Wizards Report November 29Posted on January 14, 2013 by DJ-WizardsRadio
The season has not been easy for the Washington Wizards and neither was their first win. Despite building a season-high 15-ppint lead in the fourth quarter, the Wizards had to rely on their defense to pull out an 84-82 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Here is the Wizards Report: LISTEN: WIZARDS_REPORT-_NOV29 The Wizards enjoyed victory for the first time since a win over the Miami Heat on April 26, 2012. It was the finale of the Wizards season-ending six-game winning streak. The Wizards finish to last season was marked by improved defense and defense has been the one constant in a now 1-12 start. Entering Wednesday’s game, the Wizards were ranked 14th in the NBA in points allowed. The Wizards, who held opponents on average to 84 points per-game over the final six games of last season, only allowed the Blazers 82 points on 34 percent shooting from the field. The Wizards won despite only making one of their last eleven field goals. In the thirty nine seconds of play the Wizards forced Blazers’ rookie Damian Lillard into a traveling violation and then Chris Singleton was effective in preventing LaMarcus Aldridge from getting a shot off. Critical defensive stop with analysis from Glenn Consor: LISTEN: defense Fittingly it was a defensive play that led to the game’s decisive moment. Emekea Okafor blocked a shot with 56 second left and then was fouled going to the basket at the other end. Okafor made both free throws to give the Wizards the 84-82 advantage with 39 seconds left in the game. Randy Wittman Tonight, again our defense saved the day for us. As we have been preaching all along, we got to keep that at the standard that it is. To hold them to 34 percent shooting and 82 points, that won us the game. Our bench outscored them 46-4 I think. Our bench was huge. We really got contributions from everybody.” Opposing view: “I’m not taking anything away from them. They didn’t have a win. They played hard, they play extremely hard. Until the last San Antonio game, their margin of defeat was seven points. They were in every single game. We can relate to that.” Blazers guard Wesley Mathews Slow start: Trevor Ariza stole the ball off the opening tip and then converted a layup. It proved to be a false dawn. For the fifth time this season, the Wizards were forced to deal with a double-digit deficit in the first quarter when they fell behind 15-4. The Blazers opened the game by hitting seven of their first ten shot attempts. After the uninspired start the Wizards only allowed the Blazers to make eight of their final 32 shot attempts in the first half. A nice change: For only the second time this season, the Wizards had a lead after the third quarter of play, The Wizards then built a 77-62 advantage with 9:44 left in the fourth quarter. It was their largest lead of the season. The previous biggest lead for the Wizards was a 13-point edge in a game against Utah. Defense: Emeka Okafor and Chris Singleton’s stat lines do not jump off the page, but their defensive efforts were difference makers. Singleton played some of the best defense of the night on Aldridge and Okafor was impressive defending the rim. Encouraging signs: Nene returned after missing the loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Nene had 6 points and 6 rebounds in 19 minutes, but his presence along seemed to help the Wizards at both ends of the floor. Point guard A.J. Price told Glenn Consor on the radio post game show that Nene is “the team’s rock. Trevor Ariza is enjoying his best stretch of the season at both ends of the floor and finished with 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting from the field. Martell Webster is also becoming one of the team’s most consistent players off the bench.
The streets of New York City are decorated for the holidays, but the Wizards are not here as tourists. Relieved but focused after their first win of the season on Wednesday, the Wizards now have to deal with the challenge of playing the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. We are with you on the radio