“It’s stressful. You feel like you have a lot of pressure on you at times, but when you’re on the floor, you don’t think about being on a 10-day,” said Martin, who didn’t even get a training camp invite after a short stint with Charlotte in 2008-09. “With this being one of the first teams that I ever played for coming into the NBA, I felt relaxed being here and comfortable shooting on the rims.”
With 5.9 seconds left in the third period, Vesely came up about a foot short on an eight-foot jumper, but Bobcats forward Derrick Brown grabbed the air ball, shuffled his feet and was called for traveling. The Wizards got the ball back and Shelvin Mack (11 points) made a jumper that hit the back of the rim and splashed through the net. Mack’s teammates gleefully celebrated as he headed back to the bench because they realized that while this has been a taxing season, there is another team that has had it considerably worse.
“I was not aware. I looked at the board and saw 7-47 and I was like, ‘Errrr,’ ” Singleton said, when asked if he knew about the Bobcats struggles’ while he played for the Guandong Southern Tigers in China. “It was a must-win for us. This is a game that you’re supposed to win. Like every game is a playoff for us. You’ve got to finish the season strong. Even if you’re not in the playoffs, you still have to play like you are.”
Any combination of six Wizards victories and Bobcats losses guarantees that Charlotte will secure the most chances to win the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft.
The Bobcats (7-48) lost their 12th game in a row overall and are on track to have the second-worst point-differential since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976 (minus-13.1). The Wizards barely edged the Bobcats, 102-99, in their last meeting in Charlotte, but they have won the other two games by an average of 22.5 points.
They will meet again in two weeks at Verizon Center and Wall already knows that he would like to have Martin and Singleton around for that contest. “I would like for those two guys to be on the team next year,” Wall said, “and I wish we would have had them at the beginning.”