Morning tip: Twin towers open up the offense

Morning tip: Twin towers open up the offense
November 7, 2013, 9:30 am
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Wittman: "We are an equal-opportunity offense"

WAKING UP with the Wizards, after they won for the first time this season at Wells Fargo Center ...

PHILADELPHIA -- Not only did Wednesday's game represent the first time Nene wore the Wizards' uniform since opening night, it was the first time he shared the starting lineup with Marcin Gortat.

Nene strained his left calf as a center at the Detroit Pistons, and Gortat, who had just three practices with his new team after being traded by the Phoenix Suns, came off the bench. 

Nene missed two games until playing 29 minute in the Wizards' first win, 116-102, vs the Philadelphia 76ers. And he was able to slide into his preferred position of power forward. His statistics hardly told the story of his defensive effort. He was a two-way player, with 10 points, five rebounds, two blocks and rock-solid defending of Thaddeus Young. 

In their first meeting, without Nene on the court last week in the Wizards' home-opener, Young had his way inside as the Sixers scored 74 points in the paint. Young had 29 on 14-for-20 shooting in that game. He was held to seven points in 34 minutes this time, converting just 3 of 11.

Trevor Booker, who had been starting at power forward next to Gortat, did not play. He dislocated his left index finger over the weekend but was dressed. 

Gortat had 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting and 12 rebounds, including five offensive.

Gortat: "It's definitely a different ballgame playing with Nene than playing with Trevor. He's a really experienced guy. He knows how to move around the rim. It makes more opportunities for me offensively. He brings a lot of attention. He's really aggressive. It actually creates extra space for me to go to the offensive glass, get some rebounds. It leaves me on the island with one defender. I can definitely work with that."

The Wizards had 32 assists on 43 field goals. They set a franchise record for three-pointers, 18 of 33 for 54.5%. 

Martell Webster: "For one, it's good to have two bigs that can play off each other and feed off each other. When one big has the ball, the other is cutting from the opposite side to keep the defense honest so they can't stack up and load a side which is very important. And bigs that are able to pass out of the double-team is key. We were able to find guys on the opposite end of the floor and knock down shots. And we need those. Those are the shots we need to make in order to win games."

Al Harrington: "That's huge. That's where the game has gone anyway, having big guys that are versatile that can make jumpers that give this talented league of guards more room to operate. With Macrin, Nene, myself, even Kevin (Seraphin), we can make 15-footers and beyond and that just makes our team more dangerous on the offensive end."

Coach Randy Wittman: "You've got to come out and contest. That does open up driving lanes for John (Wall), Bradley (Beal), Martell and Trevor (Ariza). Both of those guys were able to step out 12 to 15 feet and get open looks and knock them down."

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