Wizards Report December 27Posted on January 14, 2013 by DJ-WizardsRadio
By Dave Johnson
In a perfect word a Washington Wizards matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers would have brought together two of the NBA’s brightest young point guards. In a far from perfect season John Wall could only watch as Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers to a 87-84 win.
Irving finished with 26 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds to help the Cavaliers recover from a 12-point first half deficit and win consecutive games for the first time this season. After scoring 20 points in the first half, Irving was kept in check in the second half until he scored 4 points and dished out two critical assist in the game’s final five minutes.
By contrast with John Wall still sidelined with a stress injury to his knee, the Wizards used Shelvin Mack and Garrett Temple at the point guard. Both players were just called up from the D-League and had solid games. Temple was even ont the floor at the end of the game and had a chance to force overtime, but his three-point attempt from the corner rimmed out.
Here is today’s Wizards Report:
For the Wizards the loss came down to turnovers, both the number and timing of the miscues. The Cavaliers shot only 37 percent from the field, but the Wizards had 20 turnovers that led to 19 Cavaliers points.
Four of the turnovers were committed by the Wizards in the final 5:14 of the game including mistakes on consecutive possessions that allowed the Cavaliers to tie the game at 79.
“Making winning plays down the stretch. We turned the ball over at crucial times, and then we won’t commit, all of us, won’t commit to playing defense. We just made too many critical mistakes because we are just not alert down the stretch.”
At the point:
With Shelvin Mack starting at point guard, the Wizards used their 11th starting lineup of the season. Mack played in 64 games last season, but without a start. Mack had seven assists, just one shy of his career high, and also had a career high 6 rebounds. Mack had three turnovers, but two were on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter.
Garrett Temple relieved Mack and contributed 2 points, 2 assists, and 3 rebounds. On defense Temple was strong and his only two points came on an impressive driving dunk when he was able to escape Kyrie Irving.
“They are going to be my point guards. We had pace, we had movement, ball didn’t stick, ball didn’t dribble. I liked that. They were thrust into a situation where I think they will become more and more comfortable. They are going to get more and more familiar with what we are doing and they’ll be fine. Shelvin (Mack) distributed seven assists. Overall, I don’t have a complaint with either one coming in on one day’s practice.”
Emeka Okafor followed up his 14-point and 14-rebound performance on Saturday, with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots against the Cavaliers. It was his second double-double of the season.
Nene started his second consecutive game and scored 16 points with 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocked shots in almost 26 minutes. Nene has now scored in double digits ten times this season.
Martell Webster told Glenn Consor on Saturday’s radio post game show that he planned to be even more assertive and he finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Bradley Beal had 4 assists, but failed to provide the scoring touch. Beal was 0 for 5 from the field in a little over 21 minutes.
Kevin Seraphin only had four points and did not have a rebound in 12 minutes.
After dealing with double-digit first quarter deficit in their last two losses to the Pistons, the Wizards were able to give themselves a chance at the beginning. In the opening twelve minutes the Wizards out together two 7-0 runs and scored 20 of their 26 points in the paint. The Wizards had a 26-22 lead at the end of one and would have led by more had it not been for five turnovers.
Second Quarter stumble:
The turnovers became a glaring issue for the Wizards in the second quarter when they had seven turnovers and only seven field goals made. That bad ratio allowed the Cavaliers to enjoy a 45-43 halftime lead despite only shooting 34 percent from the field.
Against the Cleveland Cavaliers the Washington did enough to win, but still found a way to lose. They will try to change that pattern tonight at home against the Orlando Magic and also stop an eight-game losing streak marked by several close calls. Five of the eight losses in the streak have been by fewer than seven points with one game going to overtime. In the 87-84 defeat to the Cavaliers, the Wizards had one of their best shooting nights of the season, 46 percent from the field, and had a 51-38 advantage in rebounds. The Wizards’ 20 turnovers led to their demise.