July 28, 2017

Washington Wizards Game 79 Recap: Wiz unable to complete comeback against Pistons, eliminated from playoffs without Wall

(Photo by: Allen Einstein / Getty Images)

(Photo by: Allen Einstein / Getty Images)

For the second game, and only second time this season, the Washington Wizards took the floor without their best player John Wall (sore knee). Needing to win their final four games and having Detroit lose their final three, the Wizards got an opportunity for a two for one by traveling to The Palace in a Friday night matchup with the Pistons. In typical Washington fashion, the road team dug themselves a big hole before getting bailed out by an unlikely source in the third quarter. But in the end it was all about not playing defense against Reggie Jackson who dropped 39 in Auburn Hills. Washington’s season essentially ended today by being eliminated from playoff contention with a 112-99 loss to Detroit.

If Washington was going to have any shot of miraculous squeaking into the playoffs, they would need another efficient performance from Bradley Beal who scored 25 points on 15 shot attempts against Brooklyn. Things looked good for the Panda early on when he scored seven straight Wizards points, but then things dropped off for the road team. Following a Stan Van Gundy timeout, Detroit went on a 13-2 run behind 7 of 9 shooting from beyond the arc in the first quarter. Reggie Jackson and Tobias Harris combined for 27 points and Washington trailed 39-25 after twelve minutes.

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Washington Wizards Game 77 Recap: Offseason closer for Wiz as reloaded Clippers handle their business

(Photo by: Patrick Smith / Getty Images)

(Photo by: Patrick Smith / Getty Images)

It is likely that the Washington Wizards are going to want to forget about the 2015-2016 season once it is all said and done. They will probably have no draft picks and miss the playoffs for the first time since 2013. In Blake Griffin’s first game since Christmas Day, following a quad tear, broken hand, and four-game team suspension, it was the backcourts that defined the game. Washington’s House of Guards were a combined 7 of 28 from the field for just 23 points, while the Clippers guard combination of Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, and Jamal Crawford dropped 64 points on 23 of 44 shooting. The Wizards hung around for much of the game but eventually lost 114-109.

The pick and roll defense was horrendous for Washington to start the game as the Clippers made their first four shots. Behind a 4 of 4 start from the field from Redick, Los Angeles took a commanding 21-8 lead. John Wall exited the game just over four minutes into the game with two personal fouls before picking up a technical on the bench. Randy Wittman was close to getting a technical foul before Markieff Morris actually did as the Wizards were frustrated by officiating frm young referees. Paul finished the quarter with 9 points and 5 assists as the Clippers led 33-23 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 71 Recap: Wiz embarrassed by Hawks, fail to get above .500 for first time in four months

(Photo by: @BulletsForever)

(Photo by: @BulletsForever)

Head coach Randy Wittman attributed the recent five-game winning streak and better offense to “making the simple plays” and not turning the ball over too much. Two days removed from cruising by the Hawks in Atlanta, the Washington Wizards were looking to continue the momentum on their home court. After a pleasant start the game, Washington’s lack of perimeter defense caught up with the home team in the fourth quarter as the Hawks had a season-high 17 3-pointers. As a result the Wizards got blown out 122-101 and have still failed to get above .500 since November 24.

It was again the road team that got off to the fast start, but Washington quickly nipped that in the backside with a 12-0 run of their own. After taking just two shots two night ago, Kyle Korver made an immediate impact for Atlanta tonight by draining his first two 3-point attempts. Washington got a 25-15 lead midway through the first behind John Wall’s five assists in the game’s first six minutes. The Hawks made their run while Washington went scoreless over the final four minutes, but after one period the Wizards led 25-22.

Extending back into the first quarter, Atlanta was on a 16-3 run that gave them a three point advantage early in the second quarter. With five ties and six lead changes in the quarter alone, a back and forth pace ensued. The Hawks attempted a whopping 22 3-pointers in the half, many of which were open, but luckily only eight went through otherwise Washington would have been in big trouble. With Garrett Temple on the bench with two fouls and Alan Anderson continuing to deal with an ankle injury, the home squad got an unexpected lift from mid-season pick up Marcus Thornton who had six points in the quarter. Finishing the quarter on a 7-0 run, Washington had a 56-52 lead at intermission.

Markieff Morris hit a couple of jump shots to pace the Wizards early, but the home team could not increase their lead to more than four points. Towards the end of the quarter, the Hawks rattled off a 12-0 run while Bradley Beal was on the bench. Thornton hit a much needed 3-pointer to stop the bleeding monetarily but the Wizards went into the final quarter down 81-75.

The torture continued in the fourth quarter as sloppy offense and turnovers saw the deficit ballooned to 17 with Atlanta going on an 11-0 run. Every time the Wizards seemed to have an answer, whether it be a Thornton or Morris 3-pointer, the Hawks came back and hit one of their own. The road team shot seven of twelve from beyond the arc in the final quarter and things were ugly for a team that is supposedly fighting for their playoff lives. The last two minutes of play highlighted garbage time play from Kelly Oubre Jr. and the Wizards fell 122-101.

Before heading out on a five-game West Coast road trip, the Wizards will welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves for a Friday night showdown.

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 61 Recap: Cavs blow out the Wiz who fail to get over .500 hump, again

When the Cleveland Cavaliers visited the Washington Wizards last Sunday, it was no contest with LeBron James getting the day off. Tonight the defending Eastern Conference champions had another member of their “Big Three” sit with Kevin Love sitting. Washington kept things competitive in the first quarter on national television but it was no contest the rest of the way. Cleveland got a balanced scoring performance with six players in double figures while Washington saw players not named John Wall shot 36.9 percent from the floor. Washington has not been over the .500 mark since two games before Thanksgiving on November 24th and that streak continued tonight with a 108-83 loss.

It was an evenly matched game early on as both teams missed their first three shots each before the game being tied at 6 apiece with 7:33 left in the quarter. Bradley Beal came into the game for a struggling Garrett Temple, but immediately committed back-to-back turnovers leading to run out James dunks. As a part of Cleveland’s 8-0 run, Randy Wittman burned a timeout when Washington got down 16-7. While John Wall sat with two personal fouls, Beal attempted to make up for his early woes with eight points in the quarter including two from beyond the arc. Kyrie Irving had eight points of his own which secured the Cavaliers 27-23 lead after one quarter of play.

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Washington Wizards Game 57 Game Recap: Wiz take care of business against lowly 76ers after slow start

WALL HAS 23 POINTS, 11 ASSISTS IN WIN OVER PHILLY

(Photo by: @SportTalkWizards)

(Photo by: @SportTalkWizards)

The Washington Wizards were coming off of a bad loss to the injury riddled Chicago Bulls that doubled their games back from the playoffs, two to four. That being said, winning three of five games during a seven day stretch is not the worst thing in the world, but the lack of consistent defensive intensity is troubling. After a slow start that had D.C. sports fans cringing at the possibility of giving the likely first-overall selector Sixers their ninth win of the year, Washington turned it on in the third quarter. John Wall went for 13 in that quarter and 17 offensive rebounds in the game did Philadelphia in. The Wizards left the Wells Fargo Center with a 103-94 victory, pulling them to within three games of .500.

Both teams got off to slow starts offensively with Washington shooting just 3 of 13 to start the game compared to Philadelphia’s 3 of 10. The 76ers made their next sive shots from the field to take the early command of the game. Washington was paced by the Georgetown stud Otto Porter with 9 points on 4 of 6 shooting to start the game. Porter’s effort came after playing just five minutes in the second half against Chicago because he was not aggressive enough according to Randy Wittman. At the end of one period of play, the worst offensive team held a 26-21 on the Wizards.

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Washington Wizards Game 53 Recap: Wiz handle the Pistons in Markieff Morris’ debut

MORRIS MAKES WIZ DEBUT WITH SIX POINTS IN 22 MINUTES

(Photo by: @NBA)

(Photo by: @NBA)

A day after tackling the Utah Jazz in the first of a three straight game stretch, the Washington Wizards quickly turned their attention to the Detroit Pistons. Detroit, the team directly ahead of Washington in the standings, added Tobias Harris from the Orlando Magic at the trade deadline yesterday, which may have pressured Ernie Grunfeld to make a counter move.

Markieff Morris was active in his first game since arriving in the area and told the media he was excited to be here before the game. Behind another strong performance from the House of Guards — John Wall (22p, 8a, 8r) and Bradley Beal (17p, 3a) — Washington dominated Detroit on their way to a 98-86 victory.

Detroit got off to a bad offensive start by opening the game 1 of 11 from the field including missed shots from close to the rim. Washington started with a 9-2 lead before going on a 9-0 run that gave them a double digit lead. The Wizards defense was stellar again as they held Detroit to 6 of 22 shooting and just 15 points in the first quarter, a season best for Washington. The home team gave the crowd free Egg McMuffins for the second night in a row with a 29-15 lead after one quarter of play.

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