Doc Rivers offers some advice to John Wall
John Wall was leaving the visitor's locker room at TD Garden on Wednesday when he turned and spotted Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers talking with his former teammate, Wizards assistant Randy Wittman. Wall turned and walked over in his protective boot to Rivers, who happily gave Wall a handshake, a hug and some advice.
"Don't let anything negative in," Rivers told Wall. "Only positive. Only positive."
"Yes, sir," Wall said, as he shook Rivers's hand again and strolled toward the team bus to catch a flight out of Boston.
With Wall possibly making his return against Memphis on Friday after missing the past two games with a sprained left foot, the Wizards will try to focus on the positives and put behind them a second historic defeat this season. Wall already suffered the most. In their season-opening, 112-83 loss against Orlando, Wall suffered the most lopsided defeat for a No. 1 overall pick in his debut in the modern draft era. And, during their 114-83 loss to Boston at TD Garden, the Wizards allowed an opponent to shoot at least 65 percent for the first time in at least 24 seasons.
The stat that continues to boggle my mind from the Wizards' 114-83 loss in Boston is that the Celtics starting five of Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo shot 71.4 percent from the floor. Five guys combined to make 35 shots and missed just 14. O'Neal shot 6 of 7 (85.7 percent) from the field, Garnett shot 9 of 11 (81.8 percent), Rondo shot 5 of 7 (71.4 percent), Allen shot 5 of 8 (62.5 percent) and Pierce went 10 for 16 (62.5 percent).
When your worst starters shoot 62.5 percent from the floor, that's a pretty good night. Can you say light scrimmage? "The assignments that Coach gave us, we just screwed them up," Gilbert Arenas said. "Not fouling Shaq, when he was down there. There was a play where we were supposed to switch, we didn't switch on it. Just lackadaisical out there."
It was a startling performance that could be attributed to crisp ball movement and solid floor leadership from Rondo, who had 13 assists. "As a point guard, uh, former point guard watching what he's done with his talent, it's amazing," Arenas said of Rondo. "With players like Rondo, Steve Nash, point guards that have the ball so much, you have the ball so much that you're going to have assists. Just run around finding players. He's great at it. It's amazing what people were saying when the Big Three first got here and now, he's just come into his own."
And since Rondo has certainly learned under the guidance of Rivers the past four seasons, Wall should take his advice to heart.
FROM THE POST
Nick Young has received heavy minutes with Wall out with injury, but he has earned his time with some improved play...on defense.
Wall, Arenas and JaVale McGee made the all-star ballot, but Andray Blatche, the Wizards' second-leading scorer and leading rebounder, was omitted.
In the Box Seats fan blog, Kevin Broom examines the Wizards "epic defensive fail" against the Boston Celtics.
AROUND THE WEB
Mike Prada of Bullets Forever writes that Coach Flip Saunders needs to start holding Andray Blatche more accountable for his bad defense.
Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated's Point Forward examines the Wizards' "embarrassing D" and shows a horrific video of Andray Blatche defending, or rather not defending, the pick-and-roll.
Kyle Weidie at TruthAboutIt.net takes a rare look into a play by an opponent that gave the Wizards trouble.
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski looks into Greg Oden's latest season-ending injury but expresses the greater concerns over the true franchise player, Brandon Roy. The article also explains how Roy's knee troubles may have lead to former general manager Kevin Pritchard's ouster. ESPN.com columnist J.A. Adande compares Oden to former Wizard Shaun Livingston, another high draft pick cursed by injuries.
NBA.com's Shaun Powell writes about the career resurrection of D.C. native Michael Beasley, who is starting to show the promise of his No. 2 overall selection after leaving Miami for Minnesota. Jeff Zgoda writes in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Beasley's turnaround started with a conversation with teammate Jonny Flynn.
| November 19, 2010; 8:03 AM ET
Categories: Morning brew
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