April 20, 2021

Washington Wizards Game 1 Recap: Wall takes control, leads Wiz to close win over Magic

The Washington Wizards opened up their 2015-16 campaign in Orlando, defeating a young and talented Magic team, 88-87. John Wall was the star, posting 22 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and a game-high 5 blocks. Bradley Beal added 24 points and 6 rebounds, while Orlando was led by Victor Oladipo with 17 and 11. The game was back and forth and remained close the entire time, as Orlando was definitely up to the challenge defensively. However, Wall and Beal took control in the fourth quarter, scoring 19 of the team’s 23 points in the period. The Wizards closed it out on a Wall floater with 12.7 seconds to go.

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NBA Draft 2013: With 3rd pick, Wizards look to build “playoff-bound” team

Following reports that Victor Oladipo declined the Wizards’ request for a workout, it appears that the Wizards’ first-round pick will likely come down to a decision between Otto Porter, Jr. and Anthony Bennett.

Porter, a 6-foot-8 small forward from Georgetown, could provide a much-needed boost on defense while also powering the Wizards with spot-up shooting and incredibly sound judgment on both halves of the court. Put aside, for a moment, the obvious benefits of keeping a player local – with the Hoyas last season, Porter averaged 16.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game and shot 48 percent from the field – the 20-year-old has the fundamental skills needed to prove a long-term asset.

As a team itching for the chance to build around a core group of guys – many of whom sat out a bulk of last season with injuries – the Wizards could see Porter as their best opportunity to do just that. Many view him as a high-risk, high-reward prospect, but he’s arguably surfaced as the Wiz Kids’ best bet for a long-term addition.

Bennett, a 6-foot-7 forward from UNLV, has significantly more offensive upside compared with Porter. An excellent shooter, Bennett doesn’t have quite the eye for big-time defense as Porter, but he’s been considered “almost unguardable” in recent draft reports. He’s incredibly fast and has an uncanny ability to push through both smaller defenders and bigger defenders to find the rim. Considering his size, he has excellent footwork and he averages just two turnovers per 40 minutes of play. Last season with the Rebels, he also averaged 16.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.

Although he coped with some injuries in his prep school days, he has since avoided significant injuries in his days with UNLV.

The biggest question going forward is – who could be the up-and-coming star player that pulls it all together for the Wizards? While it seems unlikely that the Wizards would make an unforeseen pick this year, it’s not yet guaranteed that Washington will go with Porter over Bennett, despite the fact the former seems heavily favored in recent coverage.

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