I wasn’t quite sure where to start with this one. My mind was pretty much left in shambles after observing that record-setting bombardment of 3-point shots by Deron Williams. I mean, I had barely gotten settled on my couch and was still blowing on my hot grilled cheese sandwich by the time he had sunk his fifth 3-pointer and very soon I understood that he wasn’t even halfway done.
On the eve of Biggie’s death anniversary in Brooklyn, D-Will commemorated with a historic performance that left the Wizards in mercy formation before they even had a chance to put up a fight. After opening the game down 13-0, the Wizards had less the amount of points than Deron Williams 3-point attempts by the midway point of the 1st quarter and trailed 24-2.
D-Will was just being disrespectful from behind the arc, effortlessly draining 3-point shots in transition or after planting his defender John Wall behind screens. It was unreal how the game unfolded and despite the Wizards being able to trim the deficit to 13 early in the 4th, they simply had no chance to recover. The Wizards, again without Bradley Beal in the lineup, had very little to offer in terms of matchups. Down 38-16 going into the second, we all knew a lineup of Price, Cartier Martin, Seraphin, Singleton and Temple was NOT going to cut through the lead.
The second half had its moments. The Wizards came out strong defensively, forcing several turnovers throughout the 3rd quarter which allowed them to trim the gap to as little as 14. A few AJ Price 3-pointers in the 4th allowed the Wizards to be close enough to play a round of “Hack-A-Reggie (Evans)” but it was simply useless.
Sadly, the Nets had this one in the bag at 6 minute mark of the 1st quarter.
Wow. This is about as tough as it will ever get to populate this segment of the recap. I’m literally stumped. All Wizards starters drew double digits in the plus/minus statline. The team as a whole converted only a third of their one hundred shot attempts and shot 17% from long range. John Wall lead all scorers with 16 on 6-of-19 shooting, but his defense was entirely too suspect last night. Martell Webster was a minus-27. Coach Wittman seemed to go ahead and apply the preseason rotation as every player on the roster (besides Jason Collins) saw the floor, and all of them (besides Jan Vesely) tallied double digits in minutes. This naturally eliminates any prospect for tonight’s MVP. Please check again later tonight after the Bobcats game.
Emeka Okafor: Surprisingly, Mek was a non-factor just like the rest of his teammates. Okafor, who has been the one bright constant for the Wizards the past few weeks, failed to achieve his usual double-double. But the again it’s very hard to begin establishing a slow-paced inside game on offense after falling so hard initially. The Wizards went to Okafor a few times amidst the D-Will invasion with very minimal results as he knocked down a bucket here and there, eventually finishing with just six points and nine rebounds. Mek also got abused on the glass as Reggie Evans pulled down a whopping 24 rebounds.
Brook Lopez: Lopez and the rest of the Nets were modest at best offensively, thanks in most part to D-Will’s surge. He finished the second in points with 11 on 4-of-11 shooting along with seven rebounds.
The Wizards attempt at looking respectable. After outscoring the Nets by 10 and holding them to just 15 points in the 3rd quarter, the Wizards were able to close the gap to where they could attempt a legitimate final attack. While D-Will was on the bench later in the 3rd quarter, the Wizards forced a few turnovers and drew some offensive fouls which converted into fast break points and free throws. The Wizards went into the 4th quarter trailing 16 and eventually cut it to 13 after an AJ Price 3-pointer.
John Wall’s defense. Listen, much credit due to Deron Williams whose stroke was marvelous, but it’s safe to say a good four or five of those 3-point shots were results of John Wall simply getting lost on defense. On several of D-Will’s attempts, we found John aimlessly trailing the ball on to another defender and having to run back to contest the shot when it was passed back to Deron, or he'd get devoured behind a screen, or he simply wouldn't play D-Will close enough. Wall also shot poorly from the field which was pretty shabby in the sight of Deron’s performance.
Besides the 3-point massacre, the other ugly factor of the game was Andray Blatche still thinking he’s a point guard. Catching the ball in the high post, then turning his body around for an errant crossover and miserable attempt at dishing the ball in the lane was enough to have his headband tossed into the crowd. Yeah, we don’t miss you brah.