pacers 96 wizards 8911/17/2012 - Verizon Center, Washington, DCESPN BoxscoreNBA.com Game Highlights
No one on this team deserves the title MVP after the start they came out with and then finishing going 0-9. But for the sake of tradition, I’ll go with Bradley Beal. He ended up with eight points in just under 30 minutes, but only on four-of-12 shooting. The big thing for him was his three-point stroke. He went three-for-six from long range and hit all three at pretty crucial times in the game. Another big aspect of his game was his ability to get to the line. He showed a lot more aggression at the rim tonight and ended up going seven-for-nine at the free throw line. So for a game which didn’t even have a moral victory attached to it, Bradley Beal is your Wizards MVP.
THE GOOD Good is a relative word. The only thing that can be pulled from a game in which the Wizards set a franchise record for worst start to a season is the fact that they got to the free throw line.
Even with AJ Price, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza taking contested shots with more than 18 seconds left in the shot clock, the Wizards ended up going to the line 31 times tonight. The aggression was there from the right players—Beal (7/9), Crawford (7/7) and Singleton (even though he only made 1/5). Coach Wittman has stressed game after game that one thing holding them back was the inability to get to the free throw line. The team responded by getting there more times than they have all season (and what seems like all season combined).
The line did continue to haunt them though as they ended up missing eight free throws out of their 31 attempts -- eight points that could’ve won the game.THE BADWE almost made Jan Vesely “The Ugly” for tonight’s contest, but then Randy Wittman opened his mouth in the post-game press conference.
But Jan Vesely gets a very close honorable mention for the “Ugly” candidate. Wittman gave him the start once again tonight, and once again, he looked like a lost child on the court.
It didn’t seem possible to begin with, but he looked worse than he ever has. His stat line was not all that bad (2/4 for 5 pts, 2 rebounds), but it’s what he did off the ball that made the thousands in attendance scratch their head and boo.
In the second quarter, he attempted to drive to the rim to get some contact. Instead of finishing strong, he stopped his pace, picked up a charge, and essentially threw the ball Brian Cook style at the rim for a dead play.
He played a major chunk of the third quarter matched up against Roy Hibbert. It turned out about as well as one would think it would turn out. He’s undersized, inexperienced, and looks like a nervous wreck. It’s no wonder why Hibbert ended up with seven points in the third quarter and 20 points overall.
He then showed not too far after that he cannot come even close to handling the ball on the fast break, followed by getting flipped by Tyler Hansborough after a physical play which led Tyler to scream “I’ll f--k him up!”
In the fourth quarter, he looked like a fish out of water. He airballed a layup, flopped twice (I would be very surprised if the league didn’t fine him for at least one of those) and then came out of the game leaving not only the fans, but himself frustrated.
There are a lot of possible answers to the Wizards’ situation. I assure you, however, that Jan Vesely is not an answer to anything.THE UGLY The ugly with Randy Wittman began with him keeping the same starting lineup of Ariza, Vesely, Okafor, Crawford and Price. Seraphin has more than earned a starting spot over Okafor (who has done absolutely nothing for this team as of yet). Ariza deserves to be sat in exchange for Singleton (who is one of the few on this team showing not only passion, but promise).
And Jan Vesely? See above, as there’s no need for another verbal lashing for the poor guy.
But during the game, one would have to just imagine that Wittman is trying everything he can do to make this team better. He sees this team more than anyone else does. He knows their strengths, their weaknesses, who to play, who not to play….err….wait a minute….Randy just stepped in for his post-game conference.
“I don’t know who to start, play or not to play.”
Well. Scratch that statement above. At least he thinks the right players are on the team to make a competitive team, right?
“If I had a cell phone, I’d be calling the waiver wire.”
So, if all else fails, just throw a random group out there and roll the dice, right?
“I’m just searching for people to give me consistency…I’ll toss another group out there, we’ll see if we can’t find another group that starts well.”
Maybe Livingston (10 points, four assists) is part of that group?
“Oh, I don’t know. If I had that answer right now, I’d be a genius.”
Well, unfortunately, Randy, it doesn’t take a genius to see that what you’re putting out on the court is not working for this team. The bench embarrassingly outscored the starting five again and the Okafor/Ariza duo only went for seven points combined.
It has become evident that Randy Wittman has become so frustrated that he is ultimately clueless about what to do with this team.
And for that, Wittman receives the “Ugly” from this game.
And from the looks of it, would anyone really be surprised if this was his last “honor” as a Washington Wizard?