January 8, 2014
New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, LA
Just what is up with the Wizards dominating their opponents away from home? Because it’s beginning to seem a lot as if basketball proficiency has just been quarantined from within the sidelines of the Verizon Center main floor. As if there’s some sort of unseen MonStarian spell casting through the alleyways of 6th and G street extracting the players of their skill sets and reducing them to impotency. I believe Eric Maynor has already fallen prey to these kind of ill spirits so you know it’s real.
After Washington’s win over the Pelicans last night in the Big Easy, they have now won six of their last seven games on the road including their last three. And the more the Wizards continue playing at the high level we’ve SEEN them capable of playing, the more that 3-game funk drifts further off into #SoWizards exodus. But maybe not until after a moral victory at Indiana on Friday and what would be the first home win two weeks if they beat Houston on Saturday.
The Wizards crashed into the New Orleans Arena on some “we’re hear to fuck shit up” type of approach and plucked away at Pelican feathers for about three and a half quarters before a late #SoWizards stretch that luckily ended in a #NotSoWizards way. But we’ll get to the bad parts parts later.
Not included in the bad parts: Jan H. Vesely.
Honza came off the bench with one of his elusive high-spirited performances, marking his season high in points with 12 to go with his six boards. He was great last night, swiftly running the floor in transition, a few lob dunks, a sprinkle of post action followed by the Honza sky hook. Despite it being less than a week removed from his ex-girlfriend’s public announcement of their split up, heartbroken Honza he was totally not. Vesely produced immensely in his 23 minutes of burn, knocking down all but two of his eight shots and registering a plus-13.
MVP: Jan Vesely – 12 points, 6-8 FG, 7 rebounds, plus-13
Honza was simply a product of his true nature on the floor last night doing much of the positive things you wished you were accustomed to more often. Slipping a baby hook out of the low post? Any time. Throwing down 40 foot lobs from John Wall? Gimme. Five offensive rebounds? I’m in there.
Wittman unchained his #Airwolf early in the game after deeming his Cook Book useless against Anthony Davis. By halftime, Jan had 10 points capped off by a tip-in of John Wall’s missed layup with 2 seconds left. His dynamism jolted Wizards fans all over and infused a fresh aura of optimism that perhaps THIS #Airwolf is here to stay.
LVP: Trevor Booker – 2 points, 16 minutes
Tides turn more frequently in a DC basketball locker room than anywhere else. Remember Jay-Z’s “A Week Ago” jam featuring Too Short? You can’t help but think about that song when observing Booker’s ever-so-shuffling presence in the rotation. Just one week removed from his brawny 19 rebound performance against the Mavs, Booker nightmarishly matched up against Anthony Davis and clocked just 16 unproductive minutes, most of them coming in the opening stretch of the first and second half. Wittman is very situational when mingling his bench players. Booker’s lack of burn against the Pelicans really wasn’t anything HE did or didn’t do, it’s just Wittman exploiting his every option based on the dynamics of the game.
Key stat of the game: – Bradley Beal 11 points in 3rd quarter
As the Wizards trotted back onto the floor after halftime, the consensus unease propelled by the relentless recurrence of 3rd quarter misfortunes loomed over Wizards nation, and sure enough those sentiments became a reality. Settled by a 17 point lead, the Wizards loafed into the second half, committing a turnover, missing a 3, and having a shot blocked on the first three possessions. New Orleans converted each stop into points, triggering disgruntled #WittmanFace.
But yo. Ain’t no 3rd quarter lame gon’ front on my mans ‘n em. After an 8-0 NOLA run to start the 3rd, Bradley Beal responded with 8 straight points of his own, knocking down a jumper followed by two 3’s to lift DC back up by 17. The Wizards would eventually took a 21 point lead into the 4th.