April 16, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) chases a loose ball against the Chicago Bulls during the second quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE
We have talked a lot about identity and this Wizards team as the season has progressed. For a greater part of the season the team's identity was in flux, as they vacillated between being the "go go" Wizards or the Youtube Wizards, of of which neither identity has led to much success. Lately, the Wizards have begun to emphasize a grind it out mentality, relying on the emergence of Kevin Seraphin and the heady play of their motley crew of D-Leaguers to keep them in the game. Its not so much an identity as it is a unfortunate necessity, but the results have been far more positive as of late than the original incarnation.
Chicago of course, lives and dies by its identity, which is defense. In the third quarter, it looked like the Bulls were finally going to take it up a gear and grind the Wizards out of the game by breaking down the Wizards on both the offensive and defensive end. However, led by the unlikely duo of Brian Cook and Mo Evans, Washington fought its way back into the lead and managed to hold on for the win. Essentially, the Wizards stole the Wizards identity on the evening, or at least did their best to emulate it. There are worse teams to pick to pattern yourself off of going forward.
Notes after the jump.
- I understand the Mack for Crawford substitution to end the game, but Shelvin almost killed the Wizards win by losing CJ Watson in transition. However, at that point Mack was the lesser of two evils considering the game that Jordan Crawford was having from the field.
- Kevin Seraphin had his most dominant performance to date, made doubly impressive by the fact he was going up against an elite Bulls frontline. Just an outstanding performance by him on both ends of the court. The only nit to be picked is worrying what his role is going to be when Nene comes back from his "injury."
- James Singleton just knows how to ball.
- Jan Vesely just has to learn you can't go over the back like he does and pick up cheap fouls. Its becoming a recurrent issue with him, much like Al Thornton fouling a three point shooter. His aggressiveness should be lauded, but the Wizards keep having teams get into the penalty with dumb fouls like that.