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Game Notebook 5, Wizards vs. Pacers: John Wall on showcase for the world

Wizards 96

Pacers 94 (ot)

November 5, 2014 – Verizon Center, Washington< DC


Key Stats:

Indiana rebounding: outrebounded the Wizards 57-43; had 14 offensive rebounds and 17 second chance points.

Wizards shooting: only 37% from the field but they made 21 of 23 free throws.

John Wall: 31-10-6. Also 3 steals and 1 block.

Moment of the Night

John Wall the GAWD. Transforming mediocrity into excellence, one cross-court pass at a time.

Martell Webster. Trevor Ariza. Garrett Temple. The list of average shooters turned killers is growing and Johnny ain’t even started yet. If you’ve ever actually played basketball and not just watched it, you’ll agree that being the recipient of a smooth, clean pass creates an incredible amount of momentum for you as a shooter to put the ball up with good form and high confidence. Imagine that on a professional scale and with a guy like Wall tossing the ball and you’ll understand better as to why the game has become so easy for Garrett Temple this season.

Well it was certainly a game of the sluggish variety last night at The Booth. This fact was evidenced by the sloppy shooting, lack of hustle, and the inability to maintain a comfortable lead down the stretch. But in spite of all the lethargy, the Wizards were able to squirm their way through to a victory, kind of like me sifting through the $10 clearance box for a size medium v-neck at an Express store. The shooting was dismal, but luckily so was Indiana’s. And even more lucky were the Wizards to hit 21 of 23 their free throws, usually an area that ultimately dooms them. The Wizards were also dominated on the boards and allowed 17 too many second chance points but made key stops when they needed to.

David Sloan was granted a certificate for #WizardsKiller in just his first try. The once 3rd string point guard and Pierre Garcon clone torched the Wizards for 31 points and five 3-pointers. His kill job was relatively easy, though, losing John Wall several times off screens and finding clean, open shots. Chris Copeland, who has emerged as the Pacers’ top scorer so far this season (yes, really) also chimed in with 21 points.

But none of that would deter John Wall. Wall scored seven of his 31 in extra time, including six straight in a span of one minute. His 30-10 night was his second of the season already. His knack for taking control and his will to carry his team over all the struggles and sluggishness is why we watch sports. It’s why he was finally playing in front of a national TV audience during the regular season. It is why we are rooting for a team that is now 4-1. Because of Wall, the Wizards have only minimally lost a step on offense. His speed and vision, his intellect and leadership, these things make the game so much easier for his teammates. Just ask Garrett Temple. Wall now

The Chronology:

  • The shooting was horrendous early on, especially for Indiana who missed 6 of their first 7. Both teams, however, couldn’t shoot better than 40% in the first 3 quarters, until Indy erupted to shoot 52% in the 4th quarter.

  • Marcin Gortat seemed a bit out of his element in the 1st quarter. Like someone needed to check his forehead for warmth to see if he was getting the flu. He missed a few bunnies and was a bit slow getting to loose balls. He got blocked by Hibbert early on too. Doesn’t really matter much though as he still was able to finish with a proverbial double-double.

  • John Wall was also a bit slow to start, missing a few jumpers pretty badly. David Sloan didn’t help his case much either. Wall was getting devoured on a few screens which opened up good looks for Sloan behind the arc. He knocked down most of them. Sloan also blew by Wall in transition and had 8 of Indy’s first 10 points.

  • I think emphasizing Garrett Temple’s unexpected emergence is getting a little old now after 5 games. Once again, set up by immaculate John Wall passing, Temple showed his range from the corner 3 area, hustled on the glass, and had a nice follow up on his own miss.

Nene and Marcin interior passing is a great sight.

  • Chris Copeland scored 19 off the bench for the Pacers to go with 12 boards. Copeland needed 21 shots to get those points but when he did, he was often the beneficiary of good ball movement.

Look at Johnny go!

  • David Sloan had a great game because most of his shots came off strong screens that devoured John Wall. But yo when Wall was checking Sloan straight up…….

#OttoTime is never late.

  • The Pacers were able to run off to a 7-point lead in the 2nd quarter as the second unit shrunk once again. A barrage of Kevin Seraphin and Drew Gooden misses and a few offensive fouls got the Wizards back pedaling and before you knew it, Paul Pierce and Wall were back on the floor.

The Wizards would then fire off on a 16-2 run which included this Wall 3-point shot.

It also included Kevin Seraphin pulling the chair on Roy Hibbert.

John Wall. “This is my city”.

  • Paul Pierce was pretty unproductive in this one, finishing just 3-15 from the field and missing all 4 of his 3-point attempts. But amid the terrible shooting, he still manages to put you in awe of his intangibles. Evading the chasing defense, creating space, putting up the shot. Liquid.

  • It really wasn’t a great second half for the Wizards, who continued to shoot poorly from the field but what hurt them the most was Indiana finally getting buckets in the 4th. The Pacers shot 52% in the final quarter and outscored the Wizards 23-18, capped off by a cute David Sloan jumper to send it in to overtime.

  • I call Sloan’s jumper cute because while it was a big shot for the Pacers to extend the game, it wasn’t big enough to supersede John Wall in overtime. Wall seven of the Wizards’ 12 OT points including six straight in a minute.

John Wall showcasing for the world.

we are Hoop District

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