(Editor's note: Oh yeah, shooters. We need shooters. Not to throw out any "wicked pixels," but this is some terrible roster construction. But now I'm stating the obvious.)
Two Reasons Why the Wizards Almost Won.
1. Identity established - For the second night in a row, the new starting lineup proved its worth. Singleton and Booker with both active on both the boards and on the defensive end. The duo harassed both Luol Deng and and Carlos Boozer into terrible shooting nights and outworked and outhustled the Bulls on both ends. Holding the Bulls near 33% from the floor for most of the game is something you can hang your hat on and I think we can safely state that the Wizards have now found their identity for the year. As long as you have players like Booker and Singleton out there, you can keep the game within spitting distance and catch superior teams off their games on bad nights.
2. JaVale McGee - McGee absolutely dominated his matchup tonight with Joakim Noah and basically controlled the center of the paint. The low post game continues to develop for McGee, and you can see the work paying off in both the hook shot as well as the offensive position. Having Booker and Singleton out there really frees McGee out there to play to his talents knowing that someone is going to clean up after him if he makes a mistake.
and Three reasons they didn't
1. The SG conundrum - Both Nick Young and Jordan Crawford had bad games tonight for mostly the same reasons. Young looked listless for most of the evening and was caught out on several plays for not hustling back defensively. He also forced chances on the offensive end and broke the offense on several occasions. I am not sure if the playbook has changed or whether Young has started freelancing, but after 10 games I haven't seen Nick Young demonstrate the growth of a player deserving an extension.
The problem is that your only other option is Jordan Crawford, who took one of the stupidest technicals I have seen this year. After coming out of the game and only looking for open shots, Crawford devolved into forcing jumpers and more iso ball. This leaves Flip Saunders with very little carrot and even less stick to use if neither player can execute his gameplan correctly.
2. Hole in the Center - This was not the game to trot out Kevin Seraphin. Against a fundamentally sound Omer Asik and a dominant Bulls frontline, Seraphin was bullied and looked lost out there. Jan Vesely experienced much the same fate, as Taj Gibson and others basically threw him aside, but playing Seraphin against a team like the Bulls is only going to destroy his confidence. Tonight, the Wizards really could have used both Ronnie Turiaf and Andray Blatche.
3. John Wall - Its time for Flip Saunders to start scheming to get Wall into some sort of offensive flow or this situation is going to go downhill fast. Wall was again outplayed tonight by an inferior opponent and there doesn't seem to be much more to his game at the moment than to outrace his opponents and hope to draw contact at the rim. Wall needs to taken aside by the coaching staff and have his game tinkered with, much like Mike Conley in Memphis, because the results are getting worse instead of better.
See you Friday