Wall keys Wizards' third straight Summer win
The Wizards' Summer League outfit beat the Mavericks' Summer League outfit, 88-82, Thursday night. That makes them 3-0 on the week. Highlights are above, via Comcast SportsNet. Five quick observations.
Wall can pass
It was a poor shooting night for John Wall, who made just 4 of 19 shots. He still managed to score 21 points, thanks to a 13-of-15 performance from the free-throw line, and speed that leaves no option but to foul at times.
But Thursday's game was about Wall the distributor, not Wall the scorer. He had 10 assists, giving him his second-straight double-double. And after turning the ball over eight times in both of his first two games, he had just three turnovers on Thursday.
"I lowered my turnovers, that was the biggest plus for me," Wall said after the game. "But my decision making on shots was not good today. I could have got to the basket but I was forcing jump shots and wasn't shooting them on balance, I was shooting them fading away. And they just weren't really there."
Wall said the turnover improvement came from increased awareness of help-side defense on pick-and-rolls. He said he was more aware of finding escape passes to his teammates, that "I did a great job of that today and we were making shots and that lowered my turnovers." And he'll remain the Summer League leader in assists-per-game. On Twitter, though, he described his game as "ok."
McGee can dunk
JaVale McGee scored 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting, and four or five of his field goals had to be dunks. There are still flaws in his game that had Sam Cassell barking out occasional displeasure, as Cassell is wont to do, but McGee certainly has a chemistry with Wall, at least in this venue.
"I know at least two out of three times I roll I'm gonna get the ball, or he's gonna throw it up at the rim, or he's gonna draw everybody to him when he lays it up," McGee said. "And if he misses, I can go and get the rebound."
"It's easy when you come off the pick and roll and you have somebody that athletic that you can just throw it up to and get it," Wall said. "If you miss a shot, you know he's there to put it back in. It's great to have somebody like that."
Cartier Martin can shoot
In the first half, Wizards swingman Cartier Martin had 15 points, making all five of his field-goal attempts, including a pair of three-pointers. He wound up with a team-high 23, after failing to crack double digits in his first two games. If any of the Summer League players who weren't Wizards draft picks have a real chance to earn a contract, you'd figure it'd be Martin.
"The first game was a little shaky, I was trying to do a little bit too much, moving a little too fast, and they came to me and they let me know it," Martin said. "The ball's not gonna come to me every time, but when it does, be poised and make shots when you get open."
Martin played eight games with the Wizards last season, averaging six points in 14 minutes. He said he doesn't know what his odds are for earning a training camp invite, but he said he remained in contact with the team's front office throughout the offseason, and he remains confident.
"Hopefully they'll give me a chance, and I'm definitely gonna prove that I can play in this league," he said.
The Beaubois match-up didn't happen
The Mavericks' Roddy Beaubois was expected to provide sparks in his meeting with Wall, two blazingly quick guards whizzing into the paint. But Beaubois picked up four fouls in the first quarter
(you can't foul out in Summer League) and never seemed to get into the game, and then an ankle injury kept him out of the fourth quarter entirely.
(Turns out you can foul out in Summer League, but you get 10 cracks before being disqualified.)
"I knew he was fast," Wall said. "I just tried to give him a little bit of space, but also play defense at the same time, and he was trying to do the same. But I was just getting a little bit by him and they just kept calling fouls."
In fact, plenty of people got their foul-on on Thursday. Lester Hudson had seven for the Wizards and McGee had six, as did Dallas guard Jeremy Lin.
Lin, by the way, was the crowd favorite. The Harvard product had 13 points, but weaved and spun Wizards defenders in circles. The fans loved it, and actually howled with disgust when Lin was called for a foul while guarding Wall.
The other draft picks were meh
First-round pick Trevor Booker had his quietest game of Summer League, with 2 points and 2 rebounds on 1-of-7 shooting. Second-round pick Hamady Ndiaye had six points in 10 minutes, but had a few awkward moments in the lane on offense.
Bonus: Clipper Darrell loves John Wall
Clippers Super Fan Clipper Darrell earned a fair bit of attention for his jawing at John Wall in the Wizards' first game. And, as has been noted, Darrell was a convert by the end. Thursday, he let that be known.
He chanted that the Mavs were ugly. He warned them not to hurt Wall. He shouted "I love you!!" when Wall was on the free-throw line. In the fourth quarter, he led a chant to insert Wall back in the game. When Wall went to the scorer's table, everyone cheered. And as the game ended, Darrell tried to start a "Way to go, John Wall, Way to go!" chant. The Game Changer seems to have won over a fan.
July 15, 2010; 11:05 PM ET
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