It was all going kinda well.
After the Wizards’ loss to Miami back on the 10th, the team went on a long road trip and managed to win a couple of games against Detroit and Portland. Then they lost three straight to the LA Clippers, Utah Jazz, and Phoenix Suns.
Back in the Verizon Center for one last game before the All-Star break the Wizards took on the Sacramento Kings in what would of been a bounce back game and a way to end the first half of the season on a positive note.
Instead the team couldn’t hold on after leading 68-60 in the first half and let another game slip away as the Kings roared back in the third quarter and ended the night with a 115-107 win. In the loss the Wizards set new standards in futility thanks to another boneheaded play from JaVale McGee.
With 10:12 left in the 3rd quarter, Kings’ guard Francisco Garcia put up a teardrop floater towards the basket that gracefully made its way to the hoop- until McGee used his scientifically measured body to swat the ball into the eighth row of the Verizon Center, a clear goaltending violation.
Here’s the video:
The voice of CSN color man Phil Chenier pretty much describes not only the play but the general outlook of the Wizards so far:
“No. No. No.”
No, no, no indeed. Chenier hinted that McGee might get benched for the play and did shortly after. McGee did return to the game later on to and would go on to commit another goaltending violation. Nice to know that he learned his lesson.
Coach Wittman voiced his frustration with McGee after the game.
“What led to the goaltend, what was he supposed to be doing, see that’s the thing that people don’t understand that’s hard to explain ok? What his job in the pick and roll is, alright, is not let the guard get to the rim. Goaltending? That had nothing to do with it.”
The whole line was delivered with a Jim Mora Playoffs level of confusion and frustration that left the press room silent as Wittman tried to collect his thoughts and ultimately brought the post-game presser to an abrupt end.
McGee wasn’t the only Wizards called-out in the conference, Wittman also made note of a failed 360 reverse dunk attempt by Nick Young (6-23 for 17 pts).
Jordan Crawford led the Wizards with 32 points, a season high and the third straight game of at least 20 points. John Wall was one rebound short of a triple-double (21 points, 11 assists).
On the Sacramento side of the ball, Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton both put up 22 points to lead the team while Wall’s former Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins led the team in rebounds with 16.
As the Wizards head into the All-Star break, the team will have to reflect on a first half of the season that has more lowlights than highlights. Tuesday the team travels to Milwaukee and returns Wednesday to face Orlando.
Video: Randy Wittman’s Frustrated Press Conference