Wizards Report December 15Posted on January 14, 2013 by DJ-WizardsRadio
By Dave Johnson
The Washington Wizards have moved on to Miami for their Saturday encounter with the Heat. There is little time then for the Wizards to dwell on missed opportunities in a 102-96 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers that followed a familiar pattern.
Here is today’s Wizards Report:
Like they have done so many times before this season, the Wizards were forced to chase the game against the Lakers. Slow starts have been a constant for the Wizards and last night before a sell-out crowd at Verizon Center they opened the game 2 of 9 shooting from the field and four turnovers.
Despite a nine-point deficit and a total of nine turnovers in the first quarter, the Wizards rallied on the strength of an 8-0 run punctuated by a Nene slam dunk to tie the game at 25. Even after giving the Lakers 11 points off their turnovers, the Wizards were only down 27-25 after 12 minutes of play.
By the second quarter the Wizards found a way to enjoy a nine-point lead. As Nene had done with seven of his 17 points in the final 4:46 of the first quarter, Cartier Martin changed the game in the second quarter. Martin had been 3 of 16 from the field in games against the Hornets and Rockets, but was sizzling against the Lakers with 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting in the second quarter.
To be sure Martin was engaged against the Lakers:
Randy Wittman on Martin:
“He doesn’t come out of nowhere; he’s been struggling a little bit shooting the ball but he came out tonight and made it. I have confidence in this guy. He will have every opportunity again to come out in Miami and do things. I think Cartier and Martell both offensively and defensively did well. Martell did a good job forcing Kobe to take difficult shots with his length. It’s good for Cartier to see he can come out of a shooting slump.”
Martin led the Wizards with 21 points and was part of a bench effort that totaled 58 points. Martell Webster led the Wizards starts with 17 points and was instrumental in helping the Wizards recover from a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Crawford to Webster like RG3?
The Wizards actually outscored the Lakers 27-19 in the fourth quarter, but paid the price for a bad third quarter. The Wizards made their first five shots of the final quarter, while only going 5 of 24 in the entire third quarter. It was a frustrating drought that ended up being the difference in an even game.
“The start of the third quarter really stood out to me. The 12 turnovers we had in the first quarter also hurt us and gave them some free opportunities. They also went 10-0 on us which caused us to have to play catch-up a little bit. But for the most part I liked the way we forced Kobe to take 29 shots for 30 points. Dwight, I think we did a good job battling him…I think we did a good job staying with them.”
Indeed Kobe Bryant was 9 of 29 from the field to out together his 29 points. Dwight Howard did get what seems like his mandatory double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds, but he was not allowed to take over the game like he has been known to do in the past against the Wizards.
And with the Lakers leading 94-89, Bryant and the Lakers did get the benefit of a call. Webster had battled Bryant defensively, but was whistled for a foul on a Bryant there-point attempt. It changed the momentum of the game.
The Wizards have the confidence of knowing they can beat the Heat, but also the knowledge it may take an almost perfect game to do it. At the start of the month at Verizon Center the Wizards were able to beat the Heat 105-101, but had their best offensive night of the season with 31 assists and only 12 turnovers. Keeping that turnover number at a manageable number here in Miami will be critical for the Wizards.
A big thanks to Wizards radio producer and host Ben Raby for production of the audio elements on this Blog.
In a previous win over the Miami Heat at home, the Washington Wizards were close to perfect in so many ways. In the return meeting Saturday on the road, the Wizards did not come close to matching their previous effort against the Heat in 102-72 loss. Back on December 4rth at Verizon Center, the Wizards shot 48 percent from the field, had 31 assists and only 12 turnovers in a 105-101 win. Last night the Wizards only shot 37 percent from the field, only had 10 assists, and had 21 turnovers that led to 30 Heat points. The Wizards 72 points were also a season-low.