Good NBA teams hover around .500 on the road and the best teams have winning road records, but few teams (and none so far this season) have better records on the road versus at home. So, given this it goes without saying that the Wizards will generally get their opponents best effort – since their opponent will be at home where they play their best ball.
In this article, we explore whether the blame solely rests on the team’s defensive effort or whether there are other contributing factors.
I read Mike Prada’s article, “It’s time to hold Andray Blatche accountable for his bad defense” and it reminded me of something that I had noticed during the Knicks game. There was a play – during a stretch in the game in which the Knicks began to pull away – when the Knicks guard easily drove to the hoop for a layup following a relatively routine pick-and-roll play. In frustration, Flip Saunders called a timeout and before CSN went to commercial you could see what appeared to be Flip giving “tough love” to JaVale McGee.
So I decided to watch that play over to see what made Flip so angry. However, what I noticed was that the player who appeared to be most at fault was Andray Blatche. At the start of the play, John Wall was rubbed off on a pick that was set by Andray’s man. Instead of hedging and either stopping the penetration of the Knicks guard or at least forcing him out further on the floor, Andray decides to stay in no-man’s land and did neither. Instead he looked at the guard while barely leaving the paint. Yes, he looked at him. Worse yet he actually appeared to screen off John Wall, who was hustling to get back on defense. Worse still as the Knicks guard realized that he had John Wall at a disadvantage and Andray Blatche did not seem intent on stopping his penetration, he decided to keep driving to the hoop.