Wizards debut in ugly fashion

Wizards debut in ugly fashion
December 17, 2011, 2:30 am
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WASHINGTON---In the Wizards preseason opener against the Philadelphia 76ers, the future came into focus in the fourth quarter. That's when Shelvin Mack exploded off a Chris Singleton screen and then floated a pass to Jan Vesely who finished with a dunk.

The problem was the present and a 103-78 loss. Vesely's dunk, involving all three of the Wizards 2011 draft picks, was spectacular, but it only trimmed the Sixers lead to 91-59. A younger Wizards lineup that also included Kevin Seraphin did enjoy a 27-16 advantage in the fourth quarter.

Vesely in his first NBA game looked comfortable on the court and with moving without the ball. Singleton was as advertised, active on defense, with several deflections and two steals. Mack was aggressive in running the offense form the point and he also snared two steals

It was not a good night for the Wizards' starting five of John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Rashard Lewis, Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee. Blatche actually was very consistent and led the Wizards in scoring with 18 points, but the four other starts were a combined 9 for 34 shooting from the field.

"I was disappointed with our main guys," said Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. "I told them how hard we play in practice, the six or seven days and how we competed that didn't translate over. The one thing that I was waiting to see, that is the one thing I had hoped I would see. We came out almost kind of too cool."

"That performance we had tonight was nothing close to the performance we had during training camp," Blatche added. "There was no effort. There was no passion. It was like guys were out there just to be out there. We haven't had over six turnovers during scrimmages over all of training camp."

The performance against the Sixers did not match the vibe of the previous week of training camp. There was talk of being ahead of schedule on both offense and defense. Instead midway through the second quarter the Wizards had nine turnovers and only six made field goals.

For the game the Sixers shot fifty percent from the field and were 8 of 17 from three-point distance. Second year player Evan Turner impressed with his confidence and development from a year ago. Turner had 16 points, while instant offense Lou Williams led the team with 23 points.