Tyson Chandler has been a problem for the Wizards in the first half Saturday night. He punctuated a 12-point, 8-rebound effort with a fast-break dunk and then a powerful slam with McGee on him to end the half. John Wall banked in a three-point shot from WAY out at the buzzer, but the Wizards trail by a score of 59-49 at the half.
No surprise, Dirk Nowitzki has given the Wizards trouble as well. Rashard Lewis has worked hard to deny Nowitzki the ball, but despite he's taken almost as many free throws and field goals, which helps. As a team, the Mavericks have gotten to the line at a higher rate than Washington, shooting 10 more free throws. That's where the difference has been as each team has made 22 field goals.
A lot of those free throws have come by ball movement and crisp passing inside rather than just isolated drives to the basket. The Mavericks have shared the basketball, resulting 18 assists compared to 11 for the Wizards. Of course, it helps to have Jason Kidd, who matched Washington with 11 assists on his own.
For the Wizards, Nick Young and John Wall have led the offense with 10 and eight points respectively. But they've shot a combined two free throws. Trevor Booker has eight points off the bench and has taken it right at Brendan Haywood inside.
The early minutes of the third quarter will set the tempo for the Wizards. Can the Wizards get back into this game or will this devolve into another instance of the team conceding well before the game is done?