Dave Johnson: Poor Shooting Rockets Find A Way


Dave Johnson: Poor Shooting Rockets Find A Way

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 9:44pm

Rockets vs. Wizards Game Highlights & Postgame Report
By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comWashington---It was not a beauty contest. The Houston Rockets only shot 38 percent from the field, but were more aggressive on the boards and made more free-throws to pull out a 96-88 win over the Washington Wizards.The Rockets are the fifth-best offensive rebounding team in the NBA and it helped save them against the Wizards. The Rockets finished with 16 offensive rebounds and a 24-8 advantage in second chance points.Luis Scola continued his impressive play and led the Rockets with 23 points and ten rebounds. Over the last four games Scola has averaged 21-points and 16-rebounds and not only was a big factor on the offensive glass for the Rockets, but displayed an array of low post moves using both his left and right hands. The challenge Scola provided the Wizards in the paint helped the Rockets gain an advantage at the free-throw line. Scola was seven of eight on free throws and as a team the Rockets were 24 of 28 from the line. The Wizards only had 16 free throw attempts but made 15 of them.Some of the swagger was back for the Wizards Nick Young as he came off the bench to score a team-high 18-points on 6 of 13 shooting from the field. In the previous five games Young had only made4 shots in 21 attempts.He played with some more energy, said Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. What he has got to do now is play with that much energy whether he is making shots or not. Making shots cannot dictate how hard he plays. The only thing that is constant is how hard you play. After a promising start the Wizards struggled to move the ball and make the Rockets defense work. Andray Blatche also led the Wizards with 18 points, but in his zeal to spark a slumbering offense there were mistakes. Blatche committed five turnovers and was9 of 22 from the field.It was just all me. It wasnt like they were doing a super double team, Blatche said. Chuck Hayes (Rockets center) is a big strong guy I was trying to back him down but he wasnt moving. I kept trying to fight harder and harder but it just made it worse for me.It started well for the Wizards. They had seven assists on their first ten field goals and built a 22-15 leadwith 2:10 left in the first quarter. The Rockets then seemed to get energy from their bench and by halftime had turned a seven point deficit into a 48-40 lead.The Rockets were awful from three-point distance, shooting 6 of 28, but Trevor Ariza, part of the Rockets bench boost, made three of those shots beyond the arc and finished with 13 points. Also off the bench Jordan Hill added 11 points and had four offensive rebounds.In the third quarter the Wizards were their own enemy. Almost five minutes into the second half the Wizards had only managed to score four points while committing four turnovers. Still for all the Wizards woes they were only outscored in the third by three points and still had a chance going to the final quarter.With the offense stuck, the Wizards turned to Shaun Livingston to run the point for most of the second half. Livingston finished with five assists in his twenty minutes and helped the Wizards outscore the Rockets 28-25 in the fourth quarter.Livingston also hit a 16-foot jump shot with 1:12 remaining to bring the Wizards to within six points at 92-86.He got us into an offense, Saunders noted. It was the best flow we had in the game during the end of the fourth quarter. Its the first time hes played extended minutes. We will see how he reacts tomorrow with his leg, and we will see what we do as far as Thursday. The Wizards next game is Thursday at home against Atlanta. It is the make up of the game postponed by the blizzard in early February. For the Wizards it is also the start of three games in three nights before a west coast trip.Its the Rock Star tour, Saunders added. The next five games are against teams that fighting to get to second, third or those types of seeds. Detroit is not, but Atlanta and Orlando are. Then we go on the road to Utah, Denver, Portland and Los Angeles and they are all fighting down the stretch.

Check out our Rockets-Wizards photo gallery from Bob Youngentob here

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Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs in NFL history.

But is he the best running back for the Redskins right now?

The Redskins signed Peterson, 33 years old and a 12-year NFL veteran, to a one-year contract. They have been hit with injuries at the running back position, most notably the loss of second-round pick Derrius Guice for the season with a torn ACL. They didn’t make any moves when that diagnosis was announced a week and a half ago. But they lost two more backs to short-term injuries last Thursday and they decided that now is the time to go out and get somebody.

Is the need for a running back really there? Rob Kelley was the starter for the last half of the 2016 season and for seven games last year before a variety of ailments sent him to injured reserve. Samaje Perine became the starter after that and while he struggled at time he also showed growth potential.

Kelley is 25 and Perine is 22. In the absence of Guice, they could develop and when Guice returns next year the team would have a good stable of young running backs.

But now, Peterson is in the picture. We don’t yet know what his role will be, but they did not sign him to be the back who is inactive on game days. He will get some carries and that will take work away from Perine and Kelley.

Now, if Peterson is more productive than either of the two younger backs then that is a worthwhile swap. But what does he have left in the tank at age 33?

Last year, playing for the Saints and Cardinals he gained 529 yards on 156 carries, a very pedestrian average of 3.4 years per carry. That is very similar to the production of Perine, who had 175 carries for 603 yards, a 3.4 average. In his two years in the NFL, Kelley has averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

By signing Peterson, however, the Redskins are hoping that Peterson has one more big year, or at least a medium year by his standards, left in him. After all, it was just in 2015 that he led the NFL in rushing for the third time in his career as he ran for 1,485 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. The Redskins would be delighted if he could get half of that total.

Any free agent signing can only be evaluated when the contract details are available. We only know that it’s a one-year deal and according to some reports he did not get any money guaranteed at signing. That seems to be a team friendly deal, but we will have to see what might kick in if he is on the Week 1 roster.

As with everything else, time will tell if this move works out. If the money is right, it’s a low risk transaction with some possible upside for Washington.

Back during minicamp while talking about how quickly Alex Smith would have to get up to speed with the offense, Jay Gruden said that the Redskins are not in a rebuilding mode and that they need to win now. After the trade for Smith, the Peterson signing is another indication that patience may be wearing thin.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler

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Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries

Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries

The Redskins agreed to terms with free agent running back Adrian Peterson, per multiple reports and confirmed by NBC Sports Washington.

Washington added Peterson as their running back group took a number of hits this preseason. Rookie Derrius Guice was lost for the year in the preseason opener, while Byron Marshall, Martez Carter and Samaje Perine got hurt in the second preseason game against the Jets.

Peterson is a huge name. He’s likely headed for the Hall of Fame when his career ends, and he’s one of only a handful of rushers to gain more than 2,000 yards in a season.

His best seasons came with the Vikings, but Peterson hasn’t delivered top flight results since 2015.

If he’s healthy and ready to go, Peterson could be a tremendous steal for the Redskins. There is no way to know until he suits up in the preseason, which could happen as soon as this Friday night against Denver.

On the roster, Washington has Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and Chris Thompson available at running back. At his best, Peterson is significantly better than that group.

Will the Redskins get Peterson at his best?

That’s the big question. And with two preseason games remaining, he will get the chance to prove it.