UPDATE: Here are a few relevant thoughts and quotes from Mavericks vs. Wizards on Saturday night.
- Rick Carlisle on John Wall: "Well, Wall puts tremendous pressure on your entire defense. A lot of times when you run back the guy that's guarding him isn't in the vicinity, someone else has to take him. You know, (Shawn) Marion had him on that last play, Jet (Jason Terry) had him, (J.J.) Barea had him, (Roddy) Beaubois had him. (Jason) Kidd had him a few times. It's tough, you got to have a couple guys right next to you otherwise he's going to find a seam and he's going to make something happen."
- Ex-Wizard Brendan Haywood on young Wizards: "I follow their stats so I always kind of know what Nick (Young) and Andray (Blatche) and guys like that. We've always known Nick had the potential, the talent. Now that he's got the opportunity he's ran with it.
- Jordan Crawford -- the 27th pick in the NBA draft acquired by the Wizards at the deadline -- played 16 minutes, but a lot of his time came with the game on the line. Crawford forced the issue at times, and could stand to settle into the flow of the offense, but he played generally well and finished with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting and had two steals.
- John Wall didn't have the greatest shooting night (11 for 26 from the field) but he refused to let the Wizards fade in this game, and his play has been impressive since calling out the effort of his teammates. Wall even displayed a shimmy, which he must have stolen from Greivis Vasquez and earned an on-court, dead-ball, low five from coach Flip Saunders after he blocked a shot with less than two minutes to play.
This is a tough loss to swallow, even to a much better Mavericks team and even for a team for which losses are nothing new. The Wizards fell 105-99 in a game that John Wall took over late, but in which Washington just couldn't finish pull off a comeback against a veteran Dallas team.
Dirk Nowitzski finished with 21 points, none bigger than the two-of-three free throws he earned late with a bit of an acting job to give Dallas a cushion against a fast-charging Wizards team. Nowitzki grinned after getting the call against a shocked Rashard Lewis. Tyson Chandler also killed the Wizards with 23 points and 13 rebounds.
John Wall took over in the fourth quarter. He had one stretch with less than three minutes to play with consecutive bucket-and-the-fouls and a block on the defensive end that elicited a roar from the point guard and a low five from coach Flip Saunders. The youth movement continued as Jordan Crawford also played big crunch-time minutes for the Wizards after seeing limited action in his first game with Washington.
I'm running down to postgame availability, but more to come later.