Wizards turn aggressive start into win over Rockets

Wizards turn aggressive start into win over Rockets
July 15, 2012, 5:55 am
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Updated 9:10 AM ETLAS VEGAS Recapping the (mostly) highs and (charity strip shooting) low of the Wizards 76-70- win over the Houston Rockets in the Las Vegas Summer League Saturday night.Jump-startAfter a lackluster opening against Atlanta on Friday, the Wizards played a thoroughly energetic first half against Houston, resulting in a 48-31 halftime lead. Tone setting came via early aggressive offensive action from Chris Singleton and Bradley Beal, who again led the Wizards in scoring with 14 points. Before the first half ended, all the main options had their moments. We had a lot more energy today. Energy level was good, Wizards summer league head coach Sam Cassell said. Our main guys forced the tempo, rebounded the ball well today, passed the ball a little better."Shelvin Mack scored all of his 11 points in the first half, Jan Vesely again found success with his perimeter shot and Tomas Satoransky threw down one of two monster dunks while putting together a substantially better performance compared to game one. The lead ballooned to 25 points in the fourth quarter and then tightened after Cassell pulled his primary options.Overall, I was impressed, Cassell said. I got a chance to give a lot of guys playing time. It got a little close down the stretch, but I was proud of the guys today.All-around BealLeading scorer aspect aside, the poised rookie demonstrated the breadth of his game including as rebounder, passer and thinker.Today, myself, I just let the game come to me, said Beal, who had four assists. They were helping a lot on my drives, so I just found the open guy and started kicking the ball. I really wasnt worrying about scoring too much, because everybody can score on this team, so I was really just trying to get my teammates the ball.The third quarter, which was also hisfinal quarter,proved a microcosm of his night. With his parents watching court side, Beal scored nine points in that span, including a baseline dunk and putback off one of his three offensive rebounds. He also doled out a pretty no-look feed to Garett Siler for a dunk and throughout showed a comfort level whenever tasked with running the offense. It always is because either I can score for myself or somebody else is open, they can knock down the shots, Beal said of being in playmaking mode. Its always fun to be in that position, to be able to create for yourself and to be able to create for your teammates as well."Beal split his two 3-point attempts and is 2 of 5 through two games. The one box score downer, a 5 for 10 performance at the free throw line, which left the 19-year-old shaking his head during the postgame media session. Of course, after sinking 9 of 10 against the Hawks, Beal has reached the charity stripe a robust 20 times in two games.Hes getting 10 free throws a night, Cassell noted. If he continues that, Im pretty sure our whole staff will be happy with that.Mack attackMacks point-guarding day against the Rockets started along the same largely ineffective path he took versus the Hawks before his scoring touch emerged. What got him started? With Beal acting as the distributor, Mack took on the role of finisher, which ignited an assertive streakin all facets.You have to take what the defense gives you," said the rising second-year guard. "They stop me, pass the ball. If they dont stop me, keep going until someone stops the ball. Just continue to play on and off the ball and be aggressive.(Shelvins) getting a feel for itGetting a feel for how to be a point guard, said Cassell, the former NBA floor general. It was well played basketball by Shelvin Mack today. He can make shots, he can play off the ball, he can play on the ball. Everything went well today.Frontcourt...Singleton scored 10 points and often served as the team's loudest on-court voice, but according to Cassell, hisbest work came on the defensive end against the Rockets array of first-round forwards. "Hes doing a hell of a job defensively, being in the right position off the ball. Hes our best help side defender right now," Cassell said.Like Beal, Singleton's struggled at the foul line (4 of 9). The Wizards shot 53.3 percent (16 of 30).After draining three perimeter shots against the Hawks, Vesely made both of outside attempts, 4 of 6 overall and finished with eight points. One of the misses, another dunk, his third of the summer league. And since you were wondering, only three personal fouls after picking up 10 on Friday.The duo combined for seven rebounds, but collectively the Wizards hammered the Rockets on the glass, finishing with a 42-31 advantage.EtcSatoransky scored 11 points of the bench with the highlights coming on a dribble-drive dunk in the open court and jamming home a perfectly thrown alley-oop pass from Steven GrayThe Wizards onlookers included Jordan Crawford, Trevor Booker, Cartier Martin and Emeka OkaforRockets rookie guard Jeremy Lamb, the 12th overall pick, led all scored with 26 pointsReserves Jeff Brooks (nine rebounds), Garrett Siler and Gray each scored six points. Washington plays its third game in three days Sunday against the NBA Developmental League Al-Stars.