April 20, 2014

John Wall Named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

The NBA announced today that Wizards guard John Wall has been named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, Nov. 18, through Sunday, Nov. 24.

Wall averaged 24.3 points, 8.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game while shooting .500 from the field, .880 from the free-throw line and .500 from three-point range in leading the Wizards to a 3-1 record during the week.

The fourth-year guard tallied 30+ points in consecutive games for the first time in his career after scoring a season-high 37 at Toronto on 11/22 (including 30 in the second half) and then 31 vs. New York in a 98-89 win on 11/23.  Wall had two double-doubles on the week and scored 14 points while dishing out a career-high tying 16 assists, with only one turnover, in a 104-100 win vs. Minnesota on 11/19.  He is the only player in the NBA this season to have a game with at least 16 assists and only one turnover.  The last player to accomplish this feat was Wall in March of 2013.  In a 98-91 win at Cleveland on 11/20, Wall poured in 15 points, 10 assists and four steals.

On the season, Wall is averaging 18.6 points, 8.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds.

Wizards Announce 2013-14 Schedule

The Washington Wizards will tip off the 2013-14 regular season on the road against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

The Wizards, who closed out the 2012-13 season with a 29-53 record, will open at home on Friday, Nov. 1, against the Philadelphia 76ers. Overall, the Wizards will play 22 of their 41 home games on the weekend (Friday-Sunday), with 20 of those coming on Friday (seven games) and Saturday (13 games).

The Wizards will face crowd-pleasers such as the 2013 NBA Champion Miami Heat on Jan. 15 and Apri. 14, the New York Knicks on Nov. 23, the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 26 and the Oklahoma City Thunder (Feb. 1) and an ESPN-televised game against Cleveland on Feb. 7.

The Wizards will also host two holiday games this season, including a New Year’s Day matchup against the Dallas Mavericks and a Martin Luther King Day matinee against the Philadelphia 76ers.  The home finale will take place on April 14 when the Wizards host the Heat prior to finishing the season with a road game at Boston on April 16.

The Wizards will have two five-game homestands during the season and will host two sets of back-to-back home games (Jan. 17/18 vs. Chicago/Detroit and Mar. 28/29 vs. Indiana/Atlanta).  The team’s two longest road trips will take place from Jan. 24-29 when they head west to visit Phoenix, Utah, Golden State and the L.A. Clippers and then from Mar. 18-23 when they travel to play at Sacramento, Portland, the L.A. Lakers and Denver.  The Wizards will play a span of eight games in 12 days from Nov. 19-30, comprising their most condensed portion of the 2013-14 schedule.

Each team in the Eastern Conference will visit Verizon Center twice with the exception of Indiana (Mar. 28) and New York (Nov. 23), while the Wizards will visit Brooklyn (Dec. 18) and Chicago (Jan. 13) only once during the regular season.

All home games will tip off at 7:00 p.m., with the exception of the New Year’s Day game vs. Dallas (6:00 p.m.), the Martin Luther King Day game vs. Philadelphia (2:00 p.m.), Sunday games on Jan. 5 vs. Golden State and Feb. 9 vs. Sacramento (6:00 p.m.) and an 8:00 p.m. start vs. Atlanta on March 29 (which will be preceded by a Capitals home game at 12:30 p.m.)

Sports community shows support for Jason Collins

On Monday morning, news broke that Washington Wizards center Jason Collins announced his coming out in the May 6 edition of Sports Illustrated. In the article, he states: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”

With news of Collins’s announcement, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld issued the following statement on behalf of the team: “We are extremely proud of Jason and support his decision to live his life proudly and openly.  He has been a leader on and off the court and an outstanding teammate throughout his NBA career.  Those qualities will continue to serve him both as a player and as a positive role model for others of all sexual orientation.” [Read more...]

John Wall Named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week

For the first time in his career, John Wall earned the title of Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, March 11, through Sunday, March 17.

In that timeframe, Wall recorded three double-doubles, averaged 24 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and 2.5 steals per game while shooting .617 from the field. He also shot .800 (4-of-5) from three-point range and .857 from the free-throw line.

He started off the week by scoring 27 points and tallied a season-high 14 assists in the Wizards’ 95-90 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers. In Wednesday’s 106-93 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, he added 23 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and four steals and in Friday’s 96-87 win over the New Orleans Hornets, Wall recorded a season-high 29 points on 12-of-15 from the floor. He capped off the week with 17 points, 11 assists and five rebounds in Washington’s 127-105 win over the Phoenix Suns Saturday night.

Wall is the first Wizard to be named Eastern Conference Player of the Week since Antawn Jamison won it for games played March 10-16 of 2008. To put that into perspective – Wall was just 17 years-old at the time.

The Wizards are now 18-14 (.563) since Wall returned to the lineup on Jan. 12 after missing the first 33 games of the season with a stress injury to his left knee.

Washington Wizards Game 60 Wrap: Deron Williams and Brooklyn Nets dominate Wizards 95-78

If you were tuning in to see whether the Washington Wizards continued their impressive winning ways you are going to be disappointed as the Brooklyn Nets dominated them 95-78 in New York.

Nothing quite sums up just how bad this game was than the fact that Brooklyn’s Deron Williams broke the record for three-pointers in a half by hitting nine leading the Nets in scoring. At one point at the start of the second half Williams had as many points, 33, as the entire Wizards. At one point, Williams was the only player to hit a three in the entire game, until Washington’s Martell Webster hit one at the start of the second half. [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 58: Wizards down 76ers late, lose Bradley Beal to injury

Even though John Wall stole the show for the Washington Wizards with a huge bucket to seal a 90-87 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, the long-term story of the game is the loss of rookie Bradley Beal.

The Wizards’ rookie franchise single season three-point recorder holder went down with little contact in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter and did not return to the game. Scoring 14 points in the game, Beal is a key-cog in the Wizards’ plans. [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 56: Wizards throw away victory in 96-95 loss to the Pistons

The Washington Wizards’ winning streak ended at three games, as they fell to the Detroit Pistons 96-95 for the fourth time this season, as the Wizards threw away the final possession which gave them a chance to hit a shot to win it.

Even with John Wall having probably one of his worst games of the season, the Wizards were able to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter and almost overcame what looked like an insurmountable Pistons lead, but their attempt fell just short, entirely to poor fundamentals.

“We were more caught up in ourselves as individuals than the team. That’s the bottom line. We got guys that, haven’t been in the rotation, complaining, the older guys try to help them and they wont listen and that just tells me I’m worried about myself, I’m not worried about winning this game,” Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman said following the game. “Its my job to coach you and right now, tonight for whatever reason, it’s bizarre to me, they didn’t want to be coached.” [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game 55 Wrap: Wizards extend winning streak to three games after downing Raptors

It may not have been pretty, but the Washington Wizards persevered through some tough shooting and poor offense to pull out their third win in a row with a 90-84 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Bradley Beal was the Wizards’ best shooter all night, scoring 20, but it was a tough night for both teams around the bucket. Both shot under 45 percent, with the Raptors shooting under 40 percent, to make for some less than thrilling basketball. Washington put three players in double-figures compared to Toronto who just had two players go over ten points. [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game 54 Wrap: Win over Rockets shows glimpse of future

The Washington Wizards have looked like a different team since John Wall returned and with their second win in two nights over playoff bound Western Conference teams, Saturday night’s saw the Wizards beating the Houston Rockets 105-103, the NBA is getting a glimpse of what may be next year.

Even though Wall’s return has been the focal point for much of the season, Bradley Beal might be the brightest star on the team right now. Saturday night he showed why too with 21 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Even though he is just a rookie, Beal is showing a high-rate of improvement this year with his best games coming when Wall gives him the ball.

“I think he is playing big. He’s finding his comfort zone, the way he wants to play,” Wall said of Beal to reporters after the game. “He’s really maturing throughout every game he plays during his rookie season.”
[Read more...]

OPINION: Jordan Crawford’s days with Washington Wizards appear to be numbered

The end of Jordan Crawford’s days in a Washington Wizards jersey are coming and if people needed any proof, they can look at last night as the climax of an end to Crawford’s eventful stay in the Red, White and Blue.

With his posture on the bench defined as at a constant 45-degree angle, Crawford failed to stay engaged in what was happening on the floor, failed to even attempt to become apart of team huddles during timeouts and in my opinion looked like he was more interested in making sure his towel stayed in place than in determining how he could help his team win. Add his behavior during the game up with the fact he threw his jersey into the stands, stormed out of the locker room before media could arrive and his cryptic tweets and you get a perfect storm for an unhappy player who wants to be traded.

After the game, I asked Head Coach Randy Wittman for a comment on Crawford’s current status with the team.

“He’s like any of our other 14 guys, he’s got to stay with it, his opportunity is going to come again,” Wittman said following last night’s loss. ”Like any of the guys that doesn’t have the opportunity to play or be in the rotation, gotta be ready because it changes like that … [This season is too long] it is a test of your will and character and I look at those things when you’re building a team and who handles it the right way and who stays in it and stays ready.”

Clearly based on his posture alone, one could assume Crawford may not be handling it the right way. When pressed for more information, Wittman did not seem to want to discuss the matter more and said to me he didn’t see Crawford’s in game antics.

“Listen, I’m watching the game. You’re obviously not watching the game, you’re watching him. I can’t comment on that.”

With the trade deadline fast approaching and Crawford’s seeming lack of enthusiasm, it seems he could be a prime candidate to be moved. Sitting four points away from 2,000 and only playing limited minutes since he was pulled from a win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Crawford may not have a spot in the rotation. Wittman alluded to players with good attitudes getting second chances and based on Crawford’s current aura in front of the media, coupled with Wittman’s comments, it might be fair to say Crawford does not have that attitude.

The only players reportedly off limits are John Wall, Bradley Beal and Nene. Those are the pillars this organization is looking to build around and even though fans may have chanted for Crawford to enter the game last night, it does not appear there is room, at the guard spot at least, for him to play consistent minutes.

The biggest question for the Washington Wizards now may not be about whether Crawford can perform for them, but rather does anyone want him on their squad?

Listen here for audio of Wittman’s comments, courtesy of Sky Kerstein. His discussion of Crawford begins three-quarters of the way through the recording.

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Andrew Tomlinson is a Contributor to District Sports Page. He is a graduate of The American University and has experience covering the NCAA, WNBA, NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL.  Andrew is a former staff writer for On Frozen Blog, where he spent three years covering the ups-and-downs of the Washington Capitals. You can follow him on Twitter @drew_tomlinson.

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