WASHINGTON — Take a moment to catch up on the news, notes and must-see from last night's Wizards action -- good and bad -- with 'Postive Pixels, Wicked Pixels.' It's your morning-after Hawks vs. Wizards hangover cure.
The Wizards held a 20-point lead against Indiana, but somehow the Pacers battled back to overtake Washington in the final minute and escape the Verizon Center with a win. The Wizards held a 16-point lead against Atlanta, but somehow the Hawks battled back to overtake Washington in the final minute and escape the Verizon Center with a win. Let's talk about it.
• GOOD NEWS: Every time the Wizards lose, they're one step closer to putting Anthony Davis alongside Nene. Now, of course, Washington would never tank. But hey, if they can continue to turn 16-point leads into close losses without getting super cranky about it ... that might be the best rebuilding plan.
• Washington is competing against good teams. The Wizards locker room looked as down as it has been all season on Thursday after blowing a 20-point lead to Indiana. After this loss, it wasn't so bad. Maybe it was just Saturday night, but maybe, like Chris Singleton said, they're glad to be in these games. An optimist would say you have to be up on good teams before you can learn how to close them out.
• This was cool:
• The Wizards fourth quarter offense was problematic. It wasn't ideal to have John Wall — at that point 1-for-9 from the field — taking an off-balance three-pointer to win tie the game at the buzzer. But the Wizards problems on offense were bigger that, of course. Head coach Randy Wittman said after the game that Washington needs to be a different team than the one it was before the NBA trade deadline. At times, they've look different. At other times ...
Joe Johnson on if he was surprised Crawford opted for that late 1-on-1 against him: "Nah, nah, nah, nah.I already knew that was coming."
The Washington Wizards scored just 14 points in the fourth quarter and lost a double-digit lead for the second straight night as the Atlanta Hawks roared back to win, 95-92 at Verizon Center Saturday night.
The Wizards led 78-68 after three quarters and led by as many as 16 points (73-57) when Jordan Crawford hit a jumper with 2:36 to go in the third quarter. But they couldn't keep their offense going through the final quarter and Atlanta eventually caught and passed them for good when Joe Johnson hit a three-pointer with 46.8 seconds to go that gave the Hawks a 93-92 lead.
Crawford had a chance to give the Wizards the lead, but his jumper missed, and after Johnson made two foul shots to make the score 95-92, John Wall's last-ditch three-point attempt clanked off the rim.
Nene led all scorers with 21 points to go with 11 rebounds. Crawford added 20 points, but no other Wizard reached double digits. Four Atlanta starters reached double digits, with Josh Smith leading the way with 20 points.
Nene has continued his strong play as a member of the Washington Wizards in the first half Saturday night, as his 14 points have led the Wizards to a 52-41 lead over the Atlanta Hawks at the Verizon Center.
Nene also recorded eight rebounds to go with his 14 points, which came on 6-for-9 shooting from the floor as the Wizards outscored Atlanta 29-18 in the second quarter to build their 11-point advantage.
Jordan Crawford is the only other Wizard in double figures, with 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting. Josh Smith is leading the way for the Hawks with 14 points, while Marvin Williams is Atlanta's next-leading scorer with nine points.
In addition to shooting 23-for-45 from the floor in the first half (51.1 percent), the Wizards have dominated the offensive glass, outrebounding the Hawks 9-3 on that end.
WASHINGTON — IMPORTANT: This post contains visual evidence that Andray Blatche doesn't just work out in the wee hours of the morning.
Two hours before the Hawks and Washington tip off at the Verizon Center, Blatche was the only Wizard on the court, and he wasn't just shooting. He was running from baseline to baseline and shuttling across the court — carrying a pair of bricks.
Okay, you've already made the joke to yourself/roomate/Internet friends. (You know the joke I'm talking about.)
The Wizards shut down Blatche and told him to focus on getting into better condition. Head coach Randy Wittman said he's been encourage by Blatche so far, but that he's more interested in whether Blatche keeps it up.
"He's working," Wittman said. "That's what he's gotta continue to do. We just started this, so it's a process that he's gotta continue to do."
Wizards developmental coach Joe Connelly was kind enough to let me hold the bricks and, as he pointed out, they're not that heavy. But it is pretty great to run through workouts holding some bricks — pure Rocky montage stuff. And that could be a little mental boost for Blatche, which could only help as he works to get into acceptable shape.
The Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks should know each other well at this point. When the teams tip-off tonight at the Verizon Center, it will be the third and final meeting of the season between the two.
Washington has lost both matchups, though the first two games were in Atlanta. The Hawks won The Hawks won 101-83 on Dec. 28 behind 17 points from Marvin Williams. More recently, on March 16, Atlanta picked up 102-88 victory thanks to a big game from guard Joe Johnson, who scored 34 points.
The Hawks enter as winners of four of their last five games. Washington has lost three of its last four. The Wizards blew a 22-point lead in a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.