Wizards Claw Their Way To A Win
Wizards win and that's all that matters. I wish I could say that 50 times an NBA season! People can hate the fact that the team that they beat is 13-27 (still a better record than the Wizards) but a win is a win. Now grant it, it wasn't the most sexiest win but I'll take it. Wizards were lead by the 'Gehri Curl superstar' Nick Young. Nick had a game high 29 along with 6 rebounds and 4 assist.
Nick had only 6 points in the first half but had 23 in the 2nd. He has become the Wizards go to scorer. Funny how he was just a bench player who was GOING to be in the running for 6th man of the year to starting shooting guard who is the Wizards 2nd leading scorer, behind Andray Blatche.
Speaking of Blatche, Mr. Double Double had 17 points and 13 rebounds. Had a so-so shooting night at he went 6 for 18:
Al Thornton having himself a good game as he finished with 9 points, 4 assist, and 7 rebounds. I asked Al about his performance and how refreshing it is, (among other things):
The Face of the Franchise, Jimmy Wall was taken out of the final possessions as Flip stated that he had his best defender in the game, Kirk Hinrich. It confused me to see that because John is a great free throw shooter but it wasn't about his free throw shooting, but his defense was in question tonight as Jose Calderon was one rebound short of a triple double.
This was not John's best defensive game but I'd still pick John in the final possessions over Kirk knowing that John will only learn in these situations. Mike Prada of SBNation.com/BulletsForever.com had a great point on twitter this week as he stated that if the Wizards are in rebuild mode, then why don't they play the young bucks like Kevin Seraphin or Trevor Booker? A question that won't be answered anytime I assume.
(check out this John Wall post game video and watch how Andray 'barrows' his cologne)
Random Things I saw/heard/noticed
* Kirk Hinrich told George Panagakos of the examiner (Follow him on twitter, @DCWIZ), that he will have to wear the horace grant goggles for the rest of his career. Talk about a blower.
* Yi Jianlan stole the ball and went coast to coast for the slam (never seen him do that before). All the players in the locker room had the same reaction as the next person (check the videos).
* I asked John Wall on his thoughts of who would win the Superbowl and he said he didn't know but he liked the Green Bay Packers (as do I).
Post Game Quotes Courtesy of The Washington Wizards PR Department
WIZARDS HEAD COACH FLIP SAUNDERS
On John Wall:
"He played lights out. For him he made a big shot late when it was a four point game. When Nick got hot, he got us into plays and got Nick the ball for shots, which is good. I thought it was a steady overall performance.”
On the defensive effort:
"Defensively, I thought overall we played well as far as the spurts. I thought our bench, in particular, Yi and Al (Thornton) were exceptional tonight. They gave us not only a lift offensively but defensively did a good job with a lot of energy and were in good positions. Yi fought Andrea really well. He didn't really get going until the end where he hit some threes and some perimeter shots as far as the second half.”
WIZARDS FORWARD AL THORNTON
On being involved with the team and being a part of the win:
“We tried to come in and make plays. Yi did great coming in and being energetic, getting rebounds and making plays. It feels good when you can come out there and be a part of the team, to help the team to the win. It feels good.”
On playing Utah on Monday afternoon:
“They have a great team. They share the ball and they have D-Will (Deron Williams). We want to make sure we stick to our principle on defense.”
WIZARDS FORWARD ANDRAY BLATCHE
On his injured shoulder:
“My shoulder felt strong enough for me to perform, so I made the decision to come out and play and I did great. I think I played well defensively by hitting the glass and helping my team get the win.”
On the team’s effort at home:
“This was a typical home game for us and I hope we can take whatever we did and bring it on the road. When we are at home we take our time and execute. I’m happy with everyone’s effort tonight. Everyone gave their all to help us win.”
WIZARDS GUARD NICK YOUNG
On the game:
“They were putting a lot of pressure on me but my teammates were able to get me the ball. I was trying to keep my energy up and help my teammates out. The third quarter was good for me especially after I hit my first shot. I got in the groove and my body felt good. My teammates got the ball to my hot hand. I just have to think and shoot and work off my teammates plays. I knew my shot wasn’t falling so once I saw the ball go in the hole once it was all good from there.
WIZARDS GUARD JOHN WALL
On the game:
“I feel we did a great job going down the stretch. We know at every game, the third quarter is when we come out strong. We always come out with great energy. We just need to keep our lead going once we get there, as well as doing this on the road.”
On Nick Young’s performance:
“I always look for him at every game. He had a slow start but I knew once he got his shot up he was going to be on a roll. He does a great job of boosting our energy when he gets going. Coming back off an injury I don’t want to push it too much so that’s why I want to find my teammates and help them out.”
RAPTORS HEAD COACH JAY TRIANO
On Nick Young:
“Honestly, I don’t know how much I can fault our guys. I don’t think that he had many open looks. There were guys right there and he made tough shots. I thought in the first half we did an excellent job of keeping him going to his right and he just got it going a bit and once he gets it going he’s just lights out.”
On the game:
“I can’t ask for much more from our guys. On a back to back and we have so many guys who are hurt and our margin of error isn’t very good but I don’t know if Amir can play much better than he’s playing right now with the injury he’s had. Jose had one of his best games as a Raptor, he was one (rebound) away from a triple – double, career high rebounds, and Ed Davis was really solid.”
RAPTORS GUARD JOSE CALDERON
On how he felt Wizards guard Nick Young played in the third quarter:
“What I have to say, it was not like he was wide-open. Like everybody was contesting shots, but he hot, he was feeling it. He wasn’t by himself, so we just got to keep working. He’s playing good lately. He just got that nice run in the third quarter.”
On why he feels the team keeps losing close games:
“It’s a little bit of everything. But like I said before, we are missing (Leandro) Barbosa, one of our best scorers. We are missing Reggie (Evans) from the beginning. We are missing Peja (Stojakovic). We are missing Sonny Weems.”
RAPTORS FORWARD ED DAVIS
On dealing with the injuries to team:
“As a team, we just wanted to play hard. We knew we were down a lot of men so we wanted to keep fighting every chance we got. Everybody needs to take the opportunity to try to get better.”
On guarding Blatche and other perimeter players:
“It’s really about not letting them get to their sweet spots. Try to force them off the block or get around [them] so they can’t get the ball. It’s all the little things.”
On Nick Young:
“He’s a real streaky guy. When he gets hot, he gets going. He played a hell of a game.”
RAPTORS GUARD SUNDIATA GAINES
On playing in a game without first practicing with the team:
“It’s not something easy. I just wanted to come out and play hard. As the game started going, by the second time I went it, I started to get a feel for the players and the team. The more time I get with a team the better and more comfortable I feel.”
Pictures Courtesy of John Powell