Tag:Washington Wizards
Posted on: November 3, 2010 6:37 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:26 pm
 

Knicks to play Friday after MSG asbestos scare

The New York Knicks will resume playing at Madison Square Garden on Friday after a Tuesday game was cancelled due to a problem with asbestos in the arena. Posted by Ben Golliver
asbestos-madison-square-garden As we noted earlier, the New York Knicks were scheduled to host the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night in Manhattan's Madison Square Garden, but the game was postponed due to a problem with asbestos in the arena.  Asbestos fibers are a a pretty disgusting contaminant that, if contacted or inhaled over a long period of time, can lead to all sorts of serious illnesses like lung cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestos can also lead to a bleep load of lawsuits, so any time a building is linked to an Asbestos problem, it goes into Defcon lockdown mode until the situation can be properly investigated and resolved by air quality professionals. As such, the Garden was closed down on Tuesday to undergo testing. Marc Berman of the New York Post posted a statement released by Madison Square Garden that clears the arena to be re-opened for Friday night's game against the Washington Wizards and 2010 NBA Draft No. 1 overall pick John Wall.
"After receiving assurance from the city and environmental experts regarding the safety of the arena for our customers and employees, all events at Madison Square Garden, beginning with Friday night’s Knicks game, will go on as scheduled. We have been working with the appropriate experts to confirm the arena is safe since debris fell during overnight work Monday. We will announce the rescheduled date for the postponed Knicks v. Magic game, in conjunction with the NBA, in the near future. We would like to thank the city for their assistance in this matter, and appreciate the patience of our fans.''
As Ken Berger of CBSSports.com notes, Tuesday's game between the Knicks and Magic will be re-scheduled at a later date. I tried to come up with a way to pin this situation on Knicks center Eddy Curry for about 10 minutes, but I failed. Congratulations to Eddy, this post ends right here.
Posted on: November 3, 2010 11:03 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:25 pm
 

Game Changer 11.3.10: The Wiz find a way

John Wall dances during introductions, gets his first win as a pro and nearly notches a triple-double, Rajon Rondo does something that hasn't been done in more than three years, Cartier Martin goes hero status, and a bunch more. Posted by Ben Golliver

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: WASHINGTON STEALS ONE AT HOME

In a night that was otherwise filled with double-digit victories around the NBA, the Washington Wizards staged one heck of a comeback to steal a 116-115 win at home against the Philadelphia 76ers.  The Wizards, who blew a lead earlier in the fourth quarter, started fouling repeatedly in the last minute of regulation to extend the game. Up three in the game's closing seconds, Philadelphia elected not to foul, and Washington used a side inbounds play to set up a top of the arc 3-point attempt for forward Cartier Martin, who appeared to be the third option on the play. Whether he was meant to take the shot or not, Martin, who has attempted just 86 3-pointers in his 53 game NBA career, buried an off-balance, lean-in attempt in front of 76ers forward Andre Iguodala. He then joined a group hug celebration in front of the Wizards bench, before they all realized they still had to play five minutes of extra time.  In the tightly-contested overtime period, Wizards rookie point guard John Wall was the difference, scoring four points, dishing out an assist to Andray Blatche and making two key defensive plays during the extra period, on his way to an eye-popping stat line: 29 points, 13 assists and 9 steals (which tied a franchise record) . But it was Blatche who provided the winning margin in a 116-115 come-from-behind victory, hitting a pair of clutch free throws with seven seconds left. The Sixers really stumbled down the stretch with some sloppy late-game execution. Jrue Holiday was the biggest culprit, finishing with six turnovers on the night, but multiple times in the closing minutes, they struggled to inbounds or outlet the ball in the backcourt under full court Wizards pressure. With the ball and seven seconds left on the block in overtime, the Sixers could only manage a difficult, contested, off-balance jumper for Iguodala. If not for yeoman's work from Lou Williams at the free throw line (15-17), it would have looked even worse. Philadelphia stays winless on the season and this one undoubtedly stings the worst, given the circumstances. Kate Fagan of Philly.com sums it up nicely in her discussion of Martin's game-winner...
It seems swingman Andre Iguodala gets caught for a second on the screen set to free Martin. Iguodala trails Martin -- as he's supposed to -- but he's too far behind to keep Martin from catching at the three-point line, and Iguodala is just not in a good position to take a good foul on Martin. There's no lack of effort from Iguodala (in watching the replays), it just seems like the kind of play that continually haunts the Sixers.
And so they remain winless.
Philly joins the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Clippers as the only 0-4 teams in the NBA, and the bad news gets worse. After the late Tuesday loss, Philly must return home for a rematch with the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. While Philly is playing the away-and-home back-to-back, the Pacers have enjoyed two days off since defeating the Sixers in Indiana on Saturday.

GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

Rajon Rondo:  9 points, 3 rebounds, 17 assists, 4 steals, 0 turnovers on 3-7 shooting in 36 minutes. According to Basketball-Reference.com , the last time an NBA player had 17 or more assists and 0 turnovers in a regular season game was April 14, 2007. The man who did it? Steve Nash, point guard for the Phoenix Suns. Honorable Mention goes to... John Wall:  29 points, 2 rebounds, 13 assists, 9 steals and 8 turnovers in 45 minutes on 9-16 shooting.

Wall was just one steal shy of a triple-double in his third game as a pro.  Michael Lee of the Washington Post notes on Twitter that "is just the second player in NBA history to get at least 70 points & 30 assists in his first 3 games. The other? Oscar Robertson."

YOU SHOULD KNOW:

After losing to the Celtics in their opening game, the Heat have now won nine straight halves of basketball. Last night, they blew out Minnesota 129-97.

DON'T MISS:

The Knicks and the Magic were scheduled to play Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, but asbestos intervened . Surely Knicks center Eddy Curry can be blamed for this somehow. In way less sketchy news, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is in for the 2012 Olympics in London .  Also, Miami won big again, thanks to 20 points and 12 dimes from LeBron James, who was reportedly playing through a minor leg injury.

WHIMSY:

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall reacts with glee as the Wizards win their home opener in overtime at the Verizon Center on Tuesday night. Wall was huge, nearly notching a triple double, and his night began with care-free exuberance too: he danced "The Dougie" during his pre-game introduction . john-wall

 

HERO OF THE NIGHT:

No single play led to Wall's joyous reaction more than a last-second 3-point shot by Wizards forward Cartier Martin, who leaned in on 76ers forward Andre Iguodala before burying the trey to force the game into overtime.

Mike Prada notes over at BulletsForever.com  that the heroics are a new thing for Martin, who was surprised to learn the media wanted to get his post-game reaction to burying the triple.

ONE FINAL THOUGHT:

As of 2 a.m. Eastern Wednesday morning, former Cleveland Cavalier, New Jersey Net, Phoenix Sun, New York Knick and Portland Trail Blazer center Chris Dudley, he of the 45.8% career free throw percentage, was in a dead heat  in his Oregon gubernatorial bid. Dudley is running as a Republican, facing Democrat John Kitzhaber, who has served as Oregon's governor twice previously.

Follow F&R on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA and check out our RSS feed . This has been your daily edition of the Game Changer.
Posted on: November 3, 2010 1:01 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:23 pm
 

Video: Cartier Martin hits last-second 3-pointer

Washington Wizards forward Cartier Martin hit a last-second 3-pointer against the Philadelphia 76ers to send the game into overtime, where the Wizards eventually won. Posted by Ben Golliver What a wild night in Washington, where the Wizards defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in overtime to win their home opener at the Verizon Center, 116-115.  Wizards forward Cartier Martin sent the game to overtime by nailing a step-in 3-pointer in the last second of regulation over Sixers forward Andre Iguodala. John Wall led the way for Washington, nearly notching a triple-double with 29 points, 13 assists and nine steals. For more on the game, head over to CBSSports.com's GameTracker.
Posted on: November 2, 2010 7:18 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:24 pm
 

John Wall dances the Dougie during introductions

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall does "The Dougie" dance prior to his team's home opener against the Philadelphia 76ers. Posted by Ben Golliver Before the Washington Wizards home opener against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, rookie point guard John Wall did a spirited, extended version of "The Dougie" during player introductions, much to the enjoyment of his teammates and the announcing crew. "Once he gets over his shyness, he's going to be something else," joked Steve Buckhantz, Washington's television play-by-play announcer, as Wall joined his teammates for a pre-game huddle. "He's so reserved," cracked Phil Chenier, Washington's television analyst. Wall, the No.1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, is no stranger to recognition for his boogying abilities. He made headlines last fall for the "John Wall Dance" during his only season at the University of Kentucky. The "Dougie" dance was popularized by hip hop group Cali Swag District's hit single "Teach Me How To Dougie ."
Posted on: October 29, 2010 9:53 am
Edited on: October 29, 2010 11:25 am
 

Shootaround 10.29.10: Jokes with Shaq

Posted by Royce Young
  • Shoals, writing for Deadspin, on the Heat: "It turns out that LeBron James really isn't like physics. He's more like outer space. James is the sun, and cold, dead Cleveland, his moon — appearing to shine down on us, sometimes just as brightly, or at least bright enough that you forget it's all reflected light. Every LeBron story is also a Cavs story; every Cavs story can be tied back into LeBron. I find myself in the habit of still tagging my own stories about LeBron with "cavs" — hey, maybe Gilbert and the fans were right. He really does belong to them."
  • Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman on Jeff Green's non-extension : "By choosing to not re-sign now, Green could potentially forfeit millions of dollars. NBA commissioner David Stern has said league owners are seeking to slash player salaries by up to $800 million in the new labor contract. The new CBA also could contain cutbacks on players' annual raises, as well as the number of years contracts can be signed for. For instance, instead of signing a five-year extension with 10.5 percent annual raises, Green could have to settle for a three- or four-year deal with 8 percent raises. Additionally, Green runs the risk of injury this season, which could destroy his value on the open market. So, too, could an unproductive season."
  • Rashad Mobley of Truth About It on Washington's first outing: "At one point in the third quarter, Andray Blatche took such a bad shot, that Marv Albert and Steve Kerr, went on a two-minute rant about how demoralizing it must be for the other Wizards, when a bad shot is taken.  By my informal (yet accurate) calculations, not one of Blatche’s nine shots came in the paint in a post up position.  Instead of playing in the post, where Coach Saunders has frequently asked him to play, Blatche was content on launching outside shots, which led to long rebounds, which led to easy Orlando baskets."
  • Eddy Rivera of MagicBasketball: "A lot of kudos should be given to Orlando for emphatically beating an inferior opponent. However, the Wizards made things too easy for the Magic by offering little resistance in terms of interior defense. According to Hoopdata, Orlando shot 18-of-21 at the rim and 10-for-15 inside 10 feet. Add to the fact that the Magic were able to get to the free-throw line a total of 32 times, and it’s easy to see why this game was barely competitive after the opening tip."
  • Orlando has quite the introduction video says Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post: "The Magic's pregame introduction video is astounding. I won't insult you by saying it alone is worth the cost of admission, but it's indeed powerful. It features great moments in Magic history--Nick Anderson stealing the ball from Michael Jordan and the Magic drafting Dwight Howard, for example--as projected on downtown Orlando landmarks. I admit I'm more prone to sentimentality than most folks, but I got a bit choked up watching it. My description isn't doing the video justice."
Posted on: October 29, 2010 12:32 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:14 pm
 

Grading Wizards guard John Wall's NBA debut

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall made his NBA debut on Thursday. How did Wall do and how did it compare to the debuts of other elite point guards? Posted by Ben Golliverjohn-wall

The Great Wall of China wasn’t built in a day, and neither was John Wall’s NBA Hall of Fame résumé.

Wall,  the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, made his NBA debut for the Washington Wizards on Thursday night, going head-to-head with one of the league’s perennial powers, the Orlando Magic. It wasn’t a pretty sight for the Wizards: a 112-83 defeat that, remarkably, was even more thorough than the score suggests.

Wall’s debut was a clunker – he struggled mightily with his jump shot, finishing just 6-19 from the field – but it wasn’t all bad. 

“He’s quick, he’s fearless, he seems like a floor general out there controlling the team, and that’s a good start,” Orlando Magic guard Vince Carter told TNT’s Craig Sager at halftime. A good start was about the best Wall could hope for, debuting against one of the league’s least forgiving defenses. 

Despite the blowout loss, there were both promising signs and areas for improvement. Let’s break down John Wall's NBA debut and grade it out.

Playing Time:  A-

Wall played 35 minutes tonight, including the entire first and third quarters. He committed just three fouls and pushed the pace whenever possible, so he aced two early tests for rookie point guards: avoiding unnecessarily dumb mistakes while playing defense and being properly conditioned to play heavy minutes against big, physical defenders.

Running The Offense: B-

Wall possesses a number of abilities that make him an ideal NBA point guard on the offensive side of the court. He has the off-the-dribble quickness and passing ability to be lethal in the high screen and roll. He locates his passes very well. His mentality is a solid hybrid between attacking and pass-first, so he is able to generate points for himself and open looks for his teammates simultaneously.

Tonight, the Orlando Magic dared him to shoot the pull-up jumper, and he couldn’t resist, nor could he knock it down consistently. None of his attempts were truly ill-advised, but many were far too passive. Wall will learn, and learn quickly, that just because a team gives him a good shot doesn’t mean he can’t generate a better one.

The passivity spread to his teammates too, and while he hit Washington’s perimeter shooters on the money time after time, they simply couldn’t knock down shots. The Wizards managed just 15 points in the entire first quarter and shot just 21.1% from 3-point range on the night.

The open shots that the Wizards did knock down, though, were almost all created by Wall. He found fellow guard Kirk Hinrich for multiple 3-pointers and set up both Cartier Martin and Andray Blatche for jumpers. Wall finished with nine assists; his teammates potentially left another nine on the table.

In the future, Wizards coach Flip Saunders will want Wall to increase his assertiveness, especially from the perimeter in the team’s halfcourt sets, to increase his team’s overall energy. Wall avoids a lower grade in this category because of the strength of the competition. Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard limits any attacking point guard’s ability to break down the interior of a defense, and Howard swatted Wall on multiple occasions Thursday night.

Scoring/Finishing: C

Given how often he touches the ball and his immense ability in the open court, Wall should have no trouble averaging 15+ points per game immediately. Tonight, he struggled hitting the open shot, finishing at the rim and he wasn’t able to get to the free throw line as frequently as star players in the NBA usually do. His point total reflected those struggles.

Howard’s ability to contest layups and runners played a big part, and when Wall was able to get free in transition his finishing was markedly better. In one instance, he shook Chris Duhon so hard with a head fake near the rim that Duhon wasn’t even able to gather himself to jump as Wall completed the uncontested layup. Whenever Wall was able to push the tempo, even in semi-transition against a set Orlando defense, the head start opened better creases for him to get to the rim. Washington will learn that the tempo will never be too fast with the ball in his hands: more good things will happen than bad.

Play making/Passing: B

Wall made far, far more good reads than bad reads, and his three turnovers came on the rare occasions he tried to make something out of nothing. As mentioned, his teammates did him no favors with their cold shooting. Wall was a bit tentative with his passing, preferring to hit the safe, open man rather than thread the needle. Elite NBA point guards are able to do both, and Wall didn’t show that ability on day one like he did last season at the University of Kentucky.

His best plays, both going to the basket and setting up teammates, came in transition. His first NBA basket came when Howard goaltended his coast-to-coast layup attempt, and he drew multiple fouls on Magic defenders that were trying to slow him down.

One promising playmaking flash came when Wall crossed over at the top of the key, losing his defender completely and hitting a wide open passing lane to Hilton Armstrong, who was cutting to the hoop. The Magic were forced to foul Armstrong to prevent the bucket.

On-Ball Defense: B

Wall competes very hard on the ball and his long arms caused some problems for Magic point guard Jameer Nelson. Wall was able to cleanly pick off one entry pass and he harassed Nelson into a few other bad decisions.

He gets docked points here because Magic guard Quentin Richardson was able to exploit his size advantage twice, taking Wall into the post when the two were cross-matched, getting one basket and forcing Wall to foul the second time. Wall also had a poor close out on Carter, who was able to blow by him to the basket, drawing a late slap foul for an and-one.

Team Defense: Incomplete

The Wizards didn’t play much team defense tonight, so it’s really hard to assess this properly. The Magic picked them apart with ease, shooting 55.8% as a team on the evening. Wall made the appropriate rotations, when it came to that, but was often a non-factor on the weakside as his teammates watched open Magic shooters drain from everywhere.

Rebounding: C

Wall was a non-factor on both the offensive and defensive glass, which should come as no surprise because his team was out-rebounded, 53-25. You can’t really blame a point guard for those numbers, but Wall may need to expend more energy crashing the glass as the season wears on, if his team’s bigs plan on disappearing so completely on a regular basis.

The one rebound Wall did grab was quite nice, as he immediately pushed the pace in transition, setting up Armstrong in the paint. Unfortunately, Armstrong was whistled for a player control foul.

Turnovers: A-

All three of Wall’s turnovers came in the few moments he looked like he was rushing. Two came on jump passes, and another came on the final possession of the first quarter, when he looked for a dribble drive and dish that simply wasn’t there.  Considering the quality of the Magic defense, how many touches Wall had tonight and his past problems with turnovers, like at this year’s Summer League, there’s no shame at all in committing three turnovers.

Overall: B-

It’s hard to give Wall anything better than a B- for his NBA debut, given that his team was blown out. With that said, it’s equally difficult to be hard on him given the circumstances. Wall managed to play calm, intelligent and, at times, exhilarating basketball in a showcase game on TNT against an elite defense. That’s a positive first step, despite the ugly shooting and stretches of hesitant play.

Wall finished with 14 points, one rebound, nine assists, three steals and three turnovers in 35 minutes during his NBA debut. Here’s a look at how that line compares to the NBA debuts of other elite point guards.

john-wall-table All numbers courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.
Posted on: October 27, 2010 2:16 pm
 

Arenas out for at least two games

Posted by Royce Young

Nick Young shouldn't have to thank Gilbert Arenas. I think Arenas is actually hurt this time around.

Michael Lee of The Washington Post tweeted that Arenas will likely miss the Wizards first two regular season games because of a sore ankle. Arenas strained a tendon in the ankle and has been wearing a walking boot.

So far it's just a projected two games for Arenas, but it could be more. He'll see a doctor about the slow-recovering ankle this week.

There has been a lot of curiousity as to how Arenas and rookie John Wall would work together in the backcourt, but those questions will have to wait to be answered for a bit. And because of Arenas' injury, he hasn't practiced a ton with Wall and obviously has seen very little game action together with the rookie. So here we get a chance to see Wall with the team all to himself as well as we'll have something to compare it to when Arenas returns.

How does Flip Saunders balance the lineup with Arenas out? It's looking like Al Thornton will start, meaning he'll be in at small forward. I guess that means either Kirk Hinrich or Young will get the nod as shooting guard. The Wizards are looking at a fairly non-traditional lineup with or without Arenas it looks like.

Most feel that eventually, Washington will have to move Arenas to really complete the transition of handing the team to Wall. It's just going to be two games, but it'll at least be a taste and like I said, no we have a barometer to compare Wall against how played with and without Arenas.
Posted on: October 22, 2010 11:54 am
Edited on: October 22, 2010 11:59 am
 

The happier NBA Ammo moments in pictures

This really isn't meant to be as mean as it comes across. Posted by Matt Moore

Adam Morrison was cut yesterday from Wizards camp, putting more questions out as to whether Ammo's NBA career may be over. A highly touted pick out of Gonzaga, the mustachioed youngster struggled mightily with NBA defenses that were able to defend his shooting prowess with superior athleticism. Eventualy he wound up on the Lakers, and won two rings as a seldom-used bench figure, often in a suit and tie.

After not being re-signed, he made camp with Washington, but couldn't hold on. It's probably a very sad day for Adam Morrison. So to boost his spirits, here are some of the happier moments from Ammo's NBA career, through the camera's eye.











Farewell, old friend, until we meet again down the road.
 
 
 
 
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