Temple pushes ahead in Wizards' rotation

Temple pushes ahead in Wizards' rotation
November 17, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Randy Wittman explains what went wrong against Cavs

Get used to seeing more of Garrett Temple, who only played seven total minutes in the first five games of these season because he took a backseat to Eric Maynor.

Not anymore.

Maynor, in his first year with the Wizards after signing as a free agent in the summer, has fallen out of coach Randy Wittman's rotation and Temple's play in the 103-96 overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers has earned him the primary role behind John Wall. 

"Garrett gave us some pressure as a backup, something we haven't had that Eric's got to learn to do," Wittman said of Temple's defense. "I'm still playing around with that."

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Temple was a free agent but immediately was re-signed by the Wizards after he finished strong with them last season. Aside from being a much-needed ball-handler, he's 6-6 and can defend point guards. 

That was apparent when the Wizards jumped out to a 15-point lead vs. Cleveland. Kyrie Irving, who finished with 41 points, didn't get hot with Temple on the floor.

In fact, Irving had just eight points through most of two quarters as Temple challenged him early and disrupted his dribble penetration. Temple checked out at 4:30 of the second quarter, and Irving ended the last 89 seconds with three three-pointers to cut the Wizards' lead to 49-44. 

"That's exactly when he started feeling himself, started feeling good about his shot, when he hit those three 3s in a row," said Temple, who played 16 minutes. "With a scorer like that you got to try to keep that from happening so he can't feel good, especially a guy that's going to have the ball in his hands the whole time."p

Temple had a turnover early in the fourth quarter, but he ran down Matthew Dellavedova and pinned his fast-break layup on the backboard. It resulted in a layup for Bradley Beal and a six-point lead at 75-69, the biggest of the period. 

Good things happened with Temple on the floor. Maynor, who regards Temple as his best friend on the team because they're both so much alike, hasn't looked good since preseason and just doesn't appear to be in sync. He didn't practice in preseason because of soreness in his left Achilles but that apparently isn't the issue. 

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