Editor's Note: I missed the game and will rewatch over the weekend. Here's your recap from CJHemp. -Mike
The Wizards started tonight's game well. In particular, they seemed to be focused on getting Trevor Booker involved offensively early in the game and he was able to score on there first few possesions. Ultimately, the Wizards finished the quarter leading by six (29 - 23).
However, the team fell into a significant funk in the second quarter in which they seemed unable to hit a shot and were outscored 26-7. What became clear with this team, at least on this night, is they do not have a bench. Outside of the starters, only two other players scored - Randle with 2 pts and Edwards with 4.
After falling behind, what enabled the Wizards to get back into the game was their defense. Beginning in the second half, they stepped their defensive intensity up creating turnovers which lead to easy baskets. For a second straight game a Wizards guard, caught a guard for the other team sleeping on a routine play. After a Wizards score the Hornets inbounded the ball and the PG was bringing it up court. However, he did not notice Wall jogging up the side of the court near the bench until he darted in picking him clean leading to a left-handed dunk. The Wizards defensive intensity lead to a number of highlight reel worthy plays and ultimately helped position them to win this game. (I am glad that Lester Hudson was able to be the hero after he was nearly the goat. Good for him.)
Ok, I have to vent, JaVale is a maddening player. On one hand, he can deliver some incredible highlights for example...
Like his dunk & 1:
The ill advised, but successful, drive from the 3PT line while going behind his back:
Or the posterizer:
On the other hand, he does not give consistent effort particularly when it comes to defensive rebounding. Much too often he watches plays on the defense end of the floor rather than getting himself in the best possible position to defend or grab rebounds. There is nothing stopping him from averaging a double-double in the Summer League, well except for himself. And while he is still getting knocked off spots more frequently than many of us would like, if he consistently fought for a position (rather than passively watch a play from outside the paint) he would get more defensive rebounds just by being in position. In addition to Mama McGee's notes the Wizards (as many have said) need to hire a big man coach for him and Andray. Why can't someone in the Wizards organization (or JaVale himself) give John Thompson a call?
Lastly, there were a lot of memorable plays, but aside from the "posterizer" dunk by JaVale, my favorite had to be "score in 5 seconds." This was a great example of John Wall's speed. Pondexter pulled up for a three late in the shot clock which he missed. The ball appeared to bounce around a bit within a crowd ultimately being secured by John Wall. When Wall got control of the ball he was standing about a foot from the baseline and there was 4:48 on the clock in the 3rd quarter. He was off to the races. Wall drove the length of the court and scored on a layup. The ball dropped through the net at 4:43. Nearly baseline to baseline in an organized game in 5 seconds. Thats pretty fast even for Summer League. Forget fast break that was a "Wall-break."