October 22, 2014 – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
[ezcol_1third]WIZARDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third][/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]KNICKS[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]37-72 (.514)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]FIELD GOALS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]41-77 (.532)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]11-19 (.579)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]3-PT FG [/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]9-20 (.450)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]15-16 (.938)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]FREE THROWS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]12-17 (.706)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]30 (4)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]TOTAL REBOUNDS (Off.)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]34 (8)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]18[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]TOTAL ASSISTS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]22[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]16[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]FAST BREAK POINTS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]12[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]34[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]POINTS IN THE PAINT[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]28[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]21 (23)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]TURNOVERS (Points off)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]20 (19)[/ezcol_1third_end]
Play of the Night
John Wall + Nene = Otto
The fluidity of a John Wall-led break when guys know their position. Kudos to Otto Porter for properly adjusting himself to the rim after Wall makes initial pass to Nene.
For a preseason as demoralizing as the one the Wizards have endured thus far, last night’s finale couldn’t have been a more encouraging one – even if it ended up in a loss.
With the injury bug taking chunks out of Kris Humphries and Glen Rice, a few nibbles of Paul Pierce, a sample of John Wall and an appetizer of Martell Webster, the Wizards were left hapless over the past few outings, suddenly finding themselves living a distant, unwanted memory – in search of shooting and ball handling.
Against the Knicks at the Garden last night you would’ve thought Randy Wittman would be in fast forward mode, resting his main guys and letting the bench and soon-to-be dismissed players have a run and get things over with. Not quite so. John Wall, Marcin Gortat, and Otto Porter all clocked 30+ minutes and what was meant to be a meaningless match up somehow turned into a game which felt like it needed to be counted in the standings.
With much of the game missed by me due to CSN’s preference for European-based soccer and hockey, my lack of an NBA League Pass subscription and a choppy illegal stream, it’s hard to put together a proper analysis of the game but I can tell you these two things:
John Wall and Otto Porter.
I’ll get to John a bit further down in this post so let’s start with Otto, who finished with 22 points and hit 4 of 7 from 3. He gathered some solid experience defensively checking Melo for most of the night even though a lot of it was spent struggling. Otto was finessed in transition, put up well selected shots and more importantly, he made a lot of them. Again, with the Wizards dealing with a critical shooting void in the absence of Bradley Beal and Glen Rice, seeing Otto display that kind of range is extremely comforting.
Otto Porter highlights:
While the game decided by a Melo 15-footer and-1 over Damion “Not So LeBron” James, the promise of good offense is what the Wizards are happily taking away from the game. With Wall and Porter running and gunning, Nene stably productive down low, Kevin Seraphin and Garrett Temple proving their worth as role players, it’s heartening to see the team rolling in the right direction even without some of their key guys. Let’s hope it somehow sticks for the initial stint of the season.
John Wall – 29 PTS, 10-16 FG, 2-4 3-PT, 7 AST, 4 STL, 1 TO in 2nd half
John Wall, whom previous to the game wasn’t even certain he’d play… played, and did so in a manner in which we salivate over. Wall, who sat out the Pelicans game with knee tendinitis, opted to suit up for the Knicks and finished with 29 points on 16 shots, hitting 2 of his 4 attempts from 3 to go with 7 assists and 4 steals. Wall took charge of his offense doing what he does best: using/controlling his speed, running the break, finding his teammates via nifty passes and playing the thief’s theme on defense. This was a game in which Wall could have easily pulled the covers over his head and unplugged his alarm clock BUT he didn’t and thanks to that, we are less wary about his health and deeply more encouraged about his season debut next week.
Here are John’s highlights from last night:
A Forgettable Night For…
DeJuan Blair – 1-4 FG, 2 REB, 4 TO
Blair was touted as a key free agent signing for the Wizards but hasn’t really lived up to that stature in the preseason. Blair has had some serious struggles getting involved in the offense and has been absorbing a lot of space with little cause. He’s not much of a shooter either which makes his presence out on the perimeter more or less futile, especially with his lack of mobility. Blair produced four turnovers in just 13 minutes which also raises a bit of concern about his true purpose in the rotation. We shall see.
Key stat of the game
The Wizards 3-point and free throw shooting
The Wizards have been dicey in both of these areas and usually when they lose a game decidedly, the difference has been either a lack of production from 3-point territory, or they’re missing their freebies. Otto Porter has been a gem shooting the ball, Garrett Temple knocked down a few as did Wall, Rasual Butler, and Damion James hit a 3 also. The free throw shooting was solid as well, with all but one from John Wall’s not falling. The big news here is Nene hitting both of his.
The Wall Lights courtesy of Truth About It
I was going to make this a Vinelight reel of all Wizards, but decided to make this a hermit just for John Wall dazzles.