September 24, 2020

Washington Wizards Game 38 Review: Wall, Seraphin lead Wizards’ long-awaited triumph over Spurs

After suffering their biggest loss of the season on Sunday, the Washington Wizards rose from that setback in a big way Tuesday night at Verizon Center, beating the San Antonio Spurs 101-93.

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Washington Wizards Game 4 Review: Pierce, Temple Lead Wiz Past Knicks

WALL STRUGGLES, PIERCE AND TEMPLE PICK UP SLACK

For the third consecutive game, the Washington Wizards (3-1) notched another victory as they defeated the New York Knicks inside Madison Square Garden, 98-83. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Preseason Game 7 Recap: Wiz Fall To Pelicans

PORTER, TEMPLE LEAD WIZARDS IN LOSING EFFORT

With the reserves getting a majority of the minutes, the Washington Wizards lost to the New Orleans Pelicans 88-84 on Monday night in Baltimore. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Preseason Game 5 Recap: Wiz Defeat Maccabi Haifa

PORTER DROPS 19, RICE Jr. INJURED AS WIZARDS WIN PRESEASON MATCHUP 

In front of 10,000-plus faithful fans at the Verizon Center on Wednesday night, the Washington Wizards defeated Maccabi Haifa Basketball Club, 101-95. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 47 Recap: Wizards top Trail Blazers to go above .500 for first time since 2009

Photo credit: Monumental Network

Photo credit: Monumental Network

At long last, the Washington Wizards are in unfamiliar territory for all the right reasons.

The last time Washington saw the view from above .500, Bradley Beal was just 16 years old and the Wiz Kids were just three games into the season. This time, the Wizards are fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 24-23 record…in February.

And, to get to this point, they had to beat two of the West’s top teams in back-to-back games.

John Wall scored 22 points and Trevor Ariza added another 20 to help Washington to a 100-90 win over the 34-14 Portland Trail Blazers Monday night at the Verizon Center.

“It’s great – a humbling experience,” Wall said after the game. “You give credit to the young guys that have been here for a while for how hard they work and trying to get better. You give a ‘great job’ to our coaching staff and our organization, the people up top for doing the right thing and trying to make this team better. It also starts with being here as a family. We all trust each other. We all hold each other accountable on the basketball court, everything we do as a team.” [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Cleanout Day Audio

With the end of the NBA regular season, Thursday was “Cleanout Day” at Verizon Center for the Washington Wizards. Below are links to the final media availablity of the season for coach Randy Wittman, John Wall and the rest of the squad.

04-18-13 Randy Wittman Presser RAW 1

04-18-13 Randy Wittman Presser RAW 2

04-18-13 Randy Wittman Presser RAW 3

04-18-13 John Wall Presser RAW

04-18-13 Nene Presser RAW

04-18-13 Kevin Seraphin Presser RAW

04-18-13 Chris Singleton wMartell Webster at end Presser RAW

04-18-13 Cartier Martin Presser RAW

 

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 32: Poor Shooting Limits Struggling Wizards Against Miami Heat

There was no Cinderella story for the Washington Wizards in South Beach tonight, as they surrendered 21 unanswered points to the Miami Heat in the final six minutes to fall 99-71.

It was a tough game for a Washington team who have shown they can be scrappy at times throughout the season. They certainly have their flaws, but in a December matchup against the Heat at the Verizon Center, they showed they have the ability to play with and beat almost any team in the league. Consistency though, is their biggest struggle.

There is one play in the fourth quarter which really sums up the Wizards’ luck in this game. Washington’s Kevin Seraphin grabbed an offensive rebound and looked to kick it out high to set up perhaps a three-point second chance shot. While passing to the top of the arc, Miami’s Ray Allen intercepted the pass, took off and was fouled on the other end and made the basket. Allen hit his free throw and from a second-chance opportunity and a chance forWashington  to cut into the lead, it turned into three points for Miami.

Washington was not far out of the game at that point in time and it really killed any chance for them to comeback in the contest. There were certainly highlights for the Wizards though, despite the loss. Martell Webster hit a clutch shot-clocking beating shot in the third quarter and rookie Bradley Beal continued his impressive January with a big-ups dunk towards the end of the first half. At the end of the day though, they just were not able to get the number of explosive plays a team needs to beat Miami at home.

Despite having yet another rough night shooting the ball, only connecting on 36-percent of their shots, the Wizards cut down on the turnovers. Those pesky little giveaways have been a key part to this team’s struggles for the last few weeks and for the first time in distant memory, the Wizards had fewer than ten turnovers, with only eight. More importantly, they gave the ball away fewer times than Miami, who had nine, which is a sign they played a little tighter with the ball.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing with this Washington Wizards team though, is their inability to sink free throws. Free throws are free points, they are given to you, they are the least stressful shot in basketball. Yet, Washington continues to miss them. Of their 14 trips to the line, Washington only walked away with points seven times. Sink those seven and while they would not have won the game, it certainly could have given the team more confidence in key points of the contest.

Seraphin was the high scorer for Washington with 14 points, while Cartier Martin and Webster contributed 13 and 10 respectively. A little puzzling was Nene’s performance. With only five points in 22 minutes, the normal rock of Washington’s scoring was a disappointing one for six from the floor.

The Wizards return home to Washington tomorrow to take on the Western Conference Champion Oklahoma City Thunder at the Verizon Center. If Washington hopes to shock the other NBA Finals contestant at home, much like they shocked Miami, they are going to have to shoot better. It can be done, but the Wizards need to shoot better within five feet and continue to protect the rock.

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 29: Wizards Downed by Vince Carter’s 23 Points

It sounds like such a broken record, but the Washington Wizards were yet again dominated by a superstar player in their 103-94 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Vince Carter was on fire for the Mavericks throughout the game, hitting nine of his 14 shots and scoring a game high 23 points. Despite Carter scoring a game high in points, he was still a zero in plus-minus, but got some help in that category from his teammates. It was clear Carter was the scoring difference in the game for the Mavericks and was the player who caused the most problems for the Wizards.

Meanwhile, Bradley Beal did his very own Carter impression for the Wizards. A rookie, Beal knocked down seven buckets and took a total of 16 shots for a team high 22 points. He hit four of his seven threes to end a terrible stretch where he had not hit a three point field goal in more than a week. Like Carter, despite scoring a team high in points, he was also second to worst in plus-minus with a minus-18 rating.

Yet again the turnovers were a huge factor in the game for Washington. As a whole, the team gave the ball away 14 times with every starter, except Garrett Temple, had multiple of them. It is a huge problem that has followed the Wizards all year long. With the team struggling to play consistently, cutting down on the turnovers would certainly be a step in the right direction.

Speaking of inconsistencies.

Kevin Seraphin had the most disappointing performance of the night by far. The former first round pick has been great at times this year, but has fallen into a little bit of a slump lately. He scored 10 points, but was minus-24 while he was on the floor. While yes, plus-minus can be a little deceiving, but a minus-24 shows he was a part of a very ineffective group of defensive players.

After three straight double doubles to end November, Seraphin has not had another 10 rebound game since.

The Wizards now drop to a dreadful 4-25 now on the year. They have another tough test coming up on Wednesday in the Indiana Pacers before returning home against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. After having one of the easiest schedules before 2013, the Wizards are going to see their schedule start to get significantly harder quickly.

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 16: Disastrous First Quarter Sets Tone in Wizards Loss to Hawks

The script was familiar for the Washington Wizards in their 104-95 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, who kept the red, white and blue winless on the road this season.

After winning two of their last three, including a shocking victory over the defending champion Miami Heat Tuesday night, the Wizards looked to be rebounding as a team. Friday’s game showed there was a lot of work still to be done, as the team fell into old habits that haunted them during their seemingly endless season opening losing streak. At one point trailing by as many as 18, the Wizards closed the gap late, but couldn’t find enough gas in the tank to pull out the victory.

Washington made it close in the fourth quarter, pulling within two by closing the game to 91-89 after Bradley Beal hit two free throws. It all fell apart quickly for the Wizards though, as Atlanta went on a 12-6 to close out the game. With time ticking away the Wizards looked like they could get back into the contest with a big defensive stop, but instead they did the one thing they could not do, give up a three point play. Josh Smith of the Hawks was fouled by Martell Webster when the score was just 99-91 with 1:21 left in the game and Smith went to the line. Suddenly the Wizards went from being down just eight points, to being down 10 after Smith made the bucket.

Atlanta would continue the strong defense, as the only other points they would surrender in the remaining seconds were to Jordan Crawford, on free throws and a layup.

It was the first quarter that really did the Wizards in, again. Atlanta stomped on the red, white and blue dropping 31 points compared to just the Wizards’ 19. Despite sticking close with the Hawks for the next three quarters, even outscoring them in the third, the team just could not dig deep enough to pull themselves out of the early hole.

Four Wizards scored in double-digits, with Kevin Seraphin totaling a team high 19 points and to go along with seven boards. It was the first time in three games Seraphin failed to post a double-double. Beal added 18 of his own points and was a perfect six-for-six from the free throw line. Friday was the third time in four games former first round pick Jan Vesely did not take the floor for Washington.

Josh Smith was the game’s high-scorer and led the Hawks with 23 points and added 15 rebounds for a double-double. He was not the only Hawk with a double-double either, as Al Horford had 14 rebounds to go with 14 points of his own.

The loss drops the Wizards to 2-14 on the season and continues the nightmare of a season for Head Coach Randy Wittman and the rest of the Wizards coaching staff. Washington will not get any relief either, as the team returns home to the District of Columbia to take on the Golden State Warriors tomorrow night at the Verizon Center. Sitting at 12-7, the Warriors sit fifth in the Western Conference and are having one of their best starts to a season in recent memory.

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 10: Wiz Miss First Win by Less Than One Second, Fall to Hawks 101-100 in Overtime

The Washington Wizards were milliseconds away from ending their season long losing streak, but a late Martell Webster basket in overtime was waived off, as time had expired, giving the Atlanta Hawks a 101-100 win and  the Wizards their tenth straight loss to open the year.

Despite having a close game for most of the second half, a couple of costly fouls from Nene, who made his first start of the year, allowed the Atlanta Hawks to tie the game at the free throw line. Nene fouled Devin Harris, who proceeded to hit both free throws and tied the game at 90 with three seconds left. The Wizards were unable to score on their next possession and went to overtime after blowing yet another fourth quarter lead.

Once in overtime, Washington went up by as many as four-points, before Atlanta made a late push with less than a minute left. Despite missing all four of his overtime free throws, Al Horford benefited from a strong set of offensive boards, allowing the Hawks to convert both possessions for four-points, tying the game at 98. Following the game tying deuce, Kevin Seraphin came down the court and hit a clutch midrange two to give the Wizards a 100-98 lead, but the Hawks were no done yet. Kyle Korver, who killed the team all night with five three-pointers and 16-points, drove down the court and hit a huge jumper from three-point land giving the Hawks a 101-100 lead with just over one second left on the clock.

Of course, this is the Wizards you are talking about, so losing by a clutch three is not painful enough.

Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman used a timeout following the three and moved the ball to the offensive side of the court. After the inbounds pass, a missed hook by Seraphin bounced off the rim, which should have all but ended the game. Webster got the rebound though, and gave the ball a last millisecond heave, putting the ball in the basket and sending the Wizards running off the court with what they thought was their first win of the season.

What the shot really was, was a little too late. Upon further review, it was clear ball did not leave Webster’s hands before the clock expired and the Wizards were sent home with yet another painful loss.

One bright spot on the night was Nene. Washington’s injured center made an immediate impact in the lineup, scoring on his first possession. The 6’11” center from Brazil, acquired last March from the Denver Nuggets in a three-way deal, provides a veteran presence for a team lacking in real NBA experience. He put up 12 for the game and really helped the Wizards stay competitive with Atlanta in the second half, providing a sense of urgency and energy, even despite two costly late fouls.

Even though Nene did not have a great night on the boards, it was one area the Wizards did not struggle with for most of the game. As a team, the Wizards out rebounded the Hawks by 31, led by Trevor Ariza’s career night. Ariza had 11 rebounds on the defensive side of the court and added four more on the offensive side to give him a career high 15. The next closest Wizard to him in rebounding was Seraphin who had 10 of his own, which in addition to his 21-points gave him a double-double on the night. Even though the team had two players in double figures, the game ultimately came down to the team’s inability to grab a defensive rebound in overtime.

In addition to their failure to rebound, Washington’s failing, or deciding to not, cover players beyond the three point arc cost the team repeatedly throughout the game. Even though the team hit the same number of threes in the first half, four, Atlanta’s seemed to come during big runs and to retake leads. That theme would continue in the second half and overtime, as the Hawks would only hit nine total triples, compared to the Wizards’ seven, but one of them gave the team the win and the other one gave the Hawks back momentum.

It is yet another tough loss for a franchise full of them over the last four years.

At 0-10, the Wizards are now staring the elusive 0-18 mark set by the New Jersey Nets in the face. With the Wizards only facing teams above .500 for the next seven games, their next best shot at winning a game is this Saturday against the Charlotte Bobcats, who have been playing very good basketball lately and are the weakest of the winning teams. If they cannot win Saturday, the Wizards could be in for a rough ride, as it will be more than two weeks until they play another “weak” team in the New Orleans Hornets. If they do not win before that, Washington would need a win against the Hornets to avoid tying the NBA record for worst start to a season in history.

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