October 28, 2020

Washington Wizards Game 36 Review: Depleted Wizards Give Complete Effort against Bulls

The Washington Wizards headed into a road matchup with the Chicago Bulls excited for the return of Nene for some much-added depth. However, Marcin Gortat was a late scratch because of a nagging knee injury, and the Wizards were left short handed once again. As depleted as they were, the team displayed a complete offensive effort against a stellar Bulls team, winning 114-100.

This effort was not about just one player for Washington, with 7 Wizards scoring in double figures, including Ramon Sessions (16), Gary Neal (11), and Drew Gooden (10). The road team was able to distribute the ball and get the looks that they needed inside even without Gortat on the pick and roll. [Read more…]

A Bull in a-Chinatown: Rose’s 35 down Wizards, 98-88

The news of Andray Blatche’s month-long absence came at a particularly inconvenient time for the Wizards. The Chicago Bulls, coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Miami Heat, were in town looking to take out some frustration.

Despite making a run down the stretch, when the Bulls looked like they were feeling the effects of an emotional back-to-back, the Wizards eventually fell to Eastern Conference leaders, 98-88.

Rose made Swiss cheese of the Wizards defense early, getting to the basket at will and scoring 13 first quarter points. [Read more…]

Rose-less Bulls use impressive defense to defeat Wizards

Fresh off its first win of the season, the Wizards almost caught a break in Chicago. Without Derrick Rose, the league MVP and Bulls team captain, it appeared to be an auspicious start to Washington’s two game road trip.

As with numerous other opportunities this season, Washington was unable to capitalize, as the Wizards set a franchise mark for offensive futility falling 78-64.  The point total was the lowest since the previous record of 65, set Dec. 13, 2002 against the New Jersey Nets.

An increasingly impressive Wizards defense wasn’t enough to beat the Rose-less Bulls, who maintained their own defensive prowess without their leading scorer. John Lucas filled in admirably for Rose (sprained toe) at point guard, putting up 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the win.

JaVale McGee starred for the Wizards (1-9), ending his night with 10 points, 14 boards and five blocks—though he also committed two goal-tending violations in another uneven performance. Andray Blatche missed the contest with a shoulder injury, and his absence was notable with Kevin Seraphin forced into duty.

Flip Saunders maintained Tuesday night’s successful starting lineup, and while it didn’t get them the win it paid off on the defensive end. Chris Singleton and Trevor Booker provided much needed energy, and helped set the tone for a team increasingly cultivating its new identity.

Even without Rose the Bulls had a distinct advantage in the front court. Omer Asik (14 boards), Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah provided stout defense inside, and Luol Deng chipped in 15 rebounds, despite making only five of his 21 shots.

The Wizards continued to struggle from the field, particularly hitting jump shots. Conversely, the Bulls relied on Kyle Korver’s hot hand as they pulled away down the stretch

Korver was also able to exploit the Wizards youth and immaturity. With the Bulls up eight half way through the fourth, Korver used a hard foul to prevent Crawford from converting a fast break layup. Crawford retaliated by shoving him under the basket, and the ensuing technical foul negated an opportunity to make it a two possession game.

The Wizards were able the keep the score knotted late into the third quarter, but Korver continued to hit shots in crunch time. After a Trevor Booker jumper cut the lead to 69-64 with five minutes to go in the fourth, Korver hit a demoralizing fade-away late in the shot clock to give the Bulls a 71-64 lead. The Wizards wouldn’t score the rest of the way.

John Wall continued his struggles from the field, shooting 4-for-13 on his way to 11 points, five rebounds and eight assists. He also failed to record a steal, making it two straight after notching one in 15 consecutive games prior.

The Wizards fly to Philadelphia for a Friday tilt, and then host the Sixers the following night in the Verizon Center.

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