Wizards effort not enough
So much transpired during the 108-106 double-overtime loss to Charlotte that a single once-over of the final book proved insufficient. In no particular, some box score and beyond items that stood out to yours truly:
*The plus-minus statistic often leads to misleading conclusions. Not in this game, not since Nene returned to the lineup. Seemingly, whenever the Brazilian big man stepped on or off the court against the Bobcats momentum changed. No Nene starting the first and third quarters, the Wizards fall into double-digit holes. Nene comes in later in those quarters, rallies commence. In a game the Wizards lost by two points, Nene finished +22. In his two games back including Wednesday's one-point overtime loss to Atlanta, the power forward is +31. Again, the Wizards lost the games by a combined three points.
*Taking this point deeper into advanced stats: According to basketballreference.com, Nene owns the highest Win-share (.318) per 48 minutes of any player in the league that has played at least 45 minutes this season.
*Nene made 8 of 13 field goal attempts against the Bobcats. The other 10 Wizards' that played finished 26 of 80. The team in both overtime's, 4 of 17. For the game from anywhere, Jordan Crawford, 4 of 15, Bradley Beal, 3 of 12, Chris Singleton, 3 of 11 and Kevin Seraphin, 3 of 10. Speaking of Seraphin, in the two games with Nene back his plus/minus is -34.
*During the first 47 minutes and 33 seconds, the Wizards made 27 of 30 free throws. Over the final 10 minutes and 17 seconds just 5 of 9. Trailing 92-91 with 17 seconds left in regulation, Martell Webster attempted two free throws. He split the pair, overtime. In the first OT with Charlotte leading 99-97, the Bobcats fouled a 3-point shooting Chris Singleton with 0.4 seconds remaining. Make, miss, make equals second overtime. Washington takes a three point in the final extra session then leads 102-101 with 1:47 left. Singleton is fouled, makes one of two. Next Charlotte possession, Reggie Williams makes his only field goal, a 3-pointer to boot. Bobcats take the lead for good.
*Before the game, Wizards coach Randy Wittman said Nene remained on a minutes count with 20 being the outer limit. In Wednesday's single-OT game, Wittman stayed with the plan by using Nene just under 20 minutes even though that mean keeping his top player on the sideline during the extra session. Following Friday's practice Wittman said of Nene's minutes, "I've got to be careful. It's hard. The impact he has on our team and how he helps our other players especially from an offense standpoint, we've got to be smart too."
If the latest game ended in regulation, Wittman once would have once again taken Nene's time to the edge, but not beyond. Instead, the coach used his gutty veteran for all but five seconds of the two-overtime session. "He makes everybody a little bit better for us," Wittman said postgame. "He's tired now, his conditioning, thought his legs got heavy, but he gutted it out. He wanted to be out there. He gives us somebody we can play through. He just makes us all better. He's a very bright basketball IQ that we need more of."
*Emeka Okafor played 21 minutes, but none in either overtime session. He led the Wizards with nine first half points and grabbed four rebounds in five fourth quarter minutes, though his plus-minus in that final span, -5.
*Three Bobcats fouled out - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Ben Gordon, Jeff Taylor. The trio combined for 41 points, 6 of 9 on 3-pointers and 14 of 29 overall.
*Kemba Walker, Charlotte's leading scorer on the season, finished 3 of 17 from the field.
*Only 11 games into his pro career, Bradley Beal is bound to establish new personal bests on a semi-regular basis. Against the Bobcats, that meant five assists plus his first double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The rookie also missed a 3-pointer with 7.8 seconds left in the first overtime and Washington down one point. Overall the Wizards missed 21 of 27 shots from beyond the arc.
*Over his last six games, Beal has made at least 50 percent of his shots only once. In that span, 17 of 63 (26.9 percent).
*Chris Singleton had 13 points and matched his career-high with 12 rebounds before fouling out. He finished with four steals - all in the third quarter. Finished with six of the Wizards 18 offensive rebounds.
*Martell Webster scored a season-high 16 points. His offensive rating - estimate of points produced/scored per 100 possessions - of 159 led the Wizards. On the other end, A.J. Price finished with a 32.
*Jan Vesely started for the fourth straight game, though he's played only 18 minutes combined in the last two outings. In 10 minutes against the Bobcats, Vesely scored two points, had one steal, one turnover, made his one field goal attempt and missed his only free throw. His second free throw attempt on the same possession, an air ball, scrubbed from the record book as several players committed a lane violation.
*Of those who have played in at least 9 of the Wizards' 11 games this season, only Singleton and Webster have yet to start a game.