A malfunction of the scoring system Tuesday night at Verizon Center forced the Washington Wizards to go back to the old-school days of high school basketball, with 24-second shot clocks placed on the baseline and a game clock propped up high in front of the scorer’s table.
The breakdown in technology wasn’t all that went haywire for the Wizards during a 96-88 loss to Toronto in the Wizards’ first game after a five-day all-star break. John Wall was off-target with his shot and his passes, the offense sputtered and the defense had little answer for the Raptors’ perimeter combination of Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan.
“I’ll burn it and look forward to the next one,” Wall said after matching the worst shooting night of his career, as he missed 11 of 12 shots and scored just nine points with six assists and seven turnovers. “You don’t hold your heads.”
The Wizards (15-37) got another reminder of how fleeting success can be in the NBA, with the team following up a four-game winning streak against teams in playoff contention with losses to Detroit and Toronto, two teams that would join Washington in the NBA lottery if the season ended today.
“They wanted it more than us. They outplayed us. They had two scorers, Rudy and DeMar, they came out and did their thing,” reserve forward Trevor Booker said of the Raptors. “Hopefully we can regroup. We got to take the success and we can’t let our heads get big. Some teams do that, and they fall on their face.”
Booker said the broken clocks in the arena didn’t affect the players much and that it felt “like AAU.” Timeouts and substitutions were summoned by the sound of an air horn. Players had to check at midcourt for the score or keep it their heads . The public address announcer shouted out whenever the shot clock hit 10 seconds or five seconds. And the Raptors were especially helpful as players on the bench counted down the time on the clock to allow DeRozan the chance to hit buzzer-beating shots at the end of the first two quarters.
Wizards basketball: Wall, Washington off the mark in loss to Raptors
Washington Post | Feb 20