The NBA: The Washington Muggles

John Wall and Nick Young share a light moment
in Washington's win over the Cats.
(image by the AP)
“Rejoice, for You-Know-Who is gone at last! Even muggles like yourself should be celebrating this happy, happy day.” – JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Happy day indeed! The Washington Wizards have won their first road game of the season and their second W in three games with new head coach Randy Wittman.

The caveat?

Both wins were against the equally woeful Charlotte Bobcats, and the loss was against a fringe playoff team from the West – the Houston Rockets.

Sorry, Washington fans, but these Wizards are still lacking in magic.

This team coach Randy Wittman inherited after Flip Saunders was so unceremoniously let go is bottom five in the league in several key categories – points per game (26th), assists per game (28th), free throw % (26th), 3pt % (27th), and field goal % (tied for 25th). They’re also 22nd in rebounds per game and are the 24th most turnover-prone group of the whole lot.

Pay close attention to their shooting numbers – they’re awful from everywhere – and yet they’re 6th in the league in attempts per outing. They jack up about 83 shots, but, on average, make only a paltry 35.

Needless to say, it’s easy to see why they’re the NBA’s worst, and why coach Wittman has his work cut out for him.

Good luck, coach. You’ll need it, especially with a team that, despite being named the Wizards, just doesn’t have anything magical to offer.

Folks, your Washington Muggles.

After the JUMP, key stat-stuffers for today’s games:

WAS over CHA, 102-99 – Javale McGee and Nick Young combined for 43 points while John Wall got a double-double for the Wiz, who are probably feeling all tingly inside after their second win since ousting Flip.
PHI over DET, 95-74 – Andre Iguodala finished with triple 10s to their 10th home win.
HOU over NYK, 97-84 – The Rockets outscored the Knicks 55-39 in the middle two quarters even as Kevin Martin continued to be in sick bay. Goran Dragic, Chase Budinger, and Jordan Hill combined for 49 points off the bench to the win.
MIL over LAL, 100-89 – The Bucks took the loss of Andrew Bogut in stride, defending their home turf against the visiting Lakers, who are now 1-7 outside the Staples Center.
UTA over SAC, 96-93 – The Jazz withstood Tyreke Evans’s 31-point effort as Gordon Hayward and CJ Miles combined for 41 points on 15-28 shooting.
PHX over MEM, 86-84 – The Suns hand the Grizz their third straight defeat, led by Steve Nash, who racked in 21 markers, 5 boards, and 6 dimes.

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
Tyreke Evans (SAC) – 31
Kobe Bryant (LAL) – 27
Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK), Drew Gooden (MIL), & Byron Mullens (CHA) – 23

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
Pau Gasol (LAL) – 15
Samuel Dalembert (HOU) & Paul Millsap (UTA) – 14

Pau Gasol reacts to a call as the Lakers drop another
one on the road.
(image by Streeter Lecka)

Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
Kemba Walker (CHA) – 11
Andre Iguodala (PHI), Boris Diaw (CHA), Mike Conley (MEM), & John Wall (WAS) – 10

Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
Courtney Lee (HOU) – 4
Matt Carroll (CHA), Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK), & Jared Dudley (PHX) – 3

Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
Javale McGee (WAS) – 5
Marc Gasol (MEM) & Samuel Dalembert (HOU) – 4

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
Jodie Meeks (PHI) – 4
Isaiah Thomas (SAC), Andrew Goudelock (LAL), Jimmer Fredette (SAC), & Lou Williams (PHI) – 3

Jan. 28, 2012 First Five
C – Marc Gasol (MEM) – 18pts, 13rebs, 4blks, 2asts, 1stl
F – Javale McGee (WAS) – 22pts, 10rebs, 5blks, 2asts, 1stl
F – Kobe Bryant (LAL) – 27pts, 9asts, 8rebs, 2stls
G – Tyreke Evans (SAC) – 31pts, 9asts, 6rebs, 2stls, 1blk
G – Kemba Walker (CHA) – 20pts, 11asts, 10rebs, 2blks, 1stl

Honorable Mention:
Boris Diaw (CHA) – 21pts, 10asts, 3rebs, 1stl
Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) – 23pts, 8rebs, 3stls, 2blks
Steve Nash (PHX) – 21pts, 6asts, 5rebs, 2stls

For a full summary of the day, here’s today’s NBA Daily Zap:

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