It’s not easy to follow back-to-back posts on spectacular dunks and wizard-like passing highlights, but I’m going to make the case for John Wall, Marcin Gortat, Kris Humphries, and Garrett Temple to entertain you with some well-timed, fun to watch blocks.
The Wizards as a team had 378 blocks on the season. Marcin Gortat accounted for 110, good for 18th in NBA. Former Kentucky star-turned NBA phenom Anthony Davis of the Pelicans led the league with 200. Washington had two more entries in the Top 100; Kevin Seraphin, who registered 59 (55th), and Point Gawd 4 Lyfe John Wall, who posted 45; a tie with Eric Bledsoe (77th). Wall and Bledsoe were the only point guards in the league to crack the Top 100. H/T #BBN and Coach John Calipari.
We’ve chosen 10 of our favorite blocks from this past season to share with you as we continue to walk further away from the disappointment of a playoff run ended, and the optimism of an upcoming offseason.
Elfrid gets his application denied.
Kris Humphries. A man forgotten. When I think back on last season I prefer to remember the forward who was pulling down double-digit rebounds and hitting that top-of-the-arc jumper, usually off a John Wall assist. The 12-year vet still brings a toughness and physicality to play every time he steps on the court. As evidenced by this swat on Elfrid Peyton, you can never count Kris out of a play on a fast break because he doesn’t take plays off. They say you can’t stop speed. Hump figured it out on this occasion.
The smaller the blocker, the more impressive the block.
There were not a lot..scratch that…there were very few highlights in the Wizards’ drubbing at the hands of the Cavaliers back in February, but if there is a game to be played, and he’s playing in it, John Wall is going to give himself a shot at making a #SCTop10 moment. His entry on this particular evening involves the greatest player on the planet right now in LeBron James, and a little moment to let King James know just because you don’t see him doesn’t mean you’re safe from him.
The Polish Machine and the Bull.
Marcin Gortat makes his first appearance on the Wizards block list from his stat-stuffing night against the Bulls on prime time TV back in January. Gortat finished the night with 21 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Gortat’s ability to protect the rim is what had Wizards fans scratching their heads in many 4th quarters as the season progressed when Randy Wittman was calling on other bigs to finish games. If the job description is pick and roll, inside hook game, rim protector, then few have the skill and fluidity to do it like the #PolishMachine does.
And I want my ball back.
As previously mentioned and compounded by his All-NBA defensive team status, we have established that John Wall is a very good defender. What makes Wall unique is his ability to use all of his attributes to turn normal blocks into “he did what?!” type moments. Wall not only rejects the advances of Los Angeles Clippers forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis, but he stole the ball right out of the man’s hands and to the approval of The Truth.
“How to Move Your Feet”, starring Marcin Gortat.
The Polish Machine’s first block of the season came at the 3:39 mark of the 1st quarter against the Heat in a game that featured a 6-point Wizards lead after one quarter but ending in a double-digit loss. Washington trotted out a starting lineup of Gooden, Pierce, Gortat, Temple and Wall while Nene and Dejuan Blair served league suspensions. While the Wizards couldn’t stop Bosh who finished with 26 points, 15 rebounds and four assists, on this occasion Marcin was able to rotate perfectly over to compensate for the step Bosh had on Humphries.
Gortat swats Bayliss.
I enjoyed this next one because of the excitement of Drew Gooden, who was ready to return Jarryd Bayliss’ floater had it made it past level boss #PolishMachine Marcin Gortat. Again, Marcin showed off his quick feet to make up for Andre Miller, who got beat on Bayliss’ first step. After the play, you can see Gooden smack the backboard and come down hyped for his teammate. This past season, the Wizards’ team chemistry had to have been the highest I’ve seen in my time covering the team, which goes back to 2007. And on plays like this is when you you could especially tell that the guys really enjoyed playing for and with each other.
Reservations for 2 at the rim were canceled for DeMar DeRozen.
What’s a Wizards block party without Garrett Temple? Inside some circles he’s even known as a defensive specialist. When people talk about “glue guys”, Temple’s name always pops to top of my list. He’s the ‘role player’ #NBA2K15 description to a tee. Able to manage a game and provide defensive sparks off the bench. Teammates love him, he’s extremely personable and downright likable if you knew him off the court. I like when good things happen to good people, so cheers to you @GTemp14.
Get on up there young man.
Wall’s next entry on this list shows off his freakish jumping ability and impeccable anticipation for the perfect block. Plays like this make you jump out your seat or hit the rewind button on your TIVO. Don’t take my word for it, let the Wall mean mug sell you.
Wall obliterates Oladipo.
Let me start with the moral to the story here. No matter where you are on the court, if the ball is not in the air or in the basket, you are not safe from Johnathan Hildred Wall. On this play, Victor Oladipo – the local product hailing from the Dematha Stags Basketball Factory and a player known to be pretty damn quick himself – manages to get a step on Wall. Unfortunately for Vic, John makes up for it and changes an easy two for the Magic guard into a David Copperfield disappearing act for the Wizards All-Star defender. You can run from John Wall, but you can’t run away far enough, nor fast enough.
JCraw needs to come stronger than that against the Hump.
Jamal Crawford is a very quick and very good basketball player and scorer. Kris Humphries is an extremely energetic and strong basketball player. On this particular occasion, JCraw tried to finesse his way past the big forward, but instead saw Hump swat his shot so hard that Adam Silver’s signature was embedded from the ball onto the backboard and bounced a quarter of the court in the opposite direction to start a fast break for the Wizards. Teammates excited. Check. Momentum shift. Check. The type of block where you can just hear the blocker say “Get that sh#t out of here” even if he didn’t.