting too much pressure on our defense to defend. They made their run because we had three or four turnovers right away (in the third quarter) and they scored off our turnovers.”
On seeing his team’s defensive improvement:
“I think our defense has been solid. That’s a positive that we are making progress defending overall and at times we have rebounded well. We just got to get to the point where our offense doesn’t beat us. Turning the ball over is beating us right now. That’s been a problem at times in the beginning of the year too. We have got to be in a situation where we have got to value the ball more.”
WIZARDS GUARD NICK YOUNG
On the second half:
”We came out and weren’t as aggressive in the first five minutes and they acted on it. They ran us. Instead of hitting them, they hit us coming out.”
On the turnovers:
“Especially with Chris Paul out there, he’s looking for steals. That’s how he gets his teammates going and how he gets his team going. We played right into their hands.”
On not recovering from the Hornets’ 8-0 run to start the third:
“We dug ourselves a hole and felt sorry for ourselves instead of keep going. You miss a shot here and there you have to keep shooting. It’s a long game and you look forward to making the next one. You can’t get down on yourself.”
On the isolation-heavy offense in the second half:
“We used pick-and-roll and tried to get each other going. If someone feels they have a mismatch, why not act on it? The ball just wasn’t going in.”
On the game:
“Tonight, we had them. We were playing well in the first half, up by 10. They just came out and hit us. We are supposed to keep going, feed off the momentum. We’re at home and have the crowd behind us. We’re supposed to get into a basketball game and just play ball.”
On facing physical defense:
“Every game they come out and try to be physical and just try to throw me off. I guess somebody must have said that’s how you get Nick Young off his game by beating him up. I start fighting back, start being aggressive and not let them bully me around.”
WIZARDS GUARD JOHN WALL
On if he learned anything from playing against point guard Chris Paul:
“I learned a whole lot, especially on the offensive end. He’s patient with everything, finding his teammates. He does a great job stealing the ball.”
On how turnovers plagued the Wizards in the third quarter:
“When we had a lead and he was a good stretch going, we turned it over like four times in a row and I think I had two or three of them. That really got their momentum going.”
On if he sees a difference between him and Chris Paul right now:
“He’s a smart player, better player right now. He knows the game. He knows when to pick his parts, when you want to score and when you want to find his teammates. He does a great job and there is so much you can learn from him.”
WIZARDS FORWARD RASHARD LEWIS
On the third quarter:
“We came out ready to play, but we turned the ball over. They jumped into us and it led to fast break points for them. When we are not scoring on the offensive end and we're turning the ball over, we let them right back into the game.”
On the progress of the team:
“There are definitely some positives out there but we need to learn from our mistakes. The past couple of games we’ve been coming out in the third and fourth quarter, and we got to play for 48 minutes. We can’t play for one half or for three quarters to win a ball game. We have to play for 48 minutes and the past two games I thought we turned the ball over too many times.”
On valuing the ball:
“You got to take care of the ball. I think when you give a team easy baskets it’s going to be hard to win. When you turn the ball over it leads to fast break points. You have to take care of the ball and get as many attempts at the basket as possible. You got to take rebound and take care of the ball. That’s the two main keys of the game.”
On the team’s potential:
“You can definitely see the team’s potential. We will continue to get better every time we step out. We are not playing a game until the 5th so getting some practice time will help. I haven’t been able to practice with these guys. I think these next couple of days of practice should be good for us to help get a feel for each other on the court.”
On the team’s defense:
“That’s a positive. We are playing pretty good defense. We are playing team defense. We just have to continue playing team defense. Defense can get your offense going when you’re coming down and having to set up at half court every time it’s hard to score. I think with a point guard like John Wall if we can get as many stops as possible and he can run out and get as many easy baskets and cross matches.”
“When we start to turn the ball over that’s when we start to have problems passing. The past couple of games we turned the ball over a lot and let them get easy baskets. When we play them at half court defense our defense is pretty set and we play pretty good. When we turn it over we seem to give up easy baskets.”
On Chris Paul:
“He’s a veteran point guard. He’s a smart guard. He knows time, score, momentum. He knows when to score, when to pass, when to shoot. He doesn’t turn the ball over very much. You just gotta to learn from your mistakes, correct them and be ready for the next game.”
HORNETS HEAD COACH MONTY WILLIAMS
On our defensive effort:
“I think with our defense in the second half we held them to 38% and didn’t give up many offensive rebounds. When we give up extra possessions it puts pressure on our defense. The Wizards missed some shots but I thought our play had a lot to do with that. The deflections are a sign of activity but we have to make sure we don’t get carried away with them.”
On the play of Trevor Ariza and Chris Paul:
“Trevor (Ariza) and Chris (Paul) were so aggressive tonight. I like to teach solid defense but those guys had twelve steals. When Chris and Trevor are active it’s hard to call those guys off. We are typically a load-up defense where we like to take away the paint, but when your guys are that aggressive it can cover up some of our mistakes.”
On the game plan:
“We wanted to take some things from the win the other night in Boston but come here and still have a desperate approach to the game. We have to play a certain way every night. We can’t just turn the switch on in the middle of the game.”
On John Wall:
“Most young guys when they play against a primetime player like Chris, it is tough on them. I think it just happens to rookies. John (Wall) is going to be really good. He will be an All-Star soon. I see a lot of positives about him and he will become un-guardable in the future.”
HORNETS FORWARD TREVOR ARIZA
On the game:
“I was looking to be aggressive. I saw a few lanes open and I took advantage of the situation. It was a big game for me, getting back on my feet. With the dunks I was just trying to have fun with the game again, and we came out with the win.”
HORNETS GUARD CHRIS PAUL
On the game:
“We were just really active on defense and getting our hands in the passing lanes. We know how good John (Wall) is especially with lobs and getting the ball to Rashard (Lewis) so we took control of that. We are just a really great defensive team, one of the best in the league I’d say, and that’s how we won the game.”
On John Wall:
“He is a really talented player and he’s got a great future ahead of him. For now he just needs to get healthy, and that’s what I told him. You can tell his foot is still a little off, and once he gets back to a hundred percent we can all only expect great things.”
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