July 13, 2020

Washington Wizards Game 58 Recap: With LeBron resting, Wiz take care of the Cavs

(Photo by: @SportsCenter)

(Photo by: @SportsCenter)

Many were worried about the inconsistent play of the Washington Wizards defense after just squeaking by the woeful Philadelphia 76ers on Friday. With the prospect of the defending Eastern Conference champions coming into town, head coach Randy Wittman knew “we’re not going to outscore them.” In the middle of a three game in four day stretch, Cavaliers coach Ty Lue announced that LeBron James (rest) would not play against Washington. The Wizards had played the undermanned Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls after the all-star break without any success and knew they had to take care of business at the Phone Booth. Led by John Wall (21p, 13a) and Otto Porter (21p, 5r), Washington controlled the game after an early hiccup on their way to a 113-99 victory,

Washington quickly fell in a 15-8 hole, but they responded with a 22-8 run to turn a seven point deficit into a seven point advantage. John Wall was getting his teammates involved with five first quarter assists, while the Wizards received an extra boost off their bench with 15 points in the first twelve minutes of play. After Cleveland got off to a good start shooting the basketball, they finished the quarter just 9 of 23 (39.1 percent), which allowed Washington to hold a 35-28 lead.

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


(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 54 Recap: Tired legs catch up to the Wiz as they get blown out by Heat


(Photo by: @NBA)

(Photo by: @NBA)

Three games in three nights is one of the most brutal things in basketball, but Randy Wittman said after the all-star break is the ideal time to go through it. So far the Washington Wizards have put together great defensive efforts against Utah and Detroit before taking a trip to South Beach. While the DC club continues to be without the services of Gary Neal (calf) and Alan Anderson (ankle), Miami was reeling with two major blows to their starting lineup without Dwyane Wade (knee) and Chris Bosh (blood clots). The same defensive intensity from the past two nights wasn’t possible with extremely tired legs for Washington. Couple that with poor shooting to start the game, the Wizards fell 114-94 to end the gruesome three-day stretch. [Read more…]

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


(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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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 49 Recap: Wiz with another epic meltdown against the Hornets


(Photo by: @NBA)

(Photo by: @NBA)

The Washington Wizards took care of business against the woeful Philadelphia 76ers Friday night before taking the red-eye down to Charlotte. With Bradley Beal still limited after returning from the beginnings of a stress reaction injury, he did not start against the Hornets because of the back-to-back set. In somewhat typical fashion, Washington blew a 19-point first half lead. Even with the Wizards getting 20 or more from John Wall, Beal, and Otto Porter Jr., they did not get a victory. Terrible defense in the second half meant Charlotte came away with another stolen victory, 108-104.

Jared Dudley, who was “disappointed” for not being selected to participate in the 3-point shooting contest, was on absolute fire to start the game for Washington. The stretch-four specialist made all four of his jump shots, including two 3-pointers, for 10 points in the first quarter. Washington got out to a 14-6 advantage, but Charlotte evened things up with an 11-2 run midway through the quarter. Marvin Williams paced the Hornets with eight points as both teams scored 25 point at the end of one.

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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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Washington Wizards Game 44 Review: Wiz drop another close one at home


Danilo Gallinari scored 26 points, including four 3-pointers, and the Denver Nuggets held off the Washington Wizards 117-113 on Thursday night at Verizon Center.

The Nuggets made 50 percent (9 of 18) from beyond the arc, handing the Wizards yet another close loss at home. Emmanuel Mudiay scored 20 points, Nikola Jokic had 15 points with 10 rebounds, and Will Barton added 15.

The Wizards (20-24) were led by Garrett Temple with 20 points. John Wall had 17 points with nine assists and seven rebounds, Bradley Beal had 17 points, and Nene added 15 points and seven boards. Marcin Gortat finished with had 12 points and 10 rebounds, his 22nd double-double of the season.

Denver started with a 10-2 run right off the opening tip and the Wizards were forced to play catch-up all night long.

The Wizards erased a 12-point deficit to start the fourth quarter, but just couldn’t finish.

Down 91-79 to start the fourth quarter, Washington used an 8-2 run to close to within six at 93-87 with 10:45 left on Jared Dudley’s running layup. A six-point spurt, capped by Dudley’s jumper with 7:34 to go cut it to two, 97-95, and Ramon Sessions’ 3-point play with 5:41 left tied it at 99.

But Gallinari responded on the next possession with a 3-pointer, and a few moments later got loose for another one.

A 3 by Temple, and 1 of 2 at the line from Wall, made it a two-point game again with 1:53. But Gallinari hit a fadeaway and Mudiay hit a pair from the line to make it 111-105.

Beal’s free throws with 12.5 seconds to go cut it to four at 113-109, but Gallinari and Barton both made a pair from the line and the Wizards ran out of time.

Coach Randy Wittman asked and answered his own questions at the press conference afterward.

“What was it 10-2 a minute and a half in? Coming out of the locker room we lost it. We dig ourselves a hole before we come out and playing the way we’re capable of defensively. We are down 18 and come all the way back, or down 11 and come all the way back and we are waiting until the point of being embarrassed before we start playing hard from a defensive standpoint. We aren’t going to outscore anybody and until we take playing defense as first priority, were going to continue having nights like this.”

Beal lamented the wasted comeback.

“It’s always tough, we spend a great amount of energy coming back but it’s unfortunate because you just run out of gas and you spend all your time, energy, and focus on getting back from being down by 18 but we shouldn’t have been in that position from the get-go.”

NEXT GAME: Saturday at Houston at 8 p.m. Eastern

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 42 Recap: Celtics complete season sweep against self-destructing Wiz

Courtesy of Winter Storm Jonas that dumped around two feet of snow across the Greater Metropolitan area, the Washington Wizards were forced to postpone their home game with the Utah Jazz. Unlike their compadre Washington Capitals who had to postpone two games, the Wizards were able to get in their Monday night matchup with the Boston Celtics.

(Photo by: @celtics)

(Photo by: @celtics)

You would not have known that it was Washington that had a four game break and Boston playing the back end of a road back-to-back by the way things turned out. Isaiah Thomas scored a game high 23 points and chipped in with nine assists in just 28 minutes of play while the Wizards self-destructed with 20 turnovers. Washington was swept in the season series as they suffered yet another blowout loss to the 17 time-world champion Celtics 116-91.

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