The Wizards are playing out the string — but playing it out pretty well. They are 9-7 since the All-Star break and have won four of five heading into Los Angeles to face the Lakers Friday.
That’s what happens when you get your two key players — John Wall and Nene — back on the floor, recovered from injuries.
Except, Nene isn’t all that healthy anymore as the season winds down. Which means Kevin Seraphin could get a bigger shot, reports J. Michael at CSNWashington.com.
Nene is having trouble reaching the finish line. The power forward has sore knees, a shoulder and wrist. Seraphin, who has showcased a soft jump hook in the lane, could get more chances.
Nene is simply one of those players that just seems to be an injury magnet. I wonder if that will ever change, but with no Olympics this summer maybe his body will get time to recover.
Seraphin has had moments this season, including 8-of-11 shooting for 16 points against Phoenix. But Seraphin’s efficiency has fallen off this season because he is taking two more shots a game beyond 16 feet and hitting just 34 percent of those. He’s got a deft touch around the rim and can knock down a shorter midrange, but he needs to be more physical.
Coach Randy Wittman also said he needs to deal better with double teams in the post.
“He’s getting to understand it a little better and better. Double-teams? He’s doing a much better job of staying patient, not going too quick, reading to see back if they’re coming back right away and then getting rid of it to the first open,” Wittman said recently. “A lot of times, that was his problem. He was trying to make the great play out of the double-teams (instead) of getting rid of it so you don’t get yourself into trouble.”
It’s a process. You see moments with Seraphin, he keeps showing promise. Pretty soon he needs to show more than that.
John Wall is one of the hardest players to guard in the NBA. J.R. Smith found that out the hard way on Tuesday night when Wall sent him flying with a behind-the-back dribble before making an easy layup.
The Wizards beat the Cavs, who are now 13-5 on the season.
Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.
There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?
Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:
Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game — but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.
In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.
Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.
That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.