Quick Links

Summer League review: Jan Vesely


Summer League review: Jan Vesely

The 2012 Las Vegas Summer League is in the books. Time to reflect on what we witnessed during those five games from those Washington Wizards. Up first, Jan Vesely.2012 Summer League stats (since Vesely played only two minutes in the final game due to an ankle tweak, per game numbers based on four games): 9.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 50 FG percent, 35.7 FT, 2.2 turnovers.The good: Our SL goal for the shooting challenged forward involved simply knocking down perimeter looks. Vesely did just that, especially early on, draining all three of his 15-feet and beyond attempts in the Wizards opener(by comparison, he made only three shots from a similar distance all last season). His form looks improved and the rising second-year forward made at least half his shots in all but one full game. Oddly several misses came on dunks or plays at the rim. Also worth noting most of his outside makes came on essentially set or minimally contested shots...Running the floor has never been an issue for Vesely and his overall basketball instinct are better than he's at times credited. The tougher than he looks 6-foot-11 forward took advantage of an overmatched Grizzlies frontcourt with 12 rebounds in a win over Memphis.On the other hand...: Before we say the shooting problem is fixed, let's look again at the free throw percentage. Vesely missed nine of 14 attempts and the inaccuracy was spread out over three games in which he attempted one from the charity stripe...Defensively, he still showed a penchant for reachingrather movinghis feet, body into proper guarding position...When it comes to whistles being blown - and in Vegas, the foul calls against Veselycame in bunches -, more restraint, maturity is required.Granted, Vesely is only 22-year-old, but learning to remain focused on thenext playrather than the previous one is crucial.Forecast...:Instead ofplaying for the Czech national team later this summer, Vesely is staying in the U.S. to work on his game. Combined with his summer league experience,he shouldbe far more ready for the NBA rigors than he was as a rookie. That might seemlike arather "duh" statement, but after last year's truncated offseason while adjusting to a new country, culture, it's also the truth. What's also the truth is that Vesely's 2012-13 role is hardly defined. The Wizards now have a deeper frontcourt and barring injuries or the unforeseen, consistent minutes beyond 10 or so per game may not be available. Vesely's NBA ceiling may ultimately be that of an energy reserve, but even there the Wizards have the currently more capable Trevor Booker. Knocking down thoseopen looks as he did in Vegas, easily the biggest Vegas takeaway regarding the No. 6 pick in the 20111 draft. If Vesely does that when the games turn real and while breezily running the court with John Wall and while making above the rim plays on both ends, he'll force Randy Wittmanto keep him on the court.

Quick Links

Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

USA Today Sports Images

Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.


Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:


Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two guys have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.



Quick Links

Don't expect a big role for Ramon Sessions with Wizards after signing as free agent

Don't expect a big role for Ramon Sessions with Wizards after signing as free agent

When Ramon Sessions was last with the Wizards, he was the primary backup point guard behind starter John Wall. Now back with the team on a 10-day contract, he is expected to play a much more muted role.

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks spoke of Sessions as the fourth-string point guard, not only behind Wall who remains out to recover from left knee surgery, but also behind Tomas Satoransky and Tim Frazier. The presence of Sessions should not affect Satoransky's minutes as the replacement starter and it doesn't sound like Frazier is in jeopardy of moving down the depth chart, either.

"I don't know how many minutes or opportunities he will get, but with the way he holds himself I feel comfortable if we need him in a pinch," Brooks said. "We have some coverage now if one of our guards goes down or gets in foul trouble."


Brooks mentioned Sessions' ability to play some at shooting guard if needed. He also praised Sessions' penchant for getting to the free throw line. Sessions has averaged 3.9 free throw attempts in just 23.5 minutes per game. That's highest among active players who have averaged 24 minutes or less in their career.

Sessions played well for the Wizards down the stretch of the 2014-15 season and in the 2015-16 campaign. As a member of the Wizards, he averaged 9.2 points and 3.0 assists per game.


He has played for eight different teams, but has always felt a connection to Washington.

"It just always felt like a place I could end up back one day," he said. "People always ask me, being on so many teams, 'what's the home team to you?' I always come back to the Wizards. It was a place I was only here a year-and-a-half, but it feels like much longer than that with the run we had and the fans and the support I get when I come here."

Exactly how long Sessions will be here is unclear. He couldn't crack the Knicks' rotation earlier this season and has a lot to prove. Still, he's excited for the opportunity.