John Wall knows the Wizards have much to work on
MORNING TIP: Waking up Wednesday, after the Wizards dropped their preseason opener at Verizon Center. ....
Coach Randy Wittman kept emphasizing his concern with his team -- particularly point guard John Wall -- protecting the ball.
A few hours before the Wizards' 111-106 overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets, Wittman said this:
"I want to see him from an offensive standpoint taking care of the ball. We were down towards the end of the league last year in turnovers per game. That's got to change for us to become a better offensive team. We got to focus on trying to go out and get a shot every possession. When you have 24 turnovers that's 24 shots you didn't get in a game. That's a lot. ... John's a guy that I don't want to play any differently. He's just got to learn I want him up and down the floor, I want pace into the game. That's going to create some turnovers. There's no question about that."
Wittman was close. The Wizards committed 23 turnovers. Wall and Kevin Seraphin each had four. Trevor Ariza, Eric Maynor and Nene each had three. The usually unsure-handed Jan Vesely only had one.
After the game, this was his analysis: "It boils down to turnovers. This team is not going to get over the top until they take better care of the basketball. We forced 25 but we gave up 23. Started the third quarter I think six of the first seven, or five of the first six possessions, were turnovers. ... We were just too careless. You're going to turn the ball over but too many careless ones. Off top of my head, 3-on-2, 2-on-1 situations we turned the ball over. Those have to got be baskets. ... Until we cherish the ball a little bit better, offensively that's not good enough."
Wall, who had 16 points and a game-high eight assists, chimed in with his observations: "It's just one of those nights where we turned the ball over too many times, especially starting the third quarter. That's one thing we really got to work on. Every game we're up (or) down we have a bad start to the third quarter."
On the bright side, it was just the first game. New additions Glen Rice, Al Harrington and Maynor were visibly out of sync. Rice missed all four of his three-point attempts, Harrington misfired his three of his and Maynor missed 6 of 7 shots.