- Air Force cadets ‘revolt’ after officials remove biblical verse from whiteboard
- Rep. Lee: Paul Ryan out of touch with urban Americans
- House votes down resolution to force Issa to apologize
- Kremlin blocks opposition websites; Kasparov fears Putin plans ‘something drastic’
- Saving trees? EPA wastes $1.5 million storing unneeded pamphlets in warehouse
- Scott Brown Senate bid in New Hampshire may launch soon
- Jeffrey Corzine, son of ex-N.J. governor, dead at 31
- Australian surfing magazine sorry for calling indigenous surfer ‘apeish’
- Records: Man in Fla. theater shooting also was texting
- The Putin problem: U.S. needs Russian rockets for spy satellites
Garrett Temple at point after Wizards’ changing of the guards
CHICAGO — John Wall was sprawled out on the floor in front of him doing stretching exercises. A.J. Price sat across from him, his soft cast in his lap and a stimulation machine on his broken right hand. Shelvin Mack sat next to him, wearing oversized headphones and checking his cellphone.
In the visitors’ locker room at United Center, Garrett Temple sat quietly in front of his stall and glanced around at his teammates, focused on what was about to happen in less than an hour. He was starting for the Wizards at point guard against the Chicago Bulls. Making his task even more difficult was finding out he wouldn’t have leading scorer Jordan Crawford, who sat out the game with a sore left ankle.
The point guard spot for Washington has been a revolving door of injuries (Wall and Price) and ineffectiveness (Jannero Pargo and Shaun Livingston) to their top scorer playing out of position in an attempt to help (Crawford). With less than a week in a Wizards uniform, Temple has stepped into the role and already feels at home as the new floor leader.
“I feel comfortable with these guys,” Temple said. “It’s a good locker room, a good group of guys. Everybody just wants the same goal, which is to win games.”
It was his solid play in Washington’s 105-97 win over Orlando on Friday — 6 of 8 from the floor for 13 points, six assists and six rebounds — that prompted Wizards coach Randy Wittman to give Temple the start over Mack on Saturday.
For Temple, it’s been a long time coming.
The last time he started was the 2009-10 season with San Antonio.
Newman joined the Wizards’ staff in the offseason as Wittman’s top assistant after spending seven seasons with the Spurs. Newman already knew what kind of player and leader Temple is and what he could bring to Washington.
Against the Bulls on Saturday, Temple struggled from the floor, as did everyone else. The Wizards shot a dismal 36.5 percent and turned the ball over 17 times thanks to the shut down quality of the Bulls defense. Temple was just 3 of 11 for eight points, but he had nine rebounds and five assists in a team-high 41:12.
Despite an 87-77 loss, Wittman had few complaints about Temple.
“I played him 41 minutes [Saturday]”Wittman said. “I have a lot of confidence in him. He had a couple turnovers where he didn’t know exactly where to be, what to do, where the guy was going to be, but he gives us great effort defensively.”
Wittman joked that after just two practices, Temple barely knows what’s going on yet but said he has no doubt that with a little more time learning the Wizards’ plays, Temple will be just fine.
And, as any true point guard would, Temple already is talking like a leader.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Carla Peay keeps you up to date on the Washington Wizards and the NBA.
- John Wall’s practice session includes contact
- Chris Singleton falls out of Wizards' rotation
- Wizards can't sustain solid start, fall to Mavericks
- Kevin Seraphin gets some tough love from his 'big brothers'
- Wizards' Randy Wittman desires healthier team in 2013
Latest Blog Entries
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
- F-35 secrets now showing up in Chinas stealth fighter
- FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- USS Kidd sent to Indian Ocean after 'indication' of Malaysian jet crash
- Warren Buffett's son to spend $23.7 million in effort to save South African rhinos
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
- Justice Department refuses info on hundreds of prosecutor misconduct cases
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- MILLER: Law enforcement realizes good people with guns deter crime
- CURL: Calm down, conservatives: Obama's 'Two Ferns' bit was brilliant
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again