May 26, 2017

Washington Wizards Game 80 Recap: Without House of Guards, Wiz upset playoff bound Hornets

(Photo by: Jose Arqueta)

(Photo by: Jose Arqueta)

The Washington Wizards were eliminated from playoff contention on Friday when losing to the Detroit Pistons, but Randy Wittman wants to have “pride in playing” these last three games. For the third straight game, and probably rightfully so with nothing to play for, John Wall sat out with a sore right knee. Too add onto further injury, after one quarter of play that Washington would lose their other starting guard, but that did not stop the Wizards from playing hard. Behind an efficient performance from Marcin Gortat, 10 of 11 for for 21 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists, the Wizards dominated Charlotte on their way to a 113-98 victory.

You could argue that there was nothing to play for, but that did not stop the Polish Machine from opening the game 5 of 5 from the field, while grabbing seven rebounds in the quarter. When bench players starter to enter the lineup, Washington’s defense suffered allowing Charlotte to get better shooting looks. After Hornets’ Marvin Williams had to take a seat with two personal fouls early in the game, rookie Frank Kaminsky gave the road team a boost off the bench with seven first quarter points. Behind 16 points in the paint the home team clung to a 28-27 lead after one quarter.

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Washington Wizards Game 72 Recap: Wiz blow lead in regular and first OT, lose to T-Wolves in double OT

If the Washington Wizards are not able to squeak into the playoffs, they will have no one but themselves to blame with their roller coaster inconsistency. After playing a complete game in Atlanta, the Wizards reverted back to poor perimeter defense at home against the Hawks. In a game where defense was optional, Washington looked like it might be able to hang out up 8 with a bit more than two minutes to play. They blew that lead, missed a game-winning attempt in regular and repeated the same in the first overtime session. In the second they missed a potential game-tying shot and fell 132-129 at home to Minnesota. Their shots at making the playoffs become nearly non-existant now.

(Photo by: Jeffrey Becker/ USA Today Sports)

(Photo by: Jeffrey Becker/ USA Today Sports)

Number one overall pick Karl Anthony-Towns showed the DC area why he is the odds on favorite to win rookie of the year this season. The Kentucky product started the game by making his first four shots when matched up with Markieff Morris. In a suprise move in the bench rotation, recently signed guard Marcus Thornton entered the game before Garrett Temple fresh off of his 23 point performance. While changes were being made in the backcourt, Jared Dudley returned to his shooting form from earlier in the year by hitting three consecutive jumpers including two from beyond the arc. At the end of twelve minutes of play Washington led 29-27.

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Washington Wizards Game 70 Recap: Wiz get back to .500 by beating Hawks on the road, a rarity

(Photo by: @Wizards)

(Photo by: @Wizards)

The Washington Wizards’ victories after the lottery bound Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks were not particularly pretty, but it got the job done. Next up was the difficult task of beating the Atlanta Hawks on the road where they have lost 14 of their lost 15. That record improved tonight as the Wizards had one of their best offensive performances post all-star break. In another balanced scoring attack, all five starters in double figures, the House of Guards poured in 52 points. Bradley Beal looked like his old Blue Magic self with 25 points as the Wizards pulled away late for a 117-102 victory over the playoff bound Hawks.

Washington got off to a hot start by making their first three field goals and jumping out to a 7-0 lead. The ball movement was superb in the early goings with seven assists on the Wizards first seven made field goals. Marcin Gortat led the charge with 6 of 8 shooting from the field in the opening quarter. The hot start did not continue as John Wall and Otto Porter combined for a miserable 3 of 13 shooting in the first quarter, while the Hawks hit four 3-pointers with inside-out passing. After twelve minutes of play the home team had a 30-27 edge by finishing the quarter on a 14-6 run.

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Washington Wizards Game 69 Recap: Wiz knocking on door of playoffs with comeback win over Knicks

(Photo by: @Wizards)

(Photo by: @Wizards)

The Washington Wizards have little room for error over the last month of the season if they want any shot of squeaking into the playoffs. That means they needed to take care of business against the lottery bound New York Knicks. It looked like Washington was going to get run out of their own building in the first half when they were unable to hit a jump shot for literally their playoff lives. Thankfully there are two halves in basketball and the Wizards made the most of it by completing their biggest comeback of the season. The Knicks certainly made it easier with 17 turnovers that Washington converted into 29 points on their way to a 99-89 victory. John Wall recorded his 42nd double-double of the season.

Kristaps Porzingis and Markieff Morris paced their respective squads at a 4-4 tie in the early goings, before New York went on an 8-0 run forcing a Randy Wittman timeout. The Washington Wizards offense struggled because of an inability to knock down jump shots even when being given space by the knicks. Otto Porter emphasized the struggle with 0 of 5 shooting in the first quarter that saw Washington shoot under 35 percent (8 of 23). On the flip side, the road team was on fire with 54 percent shooting from the field that gave the Knicks a 29-20 lead after one quarter.

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Washington Wizards Game 67 Recap: Wiz continue to roll at home, move closer to playoffs with win over Bulls

(Photo by: @Wizards)

(Photo by: @Wizards)

The Washington Wizards are probably more unpredictable than a roller coaster or the stock market. Fresh off a five-game losing streak and with an early offseason in sight, Washington had their best offensive performance of the game against the Detroit Pistons. They had another opportunity to secure a tiebreak over a playoff contender when hosting the Chicago Bulls. For the third time this season, and sixth in his career, John Wall recorded a triple-double as he schooled the visitors when in the game with a team-best +38. Washington won their eighth home game of the last nine opportunities in convincing fashion 117-96.

An efficient offensive showing carried over from Monday night even after Marcin Gortat (lower back) was unable to start. Nene, inserted into the starting lineup as a result, was in the middle of Washington’s ball movement with several hockey assists. On 6 of 11 shooting, while holding the Bulls to just 2 of 7 to start, the Wizards took a 16-6 lead. After Chicago cut the Washington lead to three with a 7-0 run, the home team responded right back with a 10-0 run of their own. The Bulls made their last four shots of the quarter and cut the Wizards game-high lead of 14 in half, but the DC franchise still held a 32-25 advantage after twelve minutes of play.

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Washington Wizards Game 66 Recap: Wiz end five-game skid and keep playoff hopes alive with beat down of Pistons

Coming off an extremely disappointing three-game West Coast trip, the Washington Wizards are on a five-game skid. On the other hand, the Detroit Pistons, 3.5 games ahead of Washington for the eighth and final playoffs spot, have won 7 of their last 10. If there was any chance of the Wizards making a late season surge, they would have to defend their home court against the Pistons.

Every time the Washington Wizards embarrass themselves and everyone is writing them off from playoff contention, they do something spectacular that makes you scratch your head. That is exactly what happened at Verizon Center tonight when the Wizards made fools of the Pistons. Washington led from start to finish with efficient and balanced offense. leading to a season-high in points, complemented by suffocating defense on their way to 124-81 beatdown of Detroit on national television. Almost as important as the win is the Wizards securing a tiebreak over the Pistons, essentially putting them one less game back of the playoffs.

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Washington Wizards Game 65 Recap: Wiz falling apart at the worst time with loss to Nuggets

The Washington Wizards blew an opportunity to upset the red-hot Portland Trail Blazers and then got embarrassed against a bad Utah Jazz team last night. Hoping to save face to end the West Coast road trip, the Wizards faced off against the Denver Nuggets on the second night of a back-to-back. Whether it was tired legs, a lack of defensive effort, questionable lineups, or all of the above, Washington imploded in the fourth quarter. John Wall admirably played the entire second half but the Wizards were beaten 41-17 in the final frame on their way to a 116-100 loss.

(Photo by: @BulletsForever)

(Photo by: @BulletsForever)

It was deja vu to start the game as Marcin Gortat again had to exit the first quarter early with two personal fouls, tonight with 8:32 remaining. Today Nene brought a nice physical presence of the bench matching up with Nikola Jokic. Washington went on a 12-4 run thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers from Garrett Temple, still in the starting lineup with Bradley Beal out with a sprained pelvis. As if the DMV needed anymore reason to dislike the Michigan State Spartans, Gary Harris had 10 quarter points that led an 8-0 Denver run. As a result the Wizards trailed 27-23 thanks to three missed layups.

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Washington Wizards Game 52 Recap: John Wall and company start the “second” half by dominating Jazz

WALL’S 31ST DOUBLE-DOUBLE PACES WIZARDS OVER JAZZ

(Photo by: @NBA)

(Photo by: @NBA)

Hours after making waves around the league by acquiring Markieff Morris, the Washington Wizards had to reset their focus on the Utah Jazz. In a makeup game that was previously snowed out nearly five weeks ago, Washington had to start the second half off right as they are currently tenth in the Eastern Conference standings.

Against a decently talented Utah team, Washington won every single quarter, a rarity. Great production from Washington’s two centers — Marcin Gortat with 22 and Nene with 16 points — complemented John Wall’s 31st double-double of the season. At the end of it all the Wizards were victorious 103-89. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 51 Recap: Wiz fail to sweep the Bucks, head into the All-Star Break on low note

The Washington Wizards have been more volatile than the stock market this season. After giving up a 19-point lead to the Charlotte Hornets, the Wizards narrowly hung on to beat the New York Knicks. Clearly the first half of the season has not gone the way they intended; that goes for the Milwaukee Bucks as well. Milwaukee had dropped five straight games before just getting by the hot Boston Celtics.

Things were off to a promising start, but Washington had their required terrible quarter (this time in the second). The Wizards fought their way back in the third quarter but they were unable to execute down the stretch and fell 99-92.

John Wall has been playing at an elite level over the past four games and that continued into the early goings of tonight’s game. Wall had four assists, three to Marcin Gortat off the pick and roll, and a 3-pointer to be involved in all of Washington’s first 12 points. Jason Kidd called timeout to stop Washington’s 14-6 run to start the game. Randy Wittman was happy with the active defense early that forced the Bucks into 4 of 17 shooting to start the game. Washington had assists on each of their first 11 field goals in the first quarter which gave them a 27-18 lead after twelve minutes of play.

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Washington Wizards Game 47 Recap: Reigning MVP Stephen Curry too much for Wiz even with John Wall playing his best

The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors made their annual visit to the Nation’s capital tonight. In what seemed like an impossible matchup for the Washington Wizards, who have struggled to enter the playoff picture, John Wall was confident that the home team would have a chance if they started playing defense. Wall and company expected a “road game” atmosphere with the large influx of fans trying to see Stephen Curry play, similarly to Kobe Bryant‘s last hurrah in DC, but it was more that DC natives were simply in awe with the reigning MVP’s greatness.

It was indeed the Steph Curry show early as the shooting phenom lit up the first quarter with 25 points including seven circus 3-pointers. For all of their faults, the Wizards fought back to shrink a 15 point down to a single bucket. DC’s point guard finished the game with a season-high 41 points to go along with 10 assists, but will likely be be overshadowed by Curry (51 points, 7 rebounds, career-high tying 11 3-pointers) because of the outcome. Washington did not make enough layups or come up with enough stops late to be competitive as they well 134-121 in front of a capacity crowd.

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