Wizards 77, Hornets 70: Three thoughts

Sports,Pick and Roll,Craig Stouffer

The tape from the Wizards’ 77-70 victory over New Orleans, their first road win of the year, can probably safely reside on a hard drive for a very long time without being examined at great length ever again.

But it still counts, as do these three thoughts:

Jordan Crawford is 1-0 as the Wizards starting point guard. Not that his orchestration of the offense was the difference. His scoring was, particularly in the fourth quarter. But we already know he can do that, right?

Crawford had 12 points in the final period for Washington (3-15), two more than the Hornets (5-15) did as a team. He had a hand in the Wizards’ final 16 points, assisting on feeds to Emeka Okafor and Nene when he wasn’t scoring himself.

What does all this say about his handling of the point guard role? It says that on a night when the Wizards couldn’t score (32.9 percent shooting) and only figured out how to play defense in the second half (aided by Ryan Anderson going completely cold after halftime following 17 points in the first two quarters), Crawford, who had four assists, got the job done generating points. Looking at a 9-for-24 line doesn’t tell the story by itself.

Anthony Davis was impressive, especially after missing the last 11 games with a sore ankle. The No. 1 overall pick just makes things happen. Davis finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals. He was a difficult guard for Nene. His rejection at one end of a layup by Bradley Beal and then immediate 3-point play at the other on the ensuing fast break pulled New Orleans to within 73-70 with less than two minutes remaining. He’s going to become a force in the NBA. That is for certain.

Speaking of rookies, Beal had 15 points and four assists and felt like a bigger presence than usual on the boards, where he grabbed seven rebounds.

There was a Jan Vesely sighting after three straight games with zero minutes. It wasn’t good. The second-year forward played three and half wild minutes in the second quarter. He missed a layup. He airballed a free throw (and missed the second attempt, too). He backed off Austin Rivers and allowed the rookie guard to nail a jumper. He altered Greivis Vasquez’s jumper from the nearly the same spot on the next possession enough that it didn’t find the rim at all. He got torched by Ryan Anderson. And then he got subbed out and didn’t reappear in the second half. With the Wizards injury situation, Vesely is going to get a look on a limited basis. But as much as he looked like he wanted to impact the Hornets game, New Orleans appeared to seek him out when they had the ball.

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