In the grand scheme of things, this game did not mean a tremendous amount to either team – as both had been eliminated from serious playoff contention quite some time ago. The Wizards were able to pick up an impressive win against a team that, while severely limited due to injury, had come into the game winning its last two. At this stage in the season, the Wizards are trying to build a winning mentality while determining which of the current players on their active roster should be part of the team moving forward.
In last night’s game, the most impressive performances came from Nick Young, Shaun Livingston, JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche. Andray, who had another solid game, finished with 21 pts, shot 50% from the field, and pulled down 6 rebounds. On the negative side, he and Mike Miller co-lead the team with 4 turnovers each.
Shaun Livingston tied his career high with 21 pts and shot an extremely impressive 81.8% from the field. In addition, Shaun dished out 8 assists while not committing a single turnover. This was clearly, Shaun’s best performance of his abbreviated season with the Wizards. More impressively Livingston appears to be getting stronger with each game. Let’s hope that the Wizards brass is able to quickly work out a reasonable deal, so that Livingston returns next season. The last thing that the Wizards need is to get “Gee-d” for a second time.
Nick Young seems to play at his best when he is able to get off to a quick start, and last night was one of those nights. Young finished with 29 points, hitting 55.6% of his shots; he also added 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Nick played probably his most complete game of the season. Unfortunately at times like this you wonder what if? What if he had this type of performance, consistently, during the early part of the season? However, early on he was not playing 30+ minutes.
It was also refreshing to see JaVale McGee play big around the rim. Now clearly the Warriors were over-matched in the paint, as they did not really have a true or healthy big man on its active roster – but they did manage to win their previous two games with this same issue. The young Wizards were wise to take advantage of its mismatch in the paint. This allowed McGee – who picked up most of his 25 points on put-backs – to take advantage of his size. McGee finished the night shooting 61.1% from the field, grabbed 15 rebounds and added 3 blocked shots.
The Warriors are known for offense and not defense, and the scoreboard clearly indicated that fact. But for the Wizards to finish with four players scoring 20+ points, and each of them hitting 50% or better of their shots, is an impressive accomplishment against any NBA team. On this night, the young Wizards played to its strength against a vulnerable team.