Dave Johnson: Wall and Wizards Get It Done

Dave Johnson: Wall and Wizards Get It Done
October 8, 2010, 2:27 am
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Thursday, October 7, 2010 9:32 p.m.By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.com Cleveland---Its gone from The Decision, LeBron James exit to Miami, to The Departure. In their second pre-season game, the Wizards witnessed the reality of the new look Cavaliers and used a strong second half to put together a 97-83 victory. The two teams combined for only 67 points in a ragged first half marred by turnovers and poor shooting. After the break the Wizards combined their strong defensive effort with more poise on offense to outscore the Cavaliers 28-19 in the third quarter and break open a tight game. Coach (Flip Saunders) told us our defense was very good, said John Wall. But our defensive stops should have led to easier baskets. Instead we were not passing the ball around and it was either one pass or we were coming off the pick and roll and just shooting. While the Cavaliers only shot 27 percent in the first half, the Wizards were not much better at 31 percent from the floor. In his pre-season debut against Dallas, Wall was effective at not trying to do much, but against the Cavaliers he struggled to establish an early offensive rhythm I was forcing it a little too much and trying to get myself involved instead of being the point guard, Wall explained. I missed a couple of easy layups early and that got to me and as a point guard and a leader on this team I cant let that get to me. Indeed at the break Wall had failed to score on 0 for 8 shooting. Wall then decided he would use his defense to get his offense going. In the third quarter Wall was part of a Wizards defense that forced five turnovers and he also blocked two shots. Suddenly Wall seemed more in control on offense. Wall finished with 12 points, 9 assists, andfour turnovers. The Wizards were led in scoring by Yi Jianlian who came off the bench to score 16 points. Yi did everything from banking a three pointer off the glass to finishing a slam dunk on the break. He also and matched Andray Blatche with a team high 7 rebounds. The Wizards actually struggled for much of the game on the boards and that as much as anything allowed the Cavaliers to hang around. For the game the Cavaliers committed 26 turnovers that led to 27 Wizards points. They were led in scoring by Jamario Moon with 16 points, while Ryan Hollins had 14 rebounds. The Cavaliers did not use former Wizard Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao. Mo Williams also did not play because of a right groin injury. The Wizards unveiled three players who did not play in Tuesdays win over the Mavericks. In 17 minutes Adam Morrison scored two points on 1 of 5 shooting. Rookie Trevor Booker from Clemson was aggressive with two steals to go with 5 fouls in 19 minutes, while fellow rookie Kevin Seraphin grabbed four rebounds in his nine minutes. Like they did against the Mavericks the Wizards started with Wall, Gilbert Arenas, and Kirk Hinrich on the floor together. Wall runs the show. Hinrich can score and set a defensive tone. Arenas is showing that explosiveness of old which helped him to 13 points and he was very involved in the rebounding mix with five boards. We have great shooters on the wing and we have big men who are athletic and can run the floor, said Wall. The key thing is our effort on defense and then our offense will come. We are a transition team and then we have enough sets to get easy baskets. As a point guard I have to continue to work on getting people in the right places." On Tuesday in Dallas Wall had to go up against future Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd. The Wizards concluded their opening pre-season road trip Friday in Chicago where Wall will collide with the Bulls Derrick Rose.

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