Wizards Report January 2Posted on January 14, 2013 by DJ-WizardsRadio
By Dave Johnson
The commitment of the Washington Wizards was evident when incredibly 17 of their first 23 points against the Dallas Mavericks were second-chance points. It was not a sign of things to come as the Mavericks ended their six-game losing streak with a 103-94 win over the Wizards.
For the Wizards it was the start of a busy stretch of five games in seven days that will continue tonight against the Pacers in Indiana. Coverage of the Wizards and Pacers begins at 6:45 PM on the Washington Wizards Radio Network.
Here is today’s Wizards Report:
At the end of the first quarter the Wizards led 29-23 and extended their lead to 14 points in the second quarter. Troubling signs then started to emerge just before halftime when the Mavericks closed on a 7-0 run to pull within four points at 52-48.
The Mavericks then seized control in the third quarter when they outscored the Wizards 35-19. In that quarter the Wizards shot 8 of 18 from the field, but had 6 turnovers that led to 9 Mavericks’ points
Randy Wittman on the 3rd quarter:
“They (Mavericks) came out and kind of blitzed in the third quarter. As a team they turned up their intensity and shot very well from the field. They got a lot of shots to go for them that weren’t falling in the earlier possessions of the game. It’s tough to defend a team that’s shooting 67 percent from the field. On our end we had trouble knocking down shots, getting out in transition. Our offense was stagnant in the third quarter.”
While the Mavericks struggled early, they were steadied in the second half by the play of Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter. In the pivotal third quarter Nowitzki scored 6 of his 11 points from his patented fade away jumpers. In the fourth quarter Carter scored 10 of his game-high 23 points including a windmill slam dunk to essentially close the game at 101-92 with 1:11 remaining in the fourth quarter.
“I think we gave it a game. We gave it a great first start. They had experience, they have good players. We wake up the beast (Dirk Nowitzki), and the beast starts making shots. Vince Carter looked like the young Vince Carter. I think they (Dallas) did a great job including the post, they had great defense, they forced us to pass the ball to the side and we lost.”
Bradley Beal led the Wizards in scoring with 22 points on 7 of 16 shooting, but he could have more. While Beal was 4 of 7 shooting beyond the arc, he missed open opportunities closer to the basket. Beal is showing potential, but need to make some more of those open looks at the basket.
Emeka Okafor continues to play at a high level. Okafor had 14 points and 11 rebounds for his third double-double in the last four games.
The Indiana Pacers’ slogan is blue collar and gold swagger and with an 18-13 record it has translated to the court. On Wednesday the Pacers will be after their sixth straight home win with a team that has had success through strong rebounding and a blanketing defense.
On defense the Pacers are very good at making the floor smaller and protecting the paint. They are second in the NBA in points allowed and only yield on average 90.3 points per-game. With former Georgetown star Roy Hibbert patrolling the middle the Pacers are one of the NBA’s best rebounding teams.
The story so far:
This will be the third meeting between the Wizards and Pacers in what has been a very competitive series. The Pacers won the first two meetings, but only by a combined eleven points.
November 20 at Verizon Center:
Through nine games the Wizards are consistently inconsistent. The result is a 0-9 start for the first time in franchise history after Monday night’s 96-89 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
The start to the game for the Wizards was as maddening as the finish was encouraging. After scoring only 13 points in the first quarter, the Wizards rallied from a 20-point third quarter deficit to pull to within one point at 86-85 with 3:30 remaining in the game.
In the end the Pacers prevailed because they played through their go-to guys. David West finished with 30 points and Roy Hibbert added 20 points. West and Hibbert helped the Pacers to a 42-28 advantage in points-in-the-paint. The high percentage baskets masked the Pacers 21 turnovers.
November 11 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse:
For the Washington Wizards it' is no longer about slow starts, but complete games after Saturday's 89-85 loss to the Indiana Pacers. More to the point the Wizards are struggling to finish what they start.
1st quarter--The Wizards built a six-point lead in the first quarter only to have the Pacers close the quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 23-22 lead.
2nd quarter--With a 1:04 left in the first half the Wizards enjoyed a 49-42 advantage, but then Pacers closed the second quarter on another 7-0 run to tie the game at the break.
4rth quarter--To the Wizards credit they played through an 87-80 deficit with only 1:44 left to make it a two-point game with 36 seconds left. The Wizards had a chance to tie but Trevor Booker's jump hook from the right block was short. The real problem for the Wizards was the rest of the quarter when they committed five turnovers and only shot 31 percent from the field.
In short for the Wizards there were missed opportunities to seize full control of the game
The pattern at the start of games for the Washington Wizards has been hard to break and just as difficult to understand. As the Wizards prepare to host the Brooklyn Nets tonight at Verizon Center, they have resume that includes bad first quarters in almost half their games.