Wiz Kid: Observations & Opinions From Hawks Loss

6:18 PM, Dec 29, 2011   |    comments
Flip Saunders needs to make some minor tweaks for the Wizards to start winning. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Wednesday night's 18 point loss to the Atlanta Hawks wasn't the least bit surprising, nor should it sound off any alarms. If you missed the game last night here are some things that stood out.


*Andray Blatche went for 2-for-13 from the floor, just one game after complaining about the game plan against the Nets. He thought that he was asked to shoot too much against New Jersey off the pick-n-pop. Against the Hawks, Blatche took seven shots in the paint and six shots outside the key. He finished with four points and four rebounds.

*The Hawks bolted out to a 19-4 lead while the Wizards opened the game shooting 1-for-11. Although Washington eventually cut the lead to 33-31, Atlanta was able to score consistently near the basket. All five starters were in double figures.

*Nick Young was again one of the few bright spots for the Wiz, pouring in 21 points and three triples from downtown.


1) Andray Blatche is putting too high of expectations upon himself.

Blatche just doesn't seem to be playing like himself. He's hesitating. It's almost like he's self-conscious on the court. Maybe he's thinking too much. Maybe this leadership thing has gotten inside of his head. Regardless of your opinion on Blatche, this team needs him to play well to win. A sports psychologist might not be a bad idea.

2) Ride the hot hand: Give Nick Young more shots

The Wizards can't afford to get off to a 5-12 start this season, even though it looks like that's where they're headed. I might have a solution. Obviously this is John Wall's team for the future. But what if right now Washington gave the keys of the offense to Young? Give him at a minimum of 15 shots per game. It would let John Wall do some more off ball things and would add a wrinkle to the offense. Just a suggestion to ease the pressure off of Wall.

3) Give more lob passes to JaVale McGee

McGee's numbers were pretty legit last night -- 15 points, 12 boards -- and for a good reason. The Wizards were getting him the ball as close to the basket as possible, a strategy that needs to continue. With his 7-foot frame, not many centers can stop McGee if he uses more aggression near the hoop. Too many times he shoots from the 8-10 range, which just isn't his bread and butter.

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