Highest Plus/Minus: Nick Young (+4)
Lowest Plus/Minus: Caron Butler (-11)
Best Five Man Unit: Mike James, Nick Young, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Darius Songaila (+11 to end the 2nd Quarter)
Worst Five Man Unit: Mike James, Nick Young, Antawn Jamison, Darius Songaila, Andray Blatche (-4 in the 4th Quarter)
Photo of the Game:
(AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
Game Thread Comment of the Game: "Looks like the referees are going to even up foul calls QUICKLY." by Rook6980
Tough loss last night, but like the last game, there's some good that can be extracted from last night's tough loss. But we need to talk about the bad stuff as well. Let's start off with the negatives and try to end on a good note.
- In a seven second span in the third quarter, Blatche picked up an offensive foul, a personal foul, and a technical foul. It really didn't have much of an impact on the game (one turnover and one point for the other team, which sounds a lot like the average Kwame Brown box score) but still, that's a terrible sequence.
- Caron Butler continues to struggle as he adjusts to playing shooting guard in this starting lineup. Since McGuire was inserted into the lineup, Butler has only gone over 20 points twice and he's had 4 games where he hasn't cracked double-digits, including last night. Understandably, some are clamoring for Nick Young to start so Caron can go back to playing small forward. Here's what Matt Watson had to say about a lineup change:
It's time for change in our nation's capital, and I'm not talking about the White House. Nick Young continues to light things up from the bench, scoring a career-high 30 points in just 32 minutes last night against the Bucks. Better yet, he's been the model of efficiency: he shot 12-for-19 from the field Monday and is shooting 59.5% from the field for the month of January.
How long will it take until Young moves into the starting lineup? Caron Butler has floundered while playing out of position at the two -- he scored just six points in 38 minutes against the Bucks, the fifth time in a month that he's played at least 30 minutes while failing to crack double-digits. Move Young into the lineup, Butler back to the three and Dominic McGuire to the bench and -- who knows? -- maybe the Wizards might actually win a game.
I see the logic in the move and it might be beneficial in the short term, but you also have to keep in mind that Nick Young isn't going to keep this kind of hot streak going forever. Once he regresses back to the mean, you have to ask yourself if it's still a good move. My gut says no, but if Caron keeps struggling it's an option worth considering.
Ed Tapscott has harked on it a lot recently, but it's true: Settling for jumpshots is a good way to get real cold real quick. Here's a breakdown of the Wizards possessions for the first seven minutes of the 4th Quarter:
- 6 shots taken from between 15 and 20 feet. The Wizards only made one of those shots.
- 1 shot taken within 15 feet. It was made.
- 1 missed three point attempt.
- 1 trip to the foul line.
- 2 turnovers on traveling calls.
- 1 turnover on an offensive foul.
The Wizards took the least efficient shot you can take (long two point shot) on nearly half of their of their possessions during that seven minute stretch. The only thing efficient about the offense during that stretch was how quickly they lost the lead.
- I think it's only a matter of time before Javaris Crittenton is inserted into the starting the lineup. In only 18 minutes, Crittenton racked up 4 points, 4 assists, and 5 rebounds without committing a turnover.
- The three point defense was solid for the most part last night, holding the Bucks to 5-14 from beyond the arc.
- Nick Young is hotter than Rod Blagojevich's governor seat. He set a career high with 30 points hitting 12 of his 19 shots, including 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. When you consider that his last two shots were desperation heaves in the closing seconds, his line looks all the more impressive. Like I said before, we can't expect Nick to keep this up forever, but we can admire it while it lasts. He had a nice little duel with Michael Redd for the last few minutes of the game, he just couldn't hit that one three pointer with just under a minute to go that would've made it a one point game. It was a very good look, he just couldn't get it to fall. Still, he held up his own against one of the better scorers in the league.