April 5, 2020

Washington Wizards Game 2 Recap: Wall Leads Wiz Past Magic

WALL DROPS SECOND DOUBLE-DOUBLE, WIZARDS DEFEAT ORLANDO

Continuing their road trip to open the season, the Washington Wizards notched their first “W” of the season, defeating the Orlando Magic 105-98 inside the Amway Center in Orlando, Fl. [Read more…]

Wizards Without Beal, But No Reason To Panic

For the next 6-8 weeks, the Washington Wizards will be without their star shooting guard, Bradley Beal.

After suffering a broken wrist in preseason action against the Charlotte Hornets, Beal – who averaged 11 points in about 26 minutes in the first two preseason games – will be shut down for the next month and some change to recover from the injury. According to The Washington Post, surgery will be needed. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 16 Review: Injuries continue to plague Wizards in loss to Pacers

With the Indiana Pacers’ red-hot shooting, the Washington Wizards could afford none of the 18 turnovers they committed in Friday night’s 93-73 loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Add to that, the Wizards were without Nene who continued to nurse a sore right Achilles tendon.

Whether it should be credited to Indiana’s defense or Washington’s offensive woes, John Wall struggled to knock down shots all night. Wall tallied just eight points on the evening and went 4-of-14 shooting.

Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza led the Wizards’ efforts with 17 and 14 points respectively, but Washington never gained enough steam.

With 3:56 remaining in the first quarter, Gortat’s layup brought the Wizards within two, trailing 16-14. For the remainder of the quarter, however, Washington failed to make a basket. Not surprisingly, Indiana ran with the opportunity, adding a three-point shot from Solomon Hill and a layup from C.J. Watson to cruise to a 28-14 lead into the second quarter. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards win fourth straight in dominating fashion over Bobcats

The Washington Wizards struggled for much the 2011-12 regular season. Of late, they have looked like a team transformed, playing some quality basketball and racking up wins against playoff contenders in the past two weeks.

On Monday night at the Verizon Center, the Washington Wizards (18-46) won their fourth straight game as they defeated the lowly Charlotte Bobcats, 101-73. The Wizards current win streak is their longest since January 2006.

They pretty much controlled the action from start to finish in dominating fashion and had a satisfying 63-39 lead at the half. From there, they had as much as a thirty point lead in the third quarter and sailed to an easy victory.

The Wizards have won all four games in their season series against the Bobcats.

For Charlotte (7-57) – owned by former NBA superstar and Hall-of-Famer Michael Jordan – the loss against Washington marks their 21st in a row.

If the Bobcats lose all their remaining games left in the season – three in total – they will have the ignominious distinction of being the absolute worst team in basketball in history in terms of winning percentage.

After the game, Washington interim head coach Randy Wittman spoke about his team’s victory.

“This is another step for our team. I think we did a great job with the schedule we had leading up to this game, winning three in a row and then getting ready for this game against a struggling team.”

He added, “We took care of business right from the start. I was more nervous for this game than our previous games. You don’t ever want to give a struggling team the opportunity to breathe.”

John Wall – who had 16 points and 14 assists on the night – spoke about the importance of beating a weak Charlotte team and also their recent run of success.

“It feels good. Even though it’s the end of the season we are playing good as a team. We beat two teams that are in the playoffs and one team that’s fighting for the playoffs. We knew we had to come out and beat Charlotte because we knew what they were playing for. We had their number tonight.”

Of course, the Wizards are showing much improved and playing well as a unit. That has been evident in the past two weeks.

“The key is we were playing together as a team and moving the ball. Different guys have been scoring every night, so you don’t have the same leading scorer,” said Wall.

“It’s been great that our second group has been coming in and playing well – Cartier (Martin), James (Singleton), Shelvin (Mack), Nene. It means a lot to us.”

Nene – who had 18 points off the bench – mused, “We played well and played as a team. We’re learning how to play together. It is fun to play the way we are playing right now.”

Jan Vesley also had 16 points and six rebounds. Kevin Seraphin chipped in with 12 points and eight rebounds.

For Charlotte, Gerald Henderson had 19 points, and D.J. Augustin scored 15.

With the season ending on Thursday night against the formidable Miami Heat, the Wizards are a little sad, but looking forward to the future.

“That’s the saddest part. You play this game that you love and work because you want to be in the playoffs. We’ve got a lot to look forward to this summer and prepare ourselves for next year. If we add a couple of pieces, we know what we have on this team and what we can do when we play together.”

Nene added, “A lot of young guys are developing and getting a lot of minutes. We have a lot of camaraderie. We have a lot of talent on this team. We just have to keep learning to play together.”

He also said, “I have confidence we can continue to work hard and improve so we are ready for next season.”

The Wizards next game is on Wednesday as they face the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road.

Washington Wizards pull off another win down the stretch; beat Bucks 121-112

With the season scheduled to end next Thursday, the Washington Wizards are trying to finish on a strong note. They took one more step to accomplishing that on Wednesday night, as they beat another team with playoff aspirations, the Milwaukee Bucks, 121-112 at the Verizon Center.

The Wizards – for the second game in a row – trailed at halftime, but were able to storm back thanks to a truly strong third quarter. They trailed 62-60 to start the period; however, they rallied to take a 65-62 lead off a Kevin Seraphin jumper minutes into it. Thereafter, Washington increased their lead to as much as nine, taking an 91-88 lead into the fourth quarter.

The two teams battled in the final period, but the Wizards hung on and emerged victorious. Washington increased their lead to as much as 11 points with a little more than seven minutes left in the contest; however, the Bucks had a late surge towards the very end.

With the score 100-89, Washington held a solid lead, but Milwaukee scored seven consecutive points in the span of less than two minutes to cut their deficit down to four. The Wizards held a 100-96 lead with only 5:26 left in the contest, but they would not relinquish it.

The Bucks did their best to hang in there, as Brandon Jennings hit a three-pointer with 1:14 left to  within three of the lead, 11-109; however, the Wizards took a 115-109 lead off a Jordan Crawford three-pointer and closed it out.

They increased their lead to nine, 119-110, off a Chris Singleton dunk with 11 seconds left and whittled down the game clock.

After the game, Wizards interim head coach, Randy Wittman complimented his team on their victory over the Bucks, who are managing to sneak in the playoffs. They currently sit in ninth place, two-and-half games out of the eighth, and final playoff spot to the Philadelphia 76ers.

“I am really proud of these guys. We talked before the game about when you have a win like we did on the road against Chicago to really make that game special. You need to come home and win this game.”

He added, “Considering this is a team that was fighting for its playoff life, who needed this game, as well as Chicago getting their first positioning in the playoffs.”

John Wall, who has maintained a solid level of play during the season, lamented on his team’s struggles; however, he knows that they must continue their nice run down the home stretch.

“I guess it feels good because we don’t have a chance at the playoffs. Seeing as though a lot of teams are trying to make it to the playoffs, we just want to go out there and play hard.”

Crawford led the way for Washington with 32 points, and Wall had 14 points and 10 assists. Kevin Seraphin contributed with 14 points; meanwhile, Jan Vesley had eight points and ten rebounds. James Singleton had 11 points off the bench.

Nene – who missed the past few weeks with a foot injury – had 14 points in his return.

“I didn’t know if I was going to play tonight. I just tested myself on the court before the game. They beat us three times this year, and I just felt like I was healthy enough to give it a go. It still hurts a little bit, but this was a sweet win for us.”

Milwaukee’s Monta Ellis had 31 points, and Brandon Jennings scored 25.

With two wins in a row on the week, the Wizards have another tough customer on Saturday night, as they go on the road and face the Miami Heat down in South Florida.

Washington Wizards shake things up, swap McGee and Young for Nuggets Nene

In a major shakeup unique to most NBA teams the Washington Wizards have traded two starters, Nick Young and JaVale McGee, receiving Denver Nuggets’ Nene Hilario in the exchange: he of the five year, $67 million contract. The Wizards sent Young to the Clippers, while McGee and injured center Ronny Turiaf are on their way to Denver. The Wiz also bring in the Los Angeles Clippers’ Brian Cook and the Hornets 2015 second round pick.

In giving away Young the Wizards lose a potential 20 point per game scorer…for the next 25 games. In sending McGee to Denver they’ve lost a highlight real defender and spectacular dunker…for the next 25 games.

While you certainly could fault the Wizards for not already signing Young and McGee to long term deals, it is fairly clear this was the best move for the team as constructed. Neither player was certain to be a Wizard next season and, for all intents and purposes, both could still return to the Wizards next fall.

With the second worst record in the NBA the Wizards season was going to be, at best, a moral victory. By jettisoning two expiring contracts they acquired a skilled and experienced veteran who they own the rights to for four more seasons.

Just months ago Nene was letting the ink dry on a five year, $67 million deal. Suddenly there is no fear in Oz of being unable to sign any accomplished contributor in free agency and spending another season as a league laughingstock. They get a savvy big man who should flourish against diminished Eastern Conference competition and only lose the right to match an $11 million per season offer for McGee this summer.

And unfortunately that was the reality for the Wizards: both players might leave for nothing in the offseason, and other free agents around the league had little interest in coming to a bottom feeder with little established talent.

And while I’ve been harsh on Ernie Grunfeld in the past, I had to laugh as I watched the midnight SportsCenter. This is exactly what I would have wanted him to do.

Nene has some injury concerns, to be fair. But the past several seasons he’s been as healthy as can be expected of most centers, and brings a welcome attitude to a locker room yearning for more credible veteran leadership.

Brian Cook? Gone after the season with an expiring contract, but in the meantime gives the Wizards a stretch four that can open up the lane for Wall to drive to the hole and Nene and Trevor Booker to operate out of the post. The Clippers second round pick in an upcoming draft? An opportunity to turn a standard second round pick into a first rounder when packaged with one of their four second rounders in the upcoming two drafts.

And while it pains me to see Ronny Turiaf leave without more Wizards game tape (though if he is waived by the Nuggets as expected he could conceivably return as well), he was ultimately another expiring contract for the offseason. Depending on whether the Wizards decide to use their Amnesty waiver on one of the Wizards current employees (“Blatche or Lewis?” is the amnesty version of “Oden or Durant?”), the Wizards could still afford to sign a top tier free agent in the offseason after collecting a top six pick in the draft.

If Wall makes The Leap next season, Nene returns to the production levels of his last three years and the Wizards can hit a home run on this year’s top selection, they are a signing or two away from contending for the playoffs. It may seem like a lot of “ifs”, but it is what we all knew to expect—a project that will take another few years to develop.

And, in some sign of divine providence, Wall showed how close he is to making that jump. He ended his night against the New Orleans Hornets with 26 points and 12 assists and three steals on 11-for-16 shooting, leading his team to an impressive 99-89 road win with a depleted lineup.

With another building block locked up for several more seasons, the Wizards get a competent two way center who still figures to be in the thick of his productive seasons—ones that happen to coincide with the Wizards rights to Wall. Depending on his motivation and injury status going forward, they also have “Nene Hilario’s Expiring Contract” to wield in 2015.

For Wizards fans, the purging of two frustrating talents will bring some measure of peace to the roster. And, if the team decides to go in a different direction when the draft approaches this June, they still have the cap space to bring them back to the Verizon Center next fall.

%d bloggers like this: