All in all, this was the exact type of homecoming the Wizards needed following their 5-game road trip which ended with a buzzkilling performance in Utah. The Wizards, now winners of six of their last nine games, executed with relative ease tonight, as six (almost seven) players finished in double figures. It was one of those nights where literally every player who touched the hardwood contributed in some fashion. Of those players, I’m going to mark Martell Webster (again) as the stud of the night. Webster only tallied 13 points but it’s the consistency he displays on a nightly basis that plays a tremendous factor in the Wizards’ overall success. And boy is that spot up 3-ball of his convenient. Webster knocked three of those down tonight along with a few boards and assists. With his relentless effort on the court, combined with an awesome personality in the locker room, Webster has truly shaped into the gem of this last summer’s free agency class.
John Wall: Wall was appointed to the starting lineup for the first time this season but remained on his minutes limit. He finished with 14 points on 6-10 shooting along with 5 dimes in a brief 21 minutes. He was aggressive not only on offense, but he also defended Ricky Rubio very well, who ended up missing all but one of his shot attempts. Wall is clearly relishing all the options he finally has to work with, something that has been absent for virtually his entire young career thus far.
Ricky Rubio: Rubz struggled mightily tonight but which Timberpup didn’t? He finished with all but one of his shots actually sinking, scoring only four points. He did manage to dish six assists, but his five turnovers very well cancel that out too. Let's see, what else...yeah, that's just about it.
The Wizards shot lights out from the field (nearly 60 percent) and much like they have in recent games, they did it in a very unselfish manner. 29 of their 48 made baskets were assisted with six players finishing in double figures. Crawford finished with 19 to quietly lead all scorers. The Wizards, who got home at 5am this morning according to Coach Wittman, were feared to be jet lagged, tired and fatigued going into tonight’s game. Fortunately, they were all BUT any of those things. The Wizards pounced on the Wolves right out the gates, building an 11-point lead late in the first quarter and never trailed.
Despite all the rare pleasantries we’re getting out of this reformed club, the Wizards still have a few weaknesses that need to be addressed: free throw shooting and the number of offensive rebounds allowed. The Wizards shot from the stripe 17 times tonight and only made 10 of them. They also allowed 22 second chance possessions. As bad of a team as Minnesota is, they certainly have players that can move around on the floor after loose balls and long rebounds. The Wizards were clearly victims of that.
Well, you’re not going to get a lot of ugly in a double digit win. I hate to bring up Chris Singleton’s doghouse minutes, but it must suck going from a player who earlier in the season at times was considered the fourth quarter savior. Now he’s become the fourth quarter spot filler.