Two years ago the Dougie filled the Verizon Center as John Wall danced his way into DC basketball.
Tonight a more somber tone was in the air as the Washington Wizards made their 2012 debut in the Verizon Center. Instead of dancing, the starting five of Trevor Ariza, Trevor Booker, Emeka Okafor, A.J. Price, and Bradley Beal simply got off the bench and jogged towards the huddle. No nonsense, no pizzazz.
Looking for their first win after an opening season loss in Cleveland, the Wizards had their work cut out for them as they went up against another win-less team in the Boston Celtics.
After falling behind 26-12 in the first quarter, the Wizards managed to catch up and kept it close to the final minutes of the game but ultimately couldn’t catch the Celtics who defeated the Wiz 89-86.
It would be an understatement to say that the Wizards started off the game slow. In the first eight minutes of the game Washington only had two points compared to Boston’s 17.
“We got to figure out a better way to starting games,” Coach Wittman said after the game. Washington’s starting five combined for only 24 points, led by Trevor Booker with 11. Jordan Crawford led the second unit and the rest of the team in scoring with 21 points and despite a calf injury, Kevin Seraphin racked up 19 points.
However when the game got close in the final minutes the Wizards couldn’t get ahead. Down by 1 point with 1.9 seconds to go Martell Webster missed a shot that would have put them ahead.
Wittman said after the game they are still looking for that crunch-time go-to shooter with John Wall and Nene both out due to injuries.
“You gotta learn to make plays at some point,” Coach Wittman said, “if you never put [Webster] in that situation he’ll never learn.”
Turnovers were also a problem, Washington turned it over 15 times including an errant pass from Seraphin with 28 seconds left in the game. Those turnovers kept the Wizards from grabbing the lead away from the Celtics.
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 27 points and Boston Point Guard Rajon Rando ended the night with a double-double with both 12 points and 12 assists.