March 31, 2015

Washington Wizards Game 60 Review: Wiz narrowly escape Pistons after 20-plus point lead

The Washington Wizards defeated the Detroit Pistons, 99-95, on Saturday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, breaking a six-game losing streak. Marcin Gortat scored 16 points and pulled down 17 rebounds for Washington, including a key rebound off a missed free throw that enabled the Wizards to ice the game after blowing a 21-point third quarter lead.

The Wizards had their biggest lead at 66-48 on Paul Pierce’s three-pointer with 8:58 left in the third quarter. The Pistons whittled the lead down to ten going into the fourth quarter at 80-70.

The Pistons further cut the lead down to one with a 9-0 run just over three minutes into the quarter. Then the Pistons took their first lead at 85-84 on Spencer Dinwiddie’s putback dunk off his own miss with 6:44 left. The Pistons exchanged baskets with Wizards free throws as the lead changed hands five times before the Wizards finally seized the lead for good at 90-89 on a pair of Gortat free throws with 4:45 left.

John Wall’s layup gave the Wizards a five-point lead with 58 seconds left at 96-91. Greg Monroe’s layup followed by a Dinwiddie steal and layup brought the Pistons to within one at 96-95 when they fouled Bradley Beal with ten seconds left.

Beal made the first free throw but missed the second. Gortat tipped the rebound back to Wall, who was fouled and sank his two free throws with 7.3 seconds left to give the Wizards their final margin of victory.

The Wizards jumped out to a 31-17 lead in the first quarter behind strong frontcourt play from Gortat and Nene, who combined for 14 of those points.

Gortat’s layup 17 seconds before halftime gave the Wizards a 60-44 lead. Drew Gooden’s four jumpers, including a three-pointer, were instrumental in helping the Wizards extend their lead. Pierce hitting four out of his eight three-point shot attempts was also key.

Wall led the Wizards with 22 points while Nene added 21. Beal scored eight points on 2of 10 shooting in his first game back in the starting lineup after missing eight games because of injury. Pierce was also returning after missing two games to injury.

Greg Monroe led the Pistons with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Dinwiddie contributed 20 points and eight assists off the bench.

Washington Wizards Game 59 Review: Wizards embarrassing in loss to 76ers

Over the Washington Wizards’ six-game losing streak, small signs of promise have shown the potential for a light at the end of the tunnel.

On Friday in Philadelphia, that light all but disappeared.

With a display of “one step forward, two steps back” basketball, the Wizards were unable to maintain the tenuous leads they did grab, and fell to the 76ers 89-81. The Wizards have lost 11 of their last 13 games. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 56 Review: Wizards suffer another bad loss, fall to Pistons

The Washington Wizards came out of the All-Star break and stunk up the Verizon Center in their first game back by getting destroyed by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Wizards weren’t able to show much better on the road against the Detroit Pistons in a Sunday matinee, losing 106-89.

In the first quarter, things were slow and steady for both teams with mediocre shooting. The majority of offensive production for both teams came from the paint where the Wizards had 10 of their first 12 points. Even though Nene was sidelined early with two fouls in the first five minutes of action, Kevin Seraphin, not Kris Humphries, stepped in to have a bucket and two assists early. This allowed the Wizards to have an early 12-11 lead midway through. The Pistons began to find their stroke from deep as they hit four straight 3-pointers late in the quarter giving them a 27-22 lead. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 55 Review: Wizards come back from All Star break to get blown out by rival Cavs

The Washington Wizards came out of the All-Star break with a 33-21 record. The time off did the Wizards well in the fact that they were able to get Kris Humphries healthy. However, they are still without sharp shooting Bradley Beal who is still dealing with a toe injury and a more recent stress reaction in his lower right fibula. That loss of scoring showed up as the Wizards got blown out by the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-89.

The first quarter was off to a fast start which did not suit the Wizards well defensively. The Wizards had four turnovers within the first six minutes of the game, which were converted into eight points for Cleveland. Moreover, all of the Cavaliers players were able to get to the paint wherever they wanted as 16 of their first 21 points came inside.

Even though the Wizards played well offensively, the Cavs were able to get eight assists on their first ten field goals leading to 73 percent shooting early on. Although the Wizards defense started to improve as the quarter progressed, the Cavaliers got too many opportunities on the break, where LeBron James is virtually unstoppable. The eleven fast break points for Cleveland was a major factor in their 35-26 lead at the end of the first quarter. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards All-Star Break Mid-Season Review

While John Wall is off representing the Washington Wizards in New York City as the starting point guard of the Eastern Conference All-Star Team, it is time for us to think about how good the Wizards really are. About two-thirds through the season, the Wizards sit at a record of 33-21 and currently hold the fourth seed in the conference standings.

Although this may be an improvement from last year at this point, Washington is a staggering ten games back of the Southeast Division and Conference lead as the Atlanta Hawks have a stranglehold on both.

The Wizards are 18th in the league with 99.7 points per game and ninth overall with only 97.3 points allowed per game. This is a regression from their 100.7 points per game last year, yet an improvement from their 99.4 points allowed per game. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 53 Review: Wizards ride hot start to win over Magic


With strong starts to open both halves, and behind a stellar outing from John Wall, the Washington Wizards beat the Orlando Magic 96-80 Monday night at Verizon Center.

[Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 52 Review: Wizards get badly needed win by beating Nets to end 5 game skid

The Washington Wizards entered play Saturday riding a five-game losing streak, their worst such stretch since the end of the 2012-2013 season. The Wizards looked to end the skid and regain some ground in the playoff race in the final three games before the All-Star break. They did what they had to in emphatic style, as seven scored in double-figures and all 13 who played scored in the 114-77 win over the Brooklyn Nets at Verizon Center.

[Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 50 Review: Wiz skid continues in loss to Hawks


The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Washington Wizards, 105-96, Wednesday night at Philips Arena in Atlanta. This was the Wizards’ season high fourth straight loss. The Hawks rebounded with a victory after the New Orleans Pelicans ended their 19-game winning streak.

Coming out of halftime trailing 59-46, the Wizards forced the Hawks to call timeout by cutting the deficit to 66-60 with 8:03 left in the third quarter behind Marcin Gortat’s eight points. The Wizards continued to chip away at the lead. Bradley Beal brought the Wizards to within one with a three-point play when he was fouled on a layup with 3:25 left. John Wall added two free throws to give the Wizards their short-lived lead at 74-73 with 1:16 left in the quarter. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 49 Review: Wizards fail to complete the comeback again, this time to the Hornets

After failing to complete the comeback against the Toronto Raptors at home on Saturday, the Wizards failed to bounce back against a struggling and injured Charlotte Hornets team. The Wizards were again down by double digits and came back to tie  but were unable to take the lead late as they fell 92-88.

The first quarter started with hot shooting by the Hornets and poor defense from the Wizards, déjà vu from the last game. As a result, Randy Wittman was forced to take a timeout a bit over four minutes into the game as the Wizards already faced an early 15-7 deficit. All of that was the result of three Wizards turnovers and the Hornets getting open looks after good ball movement to start the game 7 of 10 from the field. Wittman smartly made adjustments by helping Marcin Gortat against Al Jefferson down low with the show of a double team. For the third straight game, Garrett Temple got extended minutes off the bench and seemed to give the team a much needed boost. At the end of the first quarter, the Wizards methodically cut the earlier deficit of eight in half to 28-24. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 48 Review: Wizards comeback falls short in OT against Raptors

After completing the Western four game road trip with a .500 record, the Washington Wizards looked to get regrouped at home as they begin a 10-game stretch against multiple formidable playoff bound teams. After the Wizards came back from a 16-point fourth quarter deficit, they failed to complete the comeback in overtime and fell to the Toronto Raptors 120-116.

The first quarter started with a hot-shooting start for the Raptors. In the first seven minutes of the game, they were 9 of 13 from the field including 5 of 5 from beyond the arc. The Wizards big men, neither Marcin Gortat nor Nene could not get out to defend Amir Johnson and Patrick Peterson respectively from deep. Many of the Raptors shots were open because of constant ball movement. The Wizards would themselves start to heat up from the field as they went 11 of 16 from the field in the quarter. Although the Raptors air-balled one 3-point attempt, it was the only attempt out of eight that they missed. As a result, the Raptors held a minimal 33-30 lead after the first quarter. [Read more…]

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