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Blake Griffin Shows Up John Wall, Becoming Face of the NBA

10:45 PM, Feb 4, 2012   |    comments
DeAndre Jordan adds one of his several slams as Kevin Seraphin looks on like a fan in the crowd. Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) - The bruises from the beat down Washington suffered Saturday night against the Clippers will remain intact for all of next week and possibly for the rest of February. It was that excruciating of a loss.

Los Angeles kicked Washington in the teeth, drug them through the mud and finished off the bloodbath by spitting on the Wizards mangled morale -- with the Clippers third stringers albeit.  It was one of those games for the Wizards, whose 107-81 loss brought back memories from the 40-point massacre the 76ers brought to town during the preseason.

"We got dominated again in every category. Rebounding we lost by 21. Another 37 percent night shooting," commented Washington head coach Randy Wittman on the blowout defeat. "When you're getting out-rebounded by 21 and shooting 37 percent, it's hard to beat anybody. I [have] to give them credit though."

For Wizards fans, the toughest part to swallow is the fact that the 2009 first overall pick (Blake Griffin) is literally becoming the face of the NBA, while the 2010 first overall pick (John Wall) is all but a lost sailor at sea. It's unbelievable how quickly the Clippers collected a galaxy of star players to surround Griffin with, becoming title contenders over night. For so many seasons L.A. was the butt of every basketball joke -- a position Washington now fully understands.

The Clippers play basketball like those guys who jump on trampolines after the end of quarter: they live by the energy dunking gives them. The high-flying slams from L.A. shell-shocked the Wizards -- there were eight of them in the first quarter alone.

The Wizards began playing scared. Shot selection was timid; scoring in the paint was scarce; post defense was translucent. Was there even 10 set offensive plays? All game I noted that it looked like the players had just met each other. No one was reading each others minds. Washington trailed by as many as 20 points early in the second quarter and by as many as 36 points in the third.

The third quarter was the worst collective 12 minute effort the Wizards have strung together in recent memory. Blowing wide open layups. Botching easy fast break opportunities (namely Rashard Lewis and John Wall). Blatantly uncontesting shots on defense.  Missing technical fouls shots. You name it, and the Wizards screwed it up in the third. It's not like the dreadful home team could have strung together a comeback. But to lay down in the fetal position, is plain disrespectful to city of Washington.

Stat Pack

*Keep in mind this Clipper dominance happened on a night where Chris Paul went 1-for-9 from the floor with just two points. The box score doesn't illustrate how striking Paul's presence was, but still, he had just two points. 

*The Clippers were a horrendous 6-for-17 at the free throw line and their 23 turnovers were 10 more than Washington's 13. This was a B+ night from Los Angeles. Had the Wizards caught L.A. on an A+ night, the Clippers have potential to beat Washington by 40.  

*Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan combined for 39 points and 22 rebounds. JaVale McGee and Trevor Booker combined for eight points and eight rebounds.

*The Clippers totaled 56 points in the paint compared to the Wizards 32.

*Nick Young had a hot first quarter with 10 points but completely lost his mojo, finishing the rest of the game going 1-for-8. The Wizards have not won a game in which Young has scored less than 15 points.

*One positive to note: Kevin Seraphin's eight rebounds were a season high. Congrats Kevin!

Notable Quotables

Randy Wittman on the last two blowout losses: "We have to find a way on Monday now. We have to find something...Maybe I have to play another veteran guy, other than Rashard."

Nick Young on the alleyoops: "It's tough. We knew that's what they do. You know, "Lob City." We tried to have a game plan but they just killed us."

John Wall on the alleyoops: "It was pitiful. They were just doing whatever they wanted all night...I didn't do a great job of running the team on the offensive end."

Randy Wittman on the Clippers fast start: "I think once we saw how fast they came out, it was like 'Oh, holy smokes' type of thing."

John Wall on his frustration levels: "I'm not too bad. Just disappointed. They came in and made a statement and just blew us out of the water.

Randy Wittman on the loss: "We couldn't match them, especially up front."

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