Dave Johnson: Wall Leads Wizards Past Mavericks

Dave Johnson: Wall Leads Wizards Past Mavericks
October 6, 2010, 3:29 am
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010 11:16 p.m.
By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comDallas---In the Wizards pre-season opener it was very much the John Wall show, but the award for best supporting player in a dramatic game went to Lester Hudson who hit a three-pointer with 2.5 seconds left to deliver a 97-94 win over the Mavericks.Wall dazzled on both offense and defense. Before the game Wall talked of playing at a higher level than summer league and against the Mavericks including Jason Kidd he reached that level while maintaining his composure.Instead of trying to do too much in his rookie pre-season debut, Wall operated in the flow of the game and finished with 21 points, 9 assists and 4 steals. Walls defense was almost more impressive than his offense and some missed open shots that he created for others prevented him from getting a double-double.For all Wall's work, the end belonged to Hudson. It was like a Hollywood script. Hudson is a second year player out of Tennessee-Martin and without a guaranteed contract he is desperately trying to win a job with the Wizards.I was kind of struggling a bit during the game, said Hudson. I have to get it right. I promise I will. I had to make that shot. I was not playing the way coach wanted me to. I had to make up for it and hopefully I did.Hudson was originally drafted by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft. He split time last year between the Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies. In college he ranked second in the nation in scoring at 27.5 ppg behind Davidsons Stephon Curry.On the winning shot Hudson displayed a confidence beyond his years. Mavericks rookie Dominique Jones had just tied the game with a 19-footer with 16.7 seconds left. Off the inbound pass, Hudson received the ball just outside the center circle and held it against his hip in Gilbert Arenas-like fashion. The floor cleared out for Hudson and with 8 seconds left he went to work on Mavericks guard Dee Brown. Hudson drove to the top of the arc and then after a jab-stab created just enough space to pull back and hit a fade-away jumper from 25-feet. I need to be aggressive, noted Hudson who impressed during training camp at George Mason with not only his offensive capabilities but his defensive tenacity. They know I can shoot but I also can get my teammates into the offense.While Hudsons game-winner was a surprise, the rest went according to script. Recovered from an off-season foot injury, Andray Blatche led the Wizards with 22 points. It was a continuation of the Blatche who took over for the Wizards late last season and averaged 22 points and 8 rebounds in the teams final 32 games.Arenas, who missed the weekend activity at George Mason University with a sprained right ankle played well off the ball and had 12 points. In fact Arenas started along with Wall and Kirk Hinrich in a three-guard set.Before the game I was curious to see how it would look, Hudson said. It went well because Hinrich can guard. He can play real defense. He is smart. He can help and he can hold his man. It (three guards together) went great tonight.Hinrich was very much a key player in the Wizards tenacious defense. Several times he frustrated the Mavericks Caron Butler despite a size disadvantage and finished with four steals. As a team the Wizards had 14 steals and 11 blocked shots.The athleticism of the Wizards' big men was also very evident against the Mavericks. To go with 13 points JaVale McGee had 6 of those blocked shots. Yi Jianlian added three blocked shots and the Wizards ended with 19 points off 23 Mavericks turnovers.Even though he is seven-feet tall, Yi can also play like small forward with his ability to drive and hit outside shots. Yi was the only Wizards player with a double-double at 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Mavericks were led by Jason Terry with 15 points.Trevor Booker, Adam Morrison , Hamady NDiaye, and Kevin Seraphin were among the healthy Wizards who did not play, but with two games in three days left on this pre-season trip there will be opportunities.Check out photos from the Wizards Preseason Opener