May 27, 2016

Washington Wizards Game 82 Recap: On eve of organization turnover, Wiz get to .500 in win over Hawks

The end of the regular season is finally here. The Washington Wizards came into their season finale against the Atlanta Hawks with nothing to play for besides pride and a .500 record to end the year. Randy Wittman, reported to be relieved of his duties soon, believes the team (of those that will be available) is ready to play. The reserves that did play certainly played hard and seemed to play with more energy and hustle than an Atlanta team that had something to play for. Ramon Sessions led the way with 22 points as Washington headed into the offseason on a slight positive note. The Wizards finished the season 41-41 after a 109-98 victory over the Hawks.

After a game of zero defense in Brooklyn, that trend looked to continue for Washington as they were able to score at will without getting stops on the other end. With the majority of Wizards starters sitting, all except Otto PorterNene took advantage of starting with eight first quarter points on four of five shooting. Tim Hardaway continued to be a thorn in Washington’s side by making his first three shots, all of which were from beyond the arc. At the end of the final first quarter of the season, things were tied at 33 as the Verizon Center faithful were deprived of one last Egg McMuffin.

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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 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 48 Recap: Much needed pick me up win gained against woeful 76ers

WALL GOES FOR 4th CAREER TRIPLE-DOUBLE WITH CAREER HIGH IN REBOUNDS

(Photo by: @NBA)

(Photo by: @NBA)

The Washington Wizards were beaten by double-digits at home against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, but there was some positives to take away. Then interim head coach Don Newman told the players after the loss that they will be successful if they play “like this and put it on the floor.” John Wall agreed by saying Washington would win 10 out of 10 games, since they won’t play the Warriors again, if they play with the energy they did. For the first time Dec. 9, Bradley Beal returned to the Wizards starting lineup.

Washington got off to a great start in the first quarter to take a commanding 20-point lead behind their best offensive performance to start a game. From there they hardly looked back, although they allowed Philadelphia to get back within single digits during a turnover filled stretch. Behind John Wall’s fourth career triple-double performance including a career high 13 rebounds, the Wizards cruised to a 106-94 victory.

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Washington Wizards Game 43 Recap: Wiz comeback in first half just to drop the ball in second against Raptors

More than halfway through the season the Washington Wizards are an anomaly in the league with their rather unwatchable performances at home. After getting swept in the regular season matchup with the Boston Celtics, they had to jump on a red eye to Toronto, clear customs, and get ready to play the second leg of a back-to-back. All of this without Bradley Beal who suffered a broken nose and will begin the concussion protocol after an incidental forearm to the face from Marcus Smart.

With Nene starting for the third straight game alongside Marcin Gortat, it was clear that the Wizards spacing was far from ideal. This contributed to John Wall committing a game-high five turnovers and Washington having poor offensive performances in the first and third quarters. After coming back from 14 points down in the first half, the Wizards were non-existent offensively (literally) in the fourth quarter resulting in their second straight blowout loss. Injuries have a lot to do with their struggles this season, but there may be serious management and coaching changes even before the season ends if things do not pick up soon. Washington got blown out for the second straight night; this time 106-89 to the streaking Raptors.

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Washington Wizards Game 39 Recap: Wiz cannot get the Celtics monkey off their back as they fall in a heart breaker

(Photo by: @Wizards)

(Photo by: @Wizards)

So far the Washington Wizards have not had pleasant experiences at TD Garden arena at the hands of the Boston Celtics. Both matchups have resulted in Washington digging themselves an early hole on their way to 20 and 33 point losses. To start a five game home stand, the Wizards continued to force turnovers to start the game then it was simply John Wall takeover time as the point guard went off for a season-high 36 points. Unfortunately that was not enough for Washington as Isiah Thomas and Jae Crowder combined for 54 points. In a chaotic final minute, the Wizards fell 119-117 to see their four-game winning streak snapped.

Boston was on fire to start the game by shooting five of six from the field including three makes from beyond the arc. Washington would respond with a 17-4 run by scoring on 12 of 15 possessions. Much to their recent track record, the Wizards forced their opponent into early turnover problems and converted in transition. Boston had seven first quarter turnovers that Washington cashed in for 10 points. Unlike early in the year where they trailed 40-25 and 28-19 after one quarter, the Wizards held a 31-24 advantage after twelve minutes of play.

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