Wizards Report December 23Posted on January 14, 2013 by DJ-WizardsRadio
By Dave Johnson
Numbers can be deceiving. The start to the Wizards home game against the Pistons on Saturday was eerily similar to the beginning of Friday’s game between the two teams in Detroit. The result was also the same with the Wizards falling to the Pistons 96-87.
Here is today’s Wizards Report:
On Friday the Wizards opened the 100-68 loss to the Pistons, their worst defeat of the season, by starting 1of 11 from the field and trailed 12-2. By halftime the Wizards trailed 53-34. On Saturday the Wizards trailed 12-2 early and only made 1 of their first 15 shots. By halftime the Wizards trailed 54-35.
Indeed the numbers were similar, but did not tell the story. While the Wizards struggled to score, they were getting quality shots. In falling behind by double-digits for the 11th time this season in the first quarter , the Wizards missed everything from layups to a slam dunk opportunity.
Amazing Seraphin move, but no finish:
LISTEN: 1F- SERAPHIN MISSED DUNK --- 6-16
“Those fifteen shots (Wizards opened 1 of 15) I would probably take eleven or twelve of them every time. It is just a matter of not going 1 for 15 on good looking shots. I don’t know how else to put it. Last night (Friday) was not that way."
For a start:
In the continuing quest for the right combination, the Wizards used their tenth different starting lineup. Bradley Beal returned to the starting five after missing two games with a sore lower back. Nene made his first start of the season. At halftime Beal and Nene were a combined 6 of 18 shooting from the field. Nene finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Beal had 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
On the boards:
The Pistons only shot 40 percent from the field for the game, but dominated the boards 58-43. The Pistons scored 8 of their first 14 points on second-chance points. On Friday the Pistons had a 24-7 advantage in second chance points.
In the middle:
Emeka Okafor had one of his most consistent performances of the season. A solid anchor on defense, Okafor finished with 14 points on 5 of 9 shooting from the field. Okafor also grabbed 14 rebounds and two blocked shots.
“Tonight was better. We did a much better job. It might seem similar because of the score, but our passing was much better. We just didn’t convert. This was just a different game than last night. The outcome was the same, obviously. That’s the bottom line and I know that. I’ve got to continue to mix players. I like what I saw from this group. I thought Emeka (Okafor) played one of his better games from start to finish. We’ll keep plugging along.”
“We’ve got some work to do. I don’t have any doubt in my team at all. I really love this team, I really do. I love the guys that we have. I love the coaching staff. I love the atmosphere. We don’t have the wins to show for it. We work hard and we don’t have the wins to show for it, plain and simple. And it’s one of those things where it’s easy to be like, ‘This is it. I’m just gonna give in.’ But we can’t. We don’t know how to, that’s not in our DNA. For us to keep going out here and continue to fight it shows you something. Regardless of that, we still have to come out and set the tone in the first five minutes of the game, which we have not been doing.”
For more of Martell Webster:
Best wishes for a Happy Holiday!
Shelvin Mack may have been off the radar for a little while now since he was let go during training camp but he is back and should start seeing minutes immediately. Mack was lighting up the D-League in Maine to the tune of 17.3 points per game, 4.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists. He obviously knows the system well having played with the Wizards last year and being in camp this year and could potentially step into the starting lineup immediately. Mack has clearly worked on his shot since we last saw him as he's shooting almost 40% from three point range in the D-League as opposed to 28% for the Wizards last year.