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AARP group could spark Wizards

May 12, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

Andre Miller, David West Andre Miller, David West

WASHINGTON – The Wizards are the youngest team still playing in the Eastern Conference, but they’re not defined completely by their youthful backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal.

They also have what Washington coach Randy Wittman has dubbed the “AARP group” – Andre Miller, Al Harrington and Drew Gooden.

In Game 4 against the Pacers on Sunday, the AARP group nearly led the Wizards to victory and the unit could key a Washington comeback trailing 3-1 in the series.

Miller (38), Harrington (34) and Gooden (32) are the Wizards’ oldest players, and they often played together flanked by Beal and Martell Webster. When that lineup entered Game 4 in the second quarter, the Wizards immediately went on a 12-0 run.

“Thank god,” Wittman said. “They kind of saved the day.”

In the three-point loss, the Wizards outscored the Pacers by 19 points in the 15 minutes Miller, Harrington, Gooden, Beal and Webster played together.

That level of success is no huge surprise. That unit was +32 in 151 minutes during the regular season (offensive rating: 116.0/defensive rating: 104.8/net rating: +11.2).

Harrington’s and Gooden’s ability to space the floor could keep giving Roy Hibbert problems. As well as Hibbert has played lately, he’s still vulnerable when pulled from the paint.

But maybe Wittman stuck with the AARP group too long Sunday. Harrington (11 points, six rebounds and three steals), Gooden (10 points, four rebounds and three blocks) and Miller (seven points and four assists) faded late.

And Paul George excelled, overcoming what was on track to be a special night for the AARP group when it left the court for Wall to lead the team down the stretch.

“Sometimes,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said, acknowledging the Wizards’ success, “you can be undone by a special performance.”

  1. irvness21 - May 12, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    The problem is Wall not being Wall. In the season Wall would drive and dish or drive and finish with a nice layup. Now he is hesitant to shoot. Thats the wizards game, penetrate and dish to the open shooter on the wing on in the corner. They need to get back to just playin ball.

    • jkirby317 - May 12, 2014 at 8:52 PM

      I wonder why “Wall is not being Wall.” Any ideas on why this guy is “hesitant to shoot?” You think he just decided to stop doing that? Or maybe the Indiana Pacers defense is stifling and suffocating the young man?
      Let’s give credit to the Pacers for shutting John Wall down.

      • irvness21 - May 13, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        There is a difference between hesitant to shoot and not being open to get your shot off. Wall is not shooting the ball. Wall is still getting to the middle of the lane and passing it out instead of laying it up. The Pacers are playing better D as of late i’ll give you that, but he is still passing up open shots.

  2. tashab03 - May 12, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Gooden is terrible. He flops like a fish out of water on almost every play. It’s to the point that I’m embarrassed for him.

  3. jkirby317 - May 12, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    Any chance in hell that the Washington Wizards would take John Wall over Paul George, again? Clearly, if given a re-do PG24 would be the #1 pick.

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