Wizards Report December 26Posted on January 14, 2013 by DJ-WizardsRadio
By Dave Johnson
There are still a few days left in 2012, but the Washington Wizards are ready for a new year. Through 25 games that have produced 22 losses, the Wizards have been plagued by bad starts and incomplete finishes. The Wizards are ready for a new beginning.
The Wizards close 2012 with a stretch of three games in four days beginning tonight against Cleveland at Verizon Center. To date the Cavaliers only have six wins, but after beating Milwaukee before Christmas are in search of consecutive victories for the first time this season.
Here is today’s Wizards Report:
John Wall update:
The last time:
Pistons 96 Wizards 87
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.
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.
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.
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.
To the point:
The Wizards have added point guards Shelvin Mack and Garrett Temple. Both Mack and Temple were playing in the D-League and replace Shaun Livingston and Earl Barron on the roster. Livingston and Barron were released over the weekend.
Mack is well known to the Wizards. He was one of the final cuts in pre-season and played 64 games for the Wizards after being selected in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. In the final five games of last season Mack averaged 4.8 points and 4.6 assists. With the D-League’s Maine Red Claws this season Mack averaged 19.7 points, 5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game. Over the weekend, Mack led the Red Claws to a 109-99 win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants with 27 points, 12 assists and 4 rebounds.
Garrett Temple is 6’5’ point guard who was not drafted in 2009 after a college career at LSU. In two years Temple has played with five different NBA teams and was with the Miami Heat in training camp, but was cut before the beginning of the season. With the Reno Bighorns, he averaged 14.7 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists per contest.
Randy Wittman on Temple:
“Number one he gives us size and he can defend. I thought we were starting to get broken down defensively at the point. I wanted to make sure defensively we had the potential to become more solid at the point.”
NBA leading rebounder Anderson Varejao will miss a fourth straight game tonight. He stayed in Cleveland to receive additional treatment on his bruised right knee, and the Cavs had hoped the extra rest would help him return this week. Varejao is averaging 14.4 rebounds a game. In the first meeting between the teams Varejao was the difference with 23 rebounds and 9 assists.
In Varejao’s absence second-year player Tristan Thompson had 14 points and 14 rebounds in the Cavaliers win over the Bucks. Rookie Tyler Zeller has started the past three games and despite missing his first ten shots finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Reigning rookie-of the year Kyrie Irving is averaging 22.8 points and 5.4 assists.
After Thursday's practice, Randy Wittman addressed the media and gave an update on John Wall and talked at length about how they are working with Kevin Seraphin on getting back on track.