Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
Double overtime means only prolonging the inevitable as the Wizards fall to 0-11 after a heartbreaking loss to the Bobcats.
WASHINGTON -- After a slow start, the Washington Wizards battled back and brought the game to double overtime, where they dropped another one, losing 108-106 to the Charlotte Bobcats. The team trotted out a brand-new three guard starting lineup that was obliterated to start the first and second halves of the game. The Nene-lead second unit looked much better, especially when Chris Singleton was on the floor, and managed to get the team out of the hole that the starters dug. Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough to overcome the greatness that is Byron Mullens, and the Wizards wound up dropping their 11th game in a row.
The most important takeaway from this game is that Nene is back and as good as ever. While much of the roster has been very inconsistent, Nene has been incredibly good any time he's taken the floor as a Wizard, and it's good to know that at least someone can be counted on to produce every night.
The rest of the team? Not so much. And ... that's getting old.
Here are your game notes, in sequential order.
- The Wizards started off with a three guard lineup featuring Livingston, Beal, Crawford, Vesely, and Seraphin. The team definitely has a lot more space when they've got four guys with respectable jumpers on the floor at the same time.
- Seraphin seems to think shoot first, second, and third these days, regardless of who's guarding him. His confidence is nice, but he's got to learn to take what the defense gives him and not force the issue so much.
- MKG on Crawford early on.
- Vesely starts out aggressive, going up strong and getting MKG in early foul trouble ... then he airballs a free throw and looks visibly shaken up afterward.
- Shaun Livingston's length really seems to bother opposing point guards, both when they're shooting and when they're passing.
- Lots of boos early on, even though the Wizards aren't playing that terribly. These guys might not be winning, but it's more a result of a lack of talent due to injuries as opposed to not trying or showboating or something.
- The Wizards had a couple of early turnovers due to mental lapses. Hm, who thinks there might be some correlation between a lapse in concentration and being booed by 10,000 people who in theory should be supporting you?
- Lots of dumb shots early on, too. The Wizards are just looking sloppy, with Seraphin in particular trying to get too cute with layups and flip shots when he should be trying to dunk and draw contact.
- Despite Washington's smallball lineup, the Bobcats are still using a lot of traps and fullcourt presses. At least in the first quarter, the Wizards are handling it well.
- Ramon Sessions is a really craft player. He's not a shooter and not particularly athletic, but he has a great handle, is great at changing pace, and is good at drawing contact, even away from the rim. Half the people the people reading this could play better defense, though.
- Nene is just so much better than anyone else on either team right now.
- After starting out small, the Wizards went huge to close out the first quarter, playing Nene, Okafor, Ariza, Webster and Price together. Predictably, the defense looks a lot better, and almost every shot Charlotte took was outside of the paint. That Okafor and Nene might be able to play next to each other after all.
- Ariza looks a lot better playing against second units, probably since there's less of a penalty and more of a reward for playing the passing lanes against bench guys.
- Straight up gorgeous sequence toward the end of the first in which Nene and Okafor trapped a guard, Nene got the steal, ran the break, and hit Okafor with a gorgeous behind the back pass for the dunk. That could very well be the play of the game, maybe even the season.
- Webster does a great job of running the floor in transition, even though he looks incredibly uncoordinated any time he tries to dribble and run at the same time.
- MKG is just so good at staying active and cutting to the rim. Sessions and Walker are both going to get a ton of assists simply due to his motor. He's got a great touch, too, which makes up for his relatively poor handle and jump shot.
- The offense with Okafor, Seraphin, Ariza, Webster, and Livingston on the court together looks awful. Way too many post ups and no one seemed to notice that Webster kept getting wide open under the basket.
- If BJ Mullens ever bothered to defend or rebound he'd actually be a really useful player. He's got a great touch and is really coordinated for a guy who's probably a legit seven feet tall.
- They went in tonight, but Crawford is way too into taking pull up fifteen footers in transition.
- Beal does a really good job of drawing contact in the lane. He drew MKG's third foul late in the second quarter just by ramming into his body, then throwing up a shot. Crawford or Seraphin would have pulled up or tried to go around him.
- Ben Gordon gets a lot of boos for a guy who hasn't been relevant in four years.
- It's 51 - 50 at halftime, and the game has been pretty even in most categories. Washington's getting a lot of offensive rebounds and getting more assists than Charlotte, but they're also turning the ball over a lot more than you'd like. The Wizards seem to have the momentum, too.
- Singleton came in early in the third quarter to replace Vesely. Jan's really struggling.
- Nene checked in an almost immediately hit a cutting Webster with a perfect pass, leading to two free throws. That kind of passing is invaluable to a team like this that doesn't have anyone who can score off the dribble.
- A few minutes later, he made another excellent pass to a cutting Singleton, leading to a dunk and a made free throw. Then he gets an offensive rebound and hits a lefty layup to put the Wizards ahead. If the Wizards win tonight, it's going to be almost entirely a result of having him on the floor.
- 72 - 72 at the end of the third quarter. Basically everything good that happened in the third quarter was a direct result of Nene's play on both ends of the floor.
- Kemba Walker can really play. He struggled as a rookie, but guys who are quick, can handle the ball, and can shoot usually turn out ok. His hot start to the season doesn't look fluke-ish at all.
- If Nene is tonight's MVP, Chris Singleton is the runner up. He's been really active and is doing a good job of finishing around the basket.
- After a quiet start, Beal drills a three to put bring the Wizards within two, making it 85 - 83 with about 5 minutes left in the game.
- Crawford with the 20 foot jumper off the dribble to bring the Wizards within four with about 2:30 left in the game.
- Nene drove against Haywood and drew a foul with 1:50 left. He did a great job of using his off-hand to shield the ball from Haywood's outstretched arm.
- Webster fumbled a pass from Nene but still managed to snake to the basket, bringing the Wizards within 1.
- Randy's go-to lineup with the game on the line - Beal, Webster, Nene, Crawford, Singleton. The initial play didn't work, but the Wizards got bailed out when Webster got an offensive rebound and drew MKG's sixth foul.
- Nene with a pair of dunks in overtime. Did I mention that he's far better than anyone on either team?
- Aaaaaand the team has fallen apart again, with no one else being able to score in overtime, despite the Bobcats playing four poor defenders at the same time.
- Very questionable call toward the end of overtime. Mullens tipped an inbounds pass out of bounds, but Charlotte got the ball back after it was ruled that a Wizards (I think Singleton) touched it.
- Aaaaaaaand out of nowhere, things turned around. Singleton was fouled on a three with 0.4 left in overtime, making two of three free throws to send it to double overtime.
- Ben Gordon fouls out to start the overtime period, then blesses the Wizards with an extra point due to the technical foul.
- Airballed three by Sessions, thanks in part to pretty good defense by Beal.
- Charlotte missed a few shots in the second overtime period that they'd have probably made with fresher legs.
- Nene with his best Gilbert (RIP) impression as he nails a fadeaway jumper over Haywood to put the Wizards up 102 - 101 in double OT with about 2 minutes left.
- The second overtime period has been a complete mess, with both sides struggling to make open shots and properly execute their normal sets.
- Walker blew by Beal with 40 seconds left and no one helped. Fortunately, he missed the layup and Beal got the rebound.
- Beal's inability to create shots off the dribble is really obvious right now. Even as a rookie, someone picked third whose job is to basically be a pure scorer should at least be attempting to take over at this point in the game.
- After Sessions split a pair of free throws, Kemba Walker pulled down the offensive board and got fouled. He made both shots, putting Charlotte up 107 - 103 with 12.1 seconds left, basically ending the game.
- After a couple of Wizards misses, Beal nails a three to make it 107 - 106 with 1.6 seconds left. Unfortunately, it's just not enough. Game over.