Posts Tagged ‘Wizards’

All Ball Fave Five: Most Unlikely 50-Point Scorers

by Micah Hart

You may have noticed it’s the offseason, which means we have plenty of time to sit around and think about many of the things that make it fun to be an NBA fan. Here at All Ball, we’ll be passing the time until the start of the season with a new series, the Fave Five. Each week will count down a list of the five best, or worst … somethings. We’ll try to get creative with it. Plus we’re taking requests! If you have a suggestion for a Fave Five post, give us a shout and you may see it appear in this space over the next several weeks.

This week’s Fave Five takes a look at the most unlikely 50-point scorers since 1985, which is when BasketballReference.com starts keeping game logs for each NBA player:

5. Charles Smith, 52 points
Clippers vs. Warriors, Dec. 1, 1990
Career scoring average: 14.4 ppg

Charles Smith is probably best known for the basket he didn’t score, but he started out his NBA career as a fairly prolific shot-maker, averaging more than 20 ppg twice in his first three seasons. He settled into more of a contributor role after that, but not before he dropped 52 on the Denver Nuggets near the beginning of the 1990-91 season. Smith was 17-27 from the field and 18-21 from the line, and did not attempt a single 3-pointer (no surprise, he only made 18 in his entire career).

Fun fact: Smith probably could have been left off this list, but I have him on here due to his feat coming against the infamous ’90-’91 Nuggets. Denver was coached that season by Paul Westhead, who tried to bring the fast-break basketball he succeeded with at Loyola Marymount to the NBA with disastrous results. The Nuggets went 20-62 and gave up 130.8 ppg, the most ever allowed by a team in a single season.

(more…)

Three For All: A Retrospective

by Micah Hart

The 2011-12 NBA regular season will come to an end tonight, and one thing we can say for sure is the compressed 66-game slate certainly gave teams their share of challenges. Chief among those (in our eyes at least) were the back-to-back-to-back series that every team faced at least once throughout the year, a chore that never occurs during a normal 82-game calendar but was made necessary once again due to a lockout (the last time teams played three games in three nights was 1998, the last time the NBA played a shortened season due to a labor stoppage).

With 42 three-for-all sets built into the calendar, we made it our business here at All Ball to document each one, curious to see what information we might glean from them. Would it be an accurate predictor of postseason achievement? Would we see NCAA-tournament style cinderella runs from some of the lesser squads? Could anyone win what we assumed would be an incredibly grueling third game?

Let’s run through some of the numbers and see what’s what.

7 – Number of times teams went undefeated in their three for all challenge, led by the Spurs, who managed to do it twice within the span of less than a month. The Spurs’ second run saw them match the Heat with 15 points, the maximum possible score allowable for three road wins by double-digit margins. We’ll break down who’s was more impressive on Thursday night. In addition to those two, the other perfectionists were the Bulls, who maxed out their trip with 13 points (all wins were by double-digits, but they played only one road game), the Thunder, the Hawks, who amazingly found the strength to win the third game in four overtimes over the Jazz, and the Suns (more on them in a second). Of the six teams to taste perfection, only Phoenix will be sitting out the postseason.

6 — Number of times teams went winless. Would it shock you to learn that the Wizards were the only team to go defeated twice? Would it shock you further to learn the Bobcats, the worst team in NBA history, aren’t on this list? In addition to the Ashington Izards (No Ws – I R HILARIOUS), the Pistons, Clippers, Mavericks, and Suns found the going toughest. The Suns, incidentally, were the only squad to put up undefeated and winless marks, which really encapsulates their season in a nutshell, from being 12-19 to just missing out on a playoff spot after their loss in Utah on Tuesday.

4.5 — The average score for the 42 attempts was 4.5 points. The most common score was 2 points, accomplished 10 times, while no one scored 14 or 9.

22-20 – Record for teams in the third game of the three for all. I gotta tip my cap to these guys, I would have pegged this mark to be much worse before the season started.

And now for some superlatives, after the jump.

(more…)

Three For All Round Up: Grizzlies, Wizards, Celtics, Cavaliers, 76ers, Spurs

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart.

I was on vacation during a bad stretch of three for alls, so I thought we’d do another round up post getting up to date on what we missed while I was out.

Memphis Grizzlies (April 2-4): Memphis started out strong, getting a road win in Oklahoma City. Maybe not quite vengeance for last year’s playoffs, but a nice victory nonetheless. They followed it up with a win at home over Golden State, and just when you thought they might get a sweep they fell to the Mavericks in Dallas. 5 points (2+3-0) for their three for all, and their story has a happy ending of sorts — they beat Dallas at home three days later.

Washington Wizards (April 4-6): Let’s not waste too many words here. Three games, three L’s for the Wiz. -3 points (-2-1-0)

Boston Celtics (April 13-15): Raise your hand if you can tell me what the Celtics are going to do in the postseason. They could get swept in the first round on cut down the nets, and neither outcome would truly surprise me at this point. As if to prove my point, they started their three play by losing to the counting-down-the-minutes-till-the-season-ends-and-playing-as-many-DLeaguers-as-they-can-get-in-uniform Raptors before rallying (if you want to call beating the Nets and Bobcats rallying) to pick up double-digit road wins to finish it off. If they’d handled their business in Toronto, they might have tied the Heat for the best mark on the season. Instead, 10 points (-2+5+7).

Cleveland Cavaliers (April 13-15): The Cavs are a bad team to begin with, so facing three games in three nights without Kyrie Irving (out with a shoulder injury) makes for a pretty daunting task. Or at least it does when the opponents are anyone besides the Wizards. Ring Cleveland up for a loss at Indiana, a win at Washington, and a home loss to Orlando for a total of 2 points (-2+4-0).

Philadelphia 76ers (April 16-18): What happened to this team? At one point this season they seemed primed to challenge the Heat and Bulls for Eastern Conference supremacy, now they are hanging on for dear life to the 8th spot. Their first two games were against playoff-bound opponents, netting them losses in Orlando and at home against Indiana. Lucky for them they finished Wednesday with the Cavs, who they beat by 16 a night after Cleveland lost by 39. To Detroit. Don’t expect Philly to last long in the playoffs, I guess is what I’m saying. 4 points (-2-1+7) for the City of Brotherly Love.

San Antonio Spurs (April 16-18): Saving the best for last. They (I) said the Heat’s 15-point performance in their three-fer could never be matched, but they didn’t count on the boys from San Antone. Not content to rest on the laurels of their previous 12-point undefeated three for all, the Spurs did indeed match Miami, knocking off Golden State (120-99), the Lakers (112-91), and Sacramento (127-102) to tie for the perfect score with 15 points (3+5+7). Which team had a better run, Miami or San Antonio? We’ll devote a separate post to that in the coming days.

Up next: Detroit takes its second crack at three in three April 17-19.

Three for all Top Ten:
San Antonio Spurs II (15 points)
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
San Antonio Spurs I (12 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks II (11 points)
Boston Celtics (10 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
Indiana Pacers II (8 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)

Full Three for all standings

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Three For All Round Up: Hawks, Bucks, Pacers, Spurs, and Wizards

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. 

As we near the season’s home stretch (my god it’s weird to say that, but it’s true — the Bobcats became the first team to officially be eliminated from postseason qualification with tonight’s loss to the Timberwolves), we’ve seen so many teams face back-to-back-to-back challenges over the past few days that it’s hard to keep it all straight.

For the sake of brevity, we’ll run down each of the five teams that completed the threeplay along with a few comments about their performances.

Indiana Pacers (Mar. 22-24): A road win in Washington, a loss at home to the Suns, and a blowout win over the Bucks in game three nets the Pacers 8 points (2-1+7) for their three for all, good enough for a tie for seventh-best mark so far this season. The win over the Wiz was particularly impressive, as Indy rallied from down 22 to win. A pessimist might wonder how they got down to the Wizards by 22 in the first place, but there’s no room for that kind of negativity here.

Milwaukee Bucks (Mar. 22-24): Not a great showing for the Bucks, who sandwiched two home losses to the Celtics and Pacers around a double-digit win in Charlotte over the Bobcats. Big deal. My local rec league team could beat the Bobcats in Charlotte at this point. Or Kentucky, one of those two. One highlight of their threebie was the game with the Pacers, which was the first game this season between two teams on the final leg of the back-to-back-to-back. 3 points (-2+5+0) for the Bucks, a team that better get a hitch in their giddy-up pretty soon if they want to make the playoffs.

Atlanta Hawks (Mar. 23-25): And we have another undefeated entry! The Hawks become the fifth team to sweep a three-play, beating the Nets at home, the Wizards on the road, and the Jazz at home, a game that went to quadruple-freaking-overtime. I am so impressed by the Hawks winning the third game of their series in 4OTs, I’m hereby awarding them an extra point. THIS I DECREE! From now on, any team that wins a three for all game in 4OT gets an extra point. 11 points (1+4+6), and I promise to update the scoring system chart soon to reflect the change. Also, the Hawks are the only team now with two top-ten finishes in the three for all.

San Antonio Spurs (Mar. 23-25): Of course the Spurs would also go undefeated at the very same time the Hawks do. Can Atlanta never have the spotlight to themselves? Naturally San Antonio did it better, beating the defending champs and Atlantic-leading Sixers by double-digits and escaping the plucky Hornets on the road in New Orleans. 12 points (2+4+6) for Los Spurs, good for a tie with the Thunder for third best overall score this season. And did we mention the win over Philly came without the services of Tim Duncan, who was apparently too old to play?

Washington Wizards (Mar. 24-26): We spend a lot of time around NBA.com arguing about which teams are the best, and thankfully we have the playoffs to settle any questions of team dominance. But what of the league’s worst teams? How will we ever know which team is more terrible between the Bobcats and Wizards? Yes, Charlotte may have four fewer wins at present, but they did put up 3 points in their three for all earlier this season. The Wizards? Bagel. -3 points (I’m not even adding the math here because the – and + get confusing with the negative numbers — just trust me they had -3) for Washington, which lost home games to the Hawks and Pistons and on the road at Boston. Washington is the fifth team to take the collar, but they do get another crack at it Apr. 4-6. Goody?

Up next: Things slow down for a few days, then the Memphis Grizzlies play three straight April 2-4.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
San Antonio Spurs I (12 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks II (11 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
Indiana Pacers II (8 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks I (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Three For All: Portland Trail Blazers II

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Portland Trail Blazers, who played three straight from Feb. 14-16.

The Blazers get perhaps the toughest task of the NBA season, playing their second three-play in just over three weeks. Portland put up six points over three games from Jan. 23-25 (good for sixth place in the Three for all standings as of this writing). Could they match that the second time around? Let’s find out together.

Game 1: Wizards 124, Blazers 109 - LaMarcus Aldridge goes out with an ankle injury two minutes into the contest, and the Blazers fold like a tent. Home losses to the Wizards are pretty inexcusable, no matter who gets hurt (this was their sixth road win since the start of last season). Tough way to start for Portland, and three straight home losses for the first time since 2008. -2 points

Game 2: Blazers 93, Warriors 91 - A nice rebound win at Golden State, with contributions up and down the lineup to make up for the injured Aldridge. Jamal Crawford closed the door, scoring the game’s final five points to help Portland hang on. 4 points (3 for win, 1 for road)

Game 3: Clippers 74, Blazers 71 - I feel bad for anyone who watched this one. The Blazers amazingly scored 27 points in the first quarter, only to drop 16, 17, and 11 over the last three periods. This is more of what we expected to see from teams at the tail end of a back-to-back-to-back, as the Clippers outscored the Blazers 22-11 in the fourth to get the win. 0 points

You get the feeling Portland left a few points on the table in this stretch, but LA’s injury certainly didn’t help. 2 points for the Blazers in the end.

Up next: The New Jersey Nets play three straight Feb. 18-20.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)

Full Three for all standings

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

JaVale McGee Will Yield No Transition Baskets

by Micah Hart

Oh, JaVale McGee. I like you, and I want to see you succeed, but sometimes you just make it too easy:



You know the sad thing is, if Wall makes a better pass there, that’s an easy dunk for JaVale. I think he was just trying to create a diversion there … yeah, that’s the ticket, a diversion!

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

JaVale McGee Gets Detention For Unnecessary But Pretty Sweet Dunk

by Micah Hart

What to do with you, JaVale McGee? That’s what Wizards coach Flip Saunders must spend a good amount of time thinking — at least when he’s not thinking the same about Andray Blatche or Nick Young, or …

Anyway, take this play, for instance, from yesterday’s Wizards-Rockets tilt:



Now, before we get into what happened afterward and who is right or wrong, let’s please all first acknowledge the dunk was awesome and clearly Dunk Ladder material.

In a vacuum, McGee’s aerial display is exactly what makes the NBA so amazing. I’d wager that we all secretly wish every player on a breakaway would do something like it.

But McGee’s slam did not occur in a vacuum; it occurred with the Wizards trailing the Rockets in the third quarter of a game they were losing and with the team’s record at 1-11, soon to be 1-12.

And so Saunders sent McGee to the bench, where he sat for the rest of the game save a couple minutes early in the fourth quarter.

There are a lot of opinions about whether this kind of showboating has a place in the NBA (and other sports as well), but I’d say the general rule of thumb is it is only acceptable when you are winning. Which, to refresh your memory, the Wizards are not. It reminds me of LeBron’s Cavaliers teams and their elaborate pre-game rituals. As long as they were winning it was cute. But as soon as they fell to Orlando in the playoffs you started to hear “maybe if they’d spent more time practicing basketball instead of handshakes …” and other tropes.

Both sides are right, and both sides are wrong. Sports are supposed to be fun, and that’s clearly what McGee was trying to do here — have some fun. But there is a time and place, and one look at the Wizards’ place in the standings shows that they haven’t really earned the right to goof off. That’s why most don’t have a problem with Saunders’ decision to make McGee sit in timeout and think about what he’d done.

Still … it was a pretty sweet dunk.

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Three for all: Toronto Raptors

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Toronto Raptors, who played three straight from Jan 9-11.

Toronto doesn’t have a lot going for them this season, but maybe a nice performance in their three for all could win them some huzzahs to help keep them warm at night during this cold, cold winter?

/shakes Magic 8 Ball, gets “Not gonna happen” message

Game 1: Raptors 97, Timberwolves 87 - Andrea Bargnani put on his big boy pants for this one, dropping 31 and grabbing nine rebounds to help the Raptors earn the win, which brought them a win away from .500. 2 points (1 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 2: Wizards 93, Raptors 78 - All those happy special feelings the Raptors might have been having in the previous paragraph? Dashed in D.C., where the Raptors suffered the ignominy of becoming the Wizards’ first victims this season after eight straight losses. For shame Toronto, for shame. -1 point

Game 3: Kings 98, Raptors 91 - Seems the trend is starting to return to normal, as two of the three teams finishing up their threesomes lost their final game, including the Raptors at home against the Kings. Leandro Barbosa had a season-high 24 off the bench, so that’s something. 0 points

This isn’t a playoff bound Raptors crew, so no need to get too snippy (but seriously, the Wizards?), but there were more wins to be had in this set than they ended up with. All told, Toronto moves to the bottom of the table with a season-low 1 total point.

Up next: The Charlotte Bobcats play three straight Jan. 12-14, starting in Atlanta before coming home to host Detroit and Golden State.

Three for all Scoreboard:
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets (6 points)
L.A. Lakers (3 points)
Sacramento Kings (2 points)
Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)
Toronto Raptors (1 point)

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Three for all: Chicago Bulls

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Chicago Bulls, who played three straight from Jan 9-11.

Well, that was impressive. Oklahoma City set the bar high with their clean sweep of three in a row earlier this week, but the Bulls came along and took it a notch higher, earning the maximum possible points that the schedule would allow.

Game 1: Bulls 92, Pistons 68 - About what you’d expect when one of the best defenses in the league meets up with statistically the worst offense. Every team has an off night now and again, but the Pistons barely put anyone in double-figures, yeesh. 2 points (1 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 2: Bulls 111, Timberwolves 100 - Chicago got out to a big early lead, then held on for dear life in Minnesota for the win. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Derrick Rose, better known as the Bulls’ entire offense, sustained a turf-toe injury (on hardwood???) that could prove meddlesome. Not tonight, but maybe later. 5 points (3 for win, 1 for road, 1 for +10 margin)

Game 3: Bulls 78, Wizards 64 - With Rose out because of the aforementioned toe injury (and backup C.J. Watson still hurting as well), the onus fell on journeyman John Lucas to come to the Bulls’ rescue. Fortunately they were playing the Wizards, and I’m pretty sure Bennie the Bull could have taken over the reigns and led the team to a win. Still, 25-8-8 for Lucas is impressive stuff.  6 points (5 for win, 1 for +10 margin)

Was this the most impressive performance by a team so far? The stats say yes — three double-digit wins in three nights. However, given that the combined record of the three opponents currently stands at 6-24, I suppose we’d be disappointed if Chicago did anything less. Still, the Bulls can do nothing but play the opponents put in front of them, and you gotta tip your cap to the new leaders, who notched 13 total points. The only way they can be topped from here on out is if a team plays two road games and wins all three by double figures, so, yeah, good luck beating Chicago.

Up next: The Philadelphia 76ers also played three straight Jan. 9-11.

Three for all Scoreboard:
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Denver Nuggets (6 points)
L.A. Lakers (3 points)
Sacramento Kings (2 points)
Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.

Three for all: Minnesota Timberwolves

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Minnesota Timberwolves, who played three straight from Jan 8-10.

The Timberwolves got off to a good start, but became the first team to lose the third game of the triumvirate in what was ultimately a disappointing stretch for the squad.

Game 1: Timberwolves 93, Wizards 72 - Minnesota becomes the first team to get max road points -i.e., winning on the road by +10 margin, but the fact that it was against (at the time) winless Washington makes it a little less exciting. Still, Ricky Rubio dished out a career-best 14 assists as he continues to impress. 3 points (1 for win, 1 for +10 margin, 1 for road)

Game 2: Raptors 97, Timberwolves 87 - Minnesota couldn’t stop Andrea Bargnani (31 points, nine rebounds) and couldn’t hit the water from a boat, shooting 34% from the field as a team. Kevin Love was 3-16 from the field as no starter scored more than 13 points. -1 point

Game 3: Bulls 111, Timberwolves 100 - Minnesota got down early in this one, and I give them credit for rallying back to make it close down the strech despite tired legs. Plus, they had this sweet alley-oop from Rubio to Anthony Randolph. 0 points

Season in a microcosm for Minnesota over this stretch, as they continue to play exciting basketball but fail to register notches in the win column. 2 total points for the Timberwolves.

Up next: Three teams are at it at the same time, as the Sixers, Bulls, and Raptors all play three straight Jan. 9-11.

Three for all Scoreboard:
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Denver Nuggets (6 points)
L.A. Lakers (3 points)
Sacramento Kings (2 points)
Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)

Seen something that belongs on All Ball? Let us know via email or Twitter.