In The Scrum With Jan Vesely

Jan Vesely talked to the media following the Wizards 120-91 blowout win over the Magic. The second year forward spoke about the team’s focus and mentioned how things have changed on the court since John Wall’s return. Vesely looks like a different player when Wall is on the floor, he went five of seven with ten points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

 

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Post Game: Randy Wittman

Wizards Coach Randy Wittman spoke with members of the media following the the 120-91 win over the Orlando Magic. Wittman feels that the team is starting to show signs that they’ve turned the corner. The Wizards have now won three games in a row. On Monday night, six Wizards scored in double figures and the team’s two lead guards. John Wall and AJ Price, totaled 12 assists to only three turnovers.

 

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Wizards Welcome Wall Back With Open Arms

Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks marked the 2012-13 season debut of former number one overall draft pick John Wall, who’d been sidelined since the start of training camp with a stress fracture in his knee.

The Wizards have been mired by injuries throughout the season, but now it seems everyone is getting healthy at the same time.

Key contributors such as Trevor Booker, AJ Price, and Trevor Ariza have also returned from injuries. Jordan Crawford and Nene, the team’s leading scorer and most formidable post presence, respectively, continue to battle nagging injuries, and are usually forced to miss the second game of back to backs.

The All-Star break will give the team a much-needed chance to get completely healthy and turn their season around.

Following a few smooth weeks of practice, Wall was cleared by doctors to resume his career, returning to court to a standing ovation and picking up where he left off last season. During the first timeout following Wall’s entrance, the Verizon Center’s jumbo screen showed a video of his road to recovery.

Because the team has placed a limit on Wall’s time, he only played about seven first-half minutes and just over 20 total. He was effective in that short time, setting up teammates’ open shots and transition opportunities.

Wall’s value was on full display in the second half, as he took over the game down the stretch, maintaining the team’s lead and sealing the win. Though not in tip top shape by his own standards, even a lack of conditioning couldn’t slow Wall down.  At half speed, he’s just as fast, if not faster, than most guards around the league.

Not much of a shooter, Wall’s pick-and-roll with Nene was almost unstoppable in the closing minutes. Wall’s speed and Nene’s savvy on the screen prevented defenders from going under and meeting Wall at the basket. The Wizards have sorely missed the ability to attack the basket and either convert field goals or get to the foul line.

Wall’s fearless mindset is a calming factor for his teammates at the end of games. They know they can rely on free throws instead of jump shots to preserve leads or close the gap without the clock running.

If everything goes the Wizards’ way, all players will return at full strength soon, enabling the team  to finish the year strong, with signs of a foundation to build for the future.

Catching Up With John Wall

I managed to catch up with Washington Wizards Point Guard John Wall in the locker room after their 93-83 win against the Atlanta Hawks. Wall talked about how he felt before, during, and after his season debut as well as his health moving forward. Wall was a key factor down the stretch, sealing the win with several drives to the basket for lay ups and stellar defense on the other end of the floor. Wall finished with 14 points and 4 assists, with six of those points coming late in the fourth quarter.

 

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In The Scrum With Bradley Beal

Following the Washington Wizards 93-83 win over the Atlanta Hawks, I caught up with rookie guard Bradley Beal. Beal has come on strong as of late, increasing his scoring while becoming a much more consistent defensive player. The promising rookie spoke highly of John Wall and expressed his feelings about sharing the floor with the star point guard for the first time. Beal finished with 16 points and 3 steals.

 

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Catching Up With Randy Wittman

I was able to catch Washington Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman’s post game press conference following their 93-83 win over the Atlanta Hawks. This marks the Wizards’ first consecutive win of the season as well as the return of John Wall. Wittman talked about the improvements he sees in his team and how Wall changes their style of play.

 

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In The Scrum With Scott Brooks

Oklahoma City Head Coach Scott Brooks spoke with the media following the Thunder’s 99-101 loss to the Wizards. This marks their second consecutive loss to the Wizards in Washington in as many trips, dating back to last season. Coach Brooks talked about his team’s effort and the heart Washington showed throughout the game.

 

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Catching Up With Andray Blatche

After the Washington Wizards managed to squander a late lead, I caught up with former Wizard Andray Blatche. Blatche’s first game back in DC was nothing short of a nail biter, ending with a Joe Johnson buzzer beater.

The former Wizard forward received tons of praise from Nets interim coach PJ Carlesimo saying, “Andray was unbelievable, I probably messed up not playing him more.”

Blatche was able to block out the crowd distractions and finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 steals.

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In The Scrum With Joe Johnson

Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson talked with the media following his double overtime buzzer beating shot in Washington against the Wizards, which resulted in a 115-113 victory for the road team. Johnson finished with 18 points, but only two points combined in both overtime periods. This was the second time Johnson has hit a game winning shot in double overtime this season.

 

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The Woeful Wizards

A quarter of the way through the 2012-2013 NBA season, the 3-20 Washington Wizards have the worst record in the league. The team has struggled to find consistency and seems to have on suffered setbacks in every way imaginable. Notably, injuries have derailed the Wizards roster and projected lineups.

The fan base in Washington grows more frustrated with each passing day. Most disappointing: there‘s no solution in sight.

Star point guard John Wall has been inactive since training camp with a stress fracture in his left knee, and was originally projected to miss about eight weeks. At one point, Wall himself predicted he would return by the November 30th game against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Fast forward to now and there doesn’t seem to be much progress or optimism surrounding his situation. Though Wall’s most recent visit to his doctor resulted in clearance to “ramp up his activity,” he has not been cleared to practice. There is an ever-growing notion among those who follow this team closely that Wall could miss the entire season. The organization has yet to give a concrete timetable on his possible return to the court.

Some speculate Wall is too valuable to rush back from injury and any possible comeback will be shut down because of the team’s struggles. Why risk your star’s health for an already doomed season? Wall says, “I’m not thinking like that. You don’t want to miss a whole season. If it comes to it, you have to, but I’m not trying to think that far ahead.”

With Wall having only a 50/50 chance of returning this season, the Wizards find themselves at a huge disadvantage without their best player on the floor.

In the last month, Nene has returned from missing time with plantar fasciitis. Though the team’s record doesn’t reflect the talent upgrade, Nene’s presence makes the Wizards much more competitive. The bad news is, due to the severity of Nene’s injury, it’s likely he’ll be negatively affected the entire season. Nene is currently on a 20-minute per game limit and usually sits the second game of back-to-backs causing the team to use him in a reserve role, stunting their chemistry and rotation balance.

Most recently, AJ Price, Trevor Ariza, and Trevor Booker have been sidelined with injuries of their own; each began the year as starter at their respective positions.

Jordan Crawford has been pushed into more lead guard duties along with rookie Bradley Beal. They’ve been the team’s lone bright spot as of late. Both players are very young and coming into their own. The two of them have clearly arisen as a glimmer of hope for an otherwise desperate franchise and fan base. Beal leads all rookies in scoring for the month of December. He took a hard fall and hurt his back causing him to miss the last game—and the Wizards cannot afford to lose their top draft choice this year.

In the midst of eight games in eleven nights, the Wizards face a five game losing streak since their first road win of the season, which came against a struggling New Orleans Hornets team. Next on the Wizards’ schedule is a home and home series with the Detroit Pistons on back-to-back nights.

Hopefully, the Wizards can begin to right the ship before the holidays.

In The Scrum With Bradley Beal

Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal spoke with the media following the team’s first win of the season. Beal talked about his growing pains as he adjusts to the NBA and the feeling in the locker room surrounding the 1-12 Wizards.

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In The Scrum With Randy Wittman

I managed to catch Randy Wittman’s post game press conference following the Washington Wizards first win of the season, which came against the Portland Trailblazers. He answered questions about the team team’s struggles this season and the feeling in the locker room.

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Catching Up With Nene

After the Wizards first win of the 2012-2013 season, I managed to catch up with Nene. He spoke about the team’s effort, how they can improve, and gave us an update on his ailing foot.

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In the Scrum With Bradley Beal

Despite the loss to Milwaukee, Bradley Beal scored 22 points—his highest scored to date. Afterward, he shared his game time experience, including thoughts on his ejection.

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Catching Up With Randy Wittman

After Friday night’s loss to the Bucks, I caught up with Wizards coach Randy Wittman. He explained what they need to do in order for their efforts to result in wins.

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