Orlando (6-10) at Washington (7-9)
December 2, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSN Washington
Radio: 106.7FM The Fan
Projected starting lineups:
C- Marcin Gortat, PF- Jan Vesely, SF- Trevor Ariza, SG- Martell Webster, PG- John Wall
C– Nikola Vucevic, PF- Glen Davis, SF- Aaron Afflalo, SG- E’Twaun Moore, PG- Victor Oladipo
John Wall v. Victor Oladipo
The Magic are looking to continue grooming Victor Oladipo into their future starting point guard, and he faces a tough test tonight as he goes up against a red-hot John Wall. In contrast, this will be a tough matchup for John Wall. It’s rare that you can find another athlete at the ball-handler position that can stack up with Wall. Oladipo is a shade taller than Wall and has a similar pep in his step. Oladipo’s game reminds me a lot of a younger John Wall, with some shades of Wall’s current game.
Oladipo is not shooting the ball well and he is averaging nearly 4 turnovers a game. He has been borderline sloppy and is showing major growing pains in his rookie season. On the flipside, when Oladipo can channel his energy level into something positive it’s extremely infectious. He’s slowly but surely figuring out how to best penetrate into the lane and how to read the defense and properly get the most efficient shot when he gets there. He has shown flashes of great on the ball defense, at times hounding his opponent like a wild dog. We know Oladipo will savor playing in D.C., as to whether he savors one-on-one matchups against guys like John Wall is not something that I am aware of.
What I do love about John Wall’s progressing game is that he isn’t looking at the one-on-ones as a must win. He is doing whatever is best for the team to win. Whether he thinks that’s taking his guy off the dribble at will, looking to get his teammates involved, or devoting most of his energy to defense, he is making a concerted effort to get things done. As much as he doesn’t feed into becoming Teen Wolf against his rivals, Wall does savor these matchups.
Per J. Michael of CSN, Wall is looking forward to facing off against Oladipo.
“I just like how he has that dog. He has that A-factor, he’s backing down from nobody. Very strong. Very athletic. Quick with the ball. i think he’s still trying to find his way into this league, find his game.” — John Wall, when asked about Oladipo’s progress.
In the last game against Atlanta, Wall contributed to nearly every quality shot that guys like Ariza and Webster got, and that was when he wasn’t scoring 26 of his own points. In conclusion, Oladipo won’t be able to completely stop John Wall. Unless Oladipo can stop Wall in addition to the guys that Wall creates open shots for.
Martell Webster. Some people were confused when Martell Webster was signed to the huge deal (in relativity to what people perceived as his market value). More people were confused when he wasn’t slated to be the starter for the Wizards to open the season. Now that he has been reinserted to the starting lineup by default, we are seeing the positive effect he can have for the Wizards. Granted, nobody is saying that they would rather have Webster than Beal, but we obviously have the choice of having both on this team. The spotlight will continue to be on Webster as he excels in his starting role and builds a good drive and kick chemistry with John Wall. When Beal enters back into the starting lineup, Wittman needs to find more ways for Webster to be involved the Wizards offense.
Bench play. The significance/detriment of the bench will need to be pointed out every game until they start contributing more than they have. If the bench isn’t getting one of their scorers in double digits, it is giving up double-digit leads. It doesn’t help that since Bradley Beal is out, Martell Webster has been stolen away from the bench and has been inserted back into the starting lineup. Webster was the good looking girl in the group of a bunch of 5’s and 6’s. Now that he left to hang out with better looking people, the others are having a hard time getting past the bouncers.
Coach Wittman stated this past weekend that he’s going to do whatever it takes to win, even if that means not waiting around for the bench to start producing:
“Some of these guys are reaching into 40-plus, which I don’t like to do, but you know what, if we have to go out and win a game, we’re going to go out and win a game.”