On the Rebound (Wolves 93, WIZARDS 72)

The Wolves came back from a pair of lackluster home losses against Memphis and Cleveland to beat the Washington Wizards 93-72 Sunday afternoon in D.C. in the first tilt of a back-to-back-to-back on the road.

Today’s win felt great, mostly because Friday’s loss felt so bad. But before we get carried away with blowout euphoria, let us remember that the Wiz are truly awful. As a DC area resident, I can assure you that the ‘Zards really are that bad and that it’s no mistake the Wiz are 0-8. The Flip Saunders offenses Wolves fans grew accustomed to are nowhere to be found these days at the Verizon Center. The Wiz stand around a lot and eventually do some kind of iso for one of the Three Stooges–Andray Blatche, Nick Young, and Jordan Crawford. For variety, they’ll sometimes indulge Rashard Lewis’ itchy trigger finger and let him take a heat check from the three, which he’s currently shooting at a smelly 22%.

There are bright spots. John Wall could be Westbrook or Rose on another team – hell, in 2009/10 Wall excelled in Rose’s role for John Calipari’s  Kentucky Wildcats team, the year after Rose was the uber-athletic one-year rental who drove Cal’s Memphis muscle car all the way to the NCAA championship game – and JaVale McGee is leading the L in blocked shots and is DeAndre Jordan East. But the Stooges and Lewis drag down the ‘Zards like a rusty anchor and there’s no hope for the ‘Zards unless Ted Leonsis and Ernie Grunfeld overhaul the roster and give Wall a fresh start with a new cast of characters. (Hey! You know what? Wolves POBO David Kahn just did this in Mpls! And we just blew out the Wizards. Leonsis should poach him for a Wiz redemption project!)

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We’ll do a full wrap after the three-game set, but a few Wolves notes on the Wiz game:

  • Rubio outplayed Wall en route to 13pts/14 ast/+29 in 30 minutes. What the 5-14 in the box score fails to reflect is that Ricky knows when to shoot, and that he shoots it in rhythm/with confidence. It took Rondo–whose rep as a weak shooter has led defenses to sag off him like they do on Rubio–2-3 years to get as comfortable calling his own number as Ricky is right now. Can you believe we got this guy for Mike Miller and Randy Foy?
  • Beasley was out and the offense ran better. But again, it was the Wiz. So, correlation or causation?
  • Williams/Tolliver/Love is my favorite front line. They outwork everybody, they’re strong, and they’re physical. They play D. On offense, they all know how to exploit seams in the D and swing the ball to open shooters or make 3s themselves. I hope Adelman gives them more time together, with Rubio and Barea in the backcourt, once J.J. gets healthy.
  • Ellington made shots. With Beasley out at least three games I wanted Adelman to start Rubio or Williams, so I was pretty bummed when I heard Ellington was getting promoted. But he played okay today and we won.

We’ll get to test the experiment again tomorrow night against the Raps. Until then.

Season Record: 3-5

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “On the Rebound (Wolves 93, WIZARDS 72)

  1. Those +29’s next to Rubio and Williams really stick out on the box score.

    Had this been a better opponent, I’m not sure how things would have gone. Darko’s 4 turnovers in 18 minutes were very 2010ish for him. I doubt even Rick Adelman can pull consistency out of that guy. Still, Wes (2-8 in this one) is the more-problematic player on this team. For his sake and ours, he should be traded, even if it’s for a 2nd Round Pick and three Rick Adelman paychecks.

  2. @Andy G: With Maynor out for the season, does Presti go out and get another PG? Or is REGGIE WILLIAMS ready for primetime? If J.J. and Lee weren’t struggling with injuries, would we be speculating about a Ridnour-to-OKC trade right now?

    • Good questions, but if you’re going to ALL CAPS it, you’ve gotta get the name right — it’s REGGIE JACKSON, and I’m at least 90 percent sure it’s not Mr. October. If Presti isn’t calling Kahn, maybe he’ll see about Ramon Sessions, who probably isn’t getting the tick he deserves in Cleveland right now.

      • @Andy G: Good catch. I must have REGGIE WILLIAMS on the brain, still, from the last time he TORCHED the Wolves for GSW. And good take re: Sessions. He’s looked good this year but will get less and less clock as Irving continues to emerge.

  3. Brian J.

    ? From twolves fan in Tanzania: Rubio > Wall?

    • Sure seemed that way, yesterday. I think Wall has a bright future once he’s surrounded by pro’s. His speed and agility are probably without comparables right now, and his decision-making plenty good for such a young point guard. Really, the Wiz problems are incurable as long as Young, Crawford and Blatche are on the roster and getting minutes.

      Rubio was awesome, though. Incredible how much of a difference he makes almost every time he enters the game.

      • @Brian J & Andy G: It depends what you surround them with. Rubio wouldn’t look as good as he has if you surrounded him with the likes of Blatche, Young, Lewis, and Crawford, and Wall might give MN the athletic franchise-type scorer/playmaker we still sort of lack. Ricky’s obviously a better pure PG than JimmyWa, but I’m not ready to write off Wall from this conversation until he gets to play with some different players.

  4. Pingback: FREE DERRICK WILLIAMS! | Punch-Drunk Wolves