Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
Nene and Trevor Ariza led the Washington Wizards to a 104-87 shellacking of the Charlotte Bobcats.
In a meeting between the worst and second worst offenses in the NBA, Washington came out on top largely due to a dominating performance from Nene. Charlotte had no answer for the veteran big man, who finished the night with 19 points while playing masterful interior defense. John Wall had a decent night, too, and made up for a mediocre offensive performance with a couple of blocks and steals that are sure to be immortalized on YouTube in highlight videos set to Drake songs.
It's hard to read too much into a game like this one. On the one hand, the Wizards won by a lot against a team that they were supposed to beat. On the other hand, they seemed to have trouble playing as a unit on offense and maintaining a consistent level of intensity. Either way, though, a win's a win.
- Washington got off to a rough start and struggled to control the ball. Passes were dropped, shots rimmed out and Charlotte hit just enough chippies to keep things even. A Gerald Henderson transition layup put Charlotte up by two as Randy Wittman called time with 5:29 left in the first.
- This game is ugly. At one point Emeka Okafor and Brendan Haywood traded airballs. No one can catch a pass and players like McBobs and Ariza are trying to make plays off the dribble. It's going to be a long night.
- Washington led 27-24 at the close of the first. Walker was the only Charlotte player who looked like he belonged in a starting lineup and the UConn alumnus had 11 points in the quarter with almost all of them coming from jumpers off of the dribble. Seraphin was decent for Washington, although he wasn't doing anything in particular that would lead you to believe he'd be able to sustain his performance.
- The Wizards widened their lead over the first few minutes of the second quarter. As of the 7:15 mark, Seraphin hadn't passed once as far as I could tell, but he had nine points and at least one or two dunks, so you can live with the whole black hole thing. Charlotte continued to struggle on the offensive end, with no one other than Walker being able to get anything going.
- Nene went off in the second quarter. He hit finger roll after finger roll and Charlotte had no odiea what to do to in order to stop him from dominating the paint. Haywood is too slow to guard him, McRoberts too weak and Biyombo too inexperienced. With about 3:00 left in the half he had 16 points, five rebounds, two assists and a couple of nasty dunks.
- Wasihngton's lead grew to 17 by halftime. Nene and Webster were both in beast mode and had no trouble getting any shot they wanted against Charlotte's undisciplined frontcourt. Walker and Henderson were the only Bobcats that were able to get anything going, combining for 31 points in the first half (two less than Deron Williams had last night).
- Wall hit a couple of jumpers tonight, including a three from the corner. He still loves that right elbow and being able to hit that shot could really benefit his pick and roll game.
- Both teams appeared to let their intensity slip in the third quarter. Washington maintained a roughly 20 point lead for much of the third. Guys like Webster and Kidd-Gilchrist who usually don't attempt to make plays with the ball started forcing things and the results weren't pretty.
- Washington led 80-64 to start the fourth quarter. With players like Gordon and Walker able to consistently score off the dribble, the Bobcats appear to have a significant advantage over the Wizards when the game becomes more free-flowing.
- Charlotte started to come alive once Ben Gordon started making plays. Washington's lead at one point fell into the single digits. Fortunately the Wizards got it together and an Ariza three pushed their lead back up to 14 before Charlotte called time.
- The remainder of the game went about as you would expect it to have gone. The two teams traded buckets, looked a little sloppy and seemed to be more concerned with not doing anything bad than actually extending or cutting into Washington's lead.
- Ariza was bananas tonight, especially in the second half. Dude finished with 26 points and hit a couple of threes off of Wall's penetration.