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Wizards v. Mavericks: Preseason Game Blog 1

WARNING: The preseason game blog below elicited immediate postings last night/this morning from all three contributors to this blog. Enjoy!

1st Quarter

Well, disappointing news to start....both Nick Young and Juan Dixon will be out tonight.

With Brendan Haywood out as well, Etan Thomas gets the start and not Andray Blatche. Good. AB needs to stay used to bringing his energy off the bench.

To start, DeShawn Stevenson loses his man (Antoine Wright) off a curl, Jamison must help and the pass goes right to AJ's man, Dirk Nowitzki, for the baseline jumper.

11:08: Hmmm... the offense starts with an iso for Stevenson, not a lot of movement and Antonio Daniels has to force up a long J, no rim, shot clock violation.

DeShawn loses Wright again, who drives, opens the lane for a pass to Erick Dampier, and a dunk. 4-0 Mavs. I'm not going to lie though, I do like the look of Stevenson's ol' school flat top.

The Wiz look a step behind on D so far...whether it's closing out, fighting through screens, etc....Etan Thomas makes a nice move on Dampier. 6-4 Mavs. The Wiz are aggressively playing the passing lanes.

8:41: Ohh...on a broken play, Butler makes a great back door cut on the baseline, gets the ball from DeShawn (who had picked up his dribble), and dunks on Dampier. They'll cite the Princeton, and that's true...Princeton cuts allow you to recover from broken plays.

The Wizards are not crisp so far....but that's okay. It's is the preseason.

7:42: Dirk makes Antawn Jamison look silly...uh oh...somehow, AJ gets caught in a bad position on the close out....gets frozen by the shooter and Dirk just goes right by Jamison for the baseline dunk. The initial replay doesn't show contact, such as a banged knee. AJ is rolling around on the floor...this doesn't look good at all. Going back to the close just didn't seem right, Jamison was almost standing straight up with his hands at his Dirk the baseline......And now Jamison is being carried to the locker room. The second replay shows his right knee buckling as he planted, then tried to recover (albeit waaay too late) for Dirk's drive.

Weird....before that happened, I was just about to wonder..."If AJ shows that he's lost a significant step and Andray Blatche shows out in a major way, does AJ come off the bench like he did in Dallas that one year?".....then that happened. I gotta let out a huge sigh.....with a strong dose of here we go again.

Back in the action: Blatche, Songaila, Daniels, Butler, and Stevenson in the game.

6:15: Dallas goes up one accounts for Howard coming straight down the middle on the break after a long Blatche miss.

The Mavs don't exactly look in sync either....but again, to be expected from all angles in the first game for both teams.

4:55: Blatche tries to do a spin fade away over Dampier....and gets blocked.....bad shot.

3:24: Nice strong move by Blatche...give and go with DeShawn....AB used his length to get to the hoop for the scoop. 20-17 Mavs.

2:36: Dee Brown enters for Daniels (or Stevenson)....looking for some pushing with him, McGuire, Blatche, Butler, and Pecherov.

And the Presidential debatin' begins.

2:02: Blatche showing his ambidexterity with a lefty scoop. The update on Jamison is a sprained right knee.....judging from how it looked, that's about the best the report could be....but sprained knees could mean a wide range of missed time. 22-21 Mavs.

0:51: Taser gets a foul call on Jason Terry....driving against the smaller guy to the hoop. Dominic nails both FTs. On the other end, D-Mac is having to keep up with Terry on D....Brown is on Jose Barea.

0:22: Playing the two spot, D-Mac drives again, gets bothered and blocked on reverse, but Pecherov picks up the slack, gets a board, fouled and FTs. 25-25 tie.

0:02: Pech nails a three off a high screen and roll with Dee Brown at top of the key....Pech's face looks serious...and the Wiz take the lead, 28-27, after one. Blatche leads with 9 points, Butler second with 8.

2nd Quarter

11:41: That's the fade-away I like to see Blatche take....gets deeper in the paint, makes contact, spins away from the defender and hits off the glass. Kid is looking confident.

#43 Linton Johnson in the game for Butler....Dee Brown reminds Buckhantz of Tyronn Lue....not seeing that. I think Brown is more of a solid in strength.

10:10: Blatche is all over the place....he looks agile as hell...but not just using his athleticism to play, but to react to what the defense is giving him. 15 points for AB. 34-30 WIz.

9:36: Ok...AB ges too soft with it and gets blocked by Diop. Even in the half court, Dee Brown really gets this team moving.....but the pace does not leave a frantic impression. Tied at 34 at first timeout of 2nd.

7:56: McGee's first NBA shot....baseline J over Diop....with that release, not many people are ever going to be able to block that. AD, Butler, Linton Johnson and Pech also in the game.

6:57: Brandon Bass is looking strong for Dallas.....fantasy sleeper? 6th man of the year sleeper? He's got 9 points in a variety of ways.

Not sure I'm impressed by anything DeShawn's done so far....looks like he's trying to find his own shot, or "get his" at times.

4:47: Daniels cannot hit a wide open mid-range J......I'm curious as to how much time he has put in with he willing to change his technique at age 32?

4:05: DeShawn connects on a trey....Dallas forgot about him as the Wiz offense moved the ball around....that's what I like to see out of DeShawn. 45-40 Mavs.

2:47: Mavs push lead to 49-40...not a lot of attention being paid on defensive end by the Wizards...of course, sloppiness on offense has allowed Dallas to 51-40, 2:17 left.

1:44: Wow...McGuire was matched up against Dirk....looks to be playing great D, the replay just about confirms that fact, but the refs give the call to the German veteran. So D-Mac has guarded everyone from Jason Terry to Dirk tonight....and has held his own.

The Wizards are still careless on offense. I'm not exactly sure who is the leader on the floor....AD, Stevenson, Butler, McGuire, and Blatche are in the game. I liked it better when Dee Brown was running the show.

0:49: Offensive foul, obvious, by many turnovers in a row now? (3 on last 3 possessions)

Brown is now in for Stevenson.....Daniels is in the game too. Steve Buck is reporting that Jamison's knee is now strained and not sprained....I suppose that's a downgrade.

The problem with AD's shot, as he misses one at the buzzer, is that it's so flat. The half ends with the Mavs up 55-40.

Game Jitters:
Wizards: 14 turnovers leading to 17 Dallas points. (Dominic McGuire had 3 turnovers in the final 95 seconds)
Mavs: 10 turnovers leading to only 4 Washington points.

3rd Quarter

11:24: Same starters save for Blatche instead of Jamison.....Josh Howard blows by Butler in getting to the basket.

10:34: Blatche misses a bad jumper, the offense is out of was AB's feet, which were off-balanced in this shot. Don't mind him shooting from 25 feet out, as long as he's giving himself the best chance to make it.

The starters are slopping it up on offense again.....are we sure Eddie didn't have to stop training camp in this regard? OR did the Wiz just concentrate a ton on D and assume the Princeton would click?

Now the Wiz have switched Butler on Dirk and AB on Howard....get a turnover...the switch was for just one possession.

8:40: 21 Mav points off turnovers.....what's frustrating is that many of the TOs seem to be unforced.

If the Princeton is not clicking, the Wizards are severely lacking a creator.

Is DerMarr Johnson just getting his first action with 7 minutes left in the 3rd? What happened to his good camp?

The Wizards are just going through the motions and the Mavs are running the floor, and getting a ton of easy looks at the hoop. For safety's sake, I'd rather sit Butler for the rest of the night if the team is not making progress at this point.

At this point, I'm just seeing the Wizards Insider news about Haywood......I'm not sure what to think now. I kinda feel like I just got dumped by a girl.

I'm listening to the Presidential debate a little the Wizards turn the ball over a little more.

3:51: Has anyone been watching this Andray Blatche guy? I'm thinking he gets in a couple games this year. He's got 18 points, but the Wiz are still down 73-56.

D-Song checked in over a minute ago....seems like a courtesy at this point. Ok, he needs to get his wind...but I was liking what I saw out of Pech earlier.

Let's see...DerMarr jacking, Taj hustling. Pech set to check in. I tell you, Opec looks a little bigger too. He's been able to get position in the paint a couple times. Hasn't done anything with it yet, but at least he's not relegated to patrolling the perimeter and getting muscled out the box when he does try to go down low.

1:02: Dee Brown hits that jumper we've been hearing about....looks real nice....was it just me, or did the net echo through the arena?

0:05: Aaaaand Pecherov "clangs" a three with the 3rd running down. Dirk will probably stay on the bench for the last quarter with his 17 and 7. 77-58 Mavs.

4th Quarter

Brown, Songaila, Pecherov, DerMarr and McCullough in the game to start the 4th. Mavs have Stackhouse, Devin George, Diop, Bass and Terry in the game.

10:54: Great pass by Brown to Taj after quick push in transition.

10:30: Brown does it again and gets it to Songaila who had early post in transition.

Now Buckhantz is comparing Dee Brown to Brevin Knight in terms of his defensive pressure.

9:28: Songaila gets it knocked away from behind....he's looked a little lost at times tonight...perhaps just cobwebs. 87-62 Mavs.

8:54: Once again, the Mavs push the ball. Bass gets behind the D, and fouled on the break by D-Song. 90-62 Mavs.

6:53: Pecherov nails a nice long jumper from the wing off one dribble.

6:36: Pech hits a trey with confidence....he's showing teams that you cannot leave him open. 10 points for Opec.

6:10: McGee gets a hard slam off a Mav turnover and gets some boos from the crowed. ....he didn't celebrate afterwards, just threw it down hard off two feet.

Phil Chenier tells us to keep an eye on DerMarr Johnson...but I'm not sure I see him making it. On the other hand, do you lose Dixon and keep Johnson for more size if Haywood is out for awhile and Jamison's knee turns out to be somewhat problematic?

Well all know McGee has a way to go.....but does his ability on offense makes him more ready than we think he is? He'll have his share of struggles on D with his lack of strength...but at least he doesn't look lost in his first NBA game.

3:49: DerMarr knocks down a trey ball. 102-75 Mavs.

2:38: Charles Rhodes gets a steal coming around McGee....JaVale needs to do a better job holding the seal.

0:19: McGee blocks a lazy jumper attempt by Charles Rhodes.

Most big men have to learn agility/athleticism...and the least McGee has the former down.

And that's the game folks. 108-82 Dallas Mavericks.

Overall....what can I say? Pretty discouraging day. Might as well go eat some hay. We could do it by the bay?

  • The offense looked out of sync and without leadership.
  • The defense looked uncommitted.
  • Too many sloppy turnovers.
  • Blatche and Brown impressed the most. AB took a couple bad jumpers.....but overall, he didn't "settle" from the outside. Like I mentioned, taking jumpers is okay....just be more fundamentally sound.
  • Pech, McGuire, and McGee looked aggressive at times.
  • Butler looked....okay.
  • But for the most part, everyone outside of Dee, Andray, and JaVale (maybe Opec) gets an incomplete grade.
  • It's just the preseason, right?