There must be something in the water in D.C. Today the following things happened prior to tipoff:
- Coach Flip Saunders likened JaVale McGee's dunk contest participation to the career of Gerald Green;
- Andray Blatche called in to Mike Wise's radio show and states that working out has no effect;
- Blatche further compounds matters by explaining how his current haircut illustrates his confused mental state;
One would think the Wizards were going to get rolled by the New Jersey Nets. Instead, the team came out and ran their sets effectively and completely took apart a Nets team that played like a bunch of guys who had just met each other. Watching the Nets I came to two quick conclusions:
1) For all the angst surrounding the Wizards, the team is in a much better place that the Nets. Barring a trade for Carmelo Anthony, one is looking at a team where the only true building block is Brook Lopez and a lot of money has been sunk into unproductive players like Johan Petro, Travis Outlaw, and Anthony Morrow. Yikes. John Wall really is the balm to salve most wounds.
2) For the evening, the debate between Flip Saunders and Avery Johnson can be put the to rest. For all the criticism that Saunders receives from the Wizards faithful, Avery Johnson is obviously not the coach for a young rebuilding team. I'm not sure what kind of "teaching point" that Johnson was trying to prove by benching Lopez and Harris, but putting Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar on the court with Johan Petro is not a recipe for winning a basketball game. Why bench your best players and let "The Machine" jack shots and go 1-14? It was a performance that would make Nick Young circa two years ago blush.
But this is a Wizards basketball blog, so let's delve into the good stuff after the jump.
On a night of positives, quite a few Wizards stood out:
- Rashard Lewis played a complete game and is demonstrating the complete game that the Wizards have been lacking from their frontcourt. I still don't like the contract, but the early returns have been good.
- JaVale McGee had another nice game and Flip Saunders still had a bit or criticism for him in the postgame interview.
- Andray Blatche should be out of everyone's doghouse, at least for one night.
- Nick Young provided the defense, but generally looked off this evening. The good news is though he looked out of it, he didn't force the issue.
- John Wall was solid as he still tries to find the balance between scoring and distributing.
My apologies for this being so short. My computer is having some issues this morning/afternoon. I will be back later this afternoon with the postgame video and you Charlotte gamethread. Hopefully, the Wizards can get the beast off their back tonight.