March 4, 2015

Washington Wizards Game 60 Review: Wiz narrowly escape Pistons after 20-plus point lead

The Washington Wizards defeated the Detroit Pistons, 99-95, on Saturday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, breaking a six-game losing streak. Marcin Gortat scored 16 points and pulled down 17 rebounds for Washington, including a key rebound off a missed free throw that enabled the Wizards to ice the game after blowing a 21-point third quarter lead.

The Wizards had their biggest lead at 66-48 on Paul Pierce’s three-pointer with 8:58 left in the third quarter. The Pistons whittled the lead down to ten going into the fourth quarter at 80-70.

The Pistons further cut the lead down to one with a 9-0 run just over three minutes into the quarter. Then the Pistons took their first lead at 85-84 on Spencer Dinwiddie’s putback dunk off his own miss with 6:44 left. The Pistons exchanged baskets with Wizards free throws as the lead changed hands five times before the Wizards finally seized the lead for good at 90-89 on a pair of Gortat free throws with 4:45 left.

John Wall’s layup gave the Wizards a five-point lead with 58 seconds left at 96-91. Greg Monroe’s layup followed by a Dinwiddie steal and layup brought the Pistons to within one at 96-95 when they fouled Bradley Beal with ten seconds left.

Beal made the first free throw but missed the second. Gortat tipped the rebound back to Wall, who was fouled and sank his two free throws with 7.3 seconds left to give the Wizards their final margin of victory.

The Wizards jumped out to a 31-17 lead in the first quarter behind strong frontcourt play from Gortat and Nene, who combined for 14 of those points.

Gortat’s layup 17 seconds before halftime gave the Wizards a 60-44 lead. Drew Gooden’s four jumpers, including a three-pointer, were instrumental in helping the Wizards extend their lead. Pierce hitting four out of his eight three-point shot attempts was also key.

Wall led the Wizards with 22 points while Nene added 21. Beal scored eight points on 2of 10 shooting in his first game back in the starting lineup after missing eight games because of injury. Pierce was also returning after missing two games to injury.

Greg Monroe led the Pistons with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Dinwiddie contributed 20 points and eight assists off the bench.

Washington Wizards Game 59 Review: Wizards embarrassing in loss to 76ers

Over the Washington Wizards’ six-game losing streak, small signs of promise have shown the potential for a light at the end of the tunnel.

On Friday in Philadelphia, that light all but disappeared.

With a display of “one step forward, two steps back” basketball, the Wizards were unable to maintain the tenuous leads they did grab, and fell to the 76ers 89-81. The Wizards have lost 11 of their last 13 games. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 58 Review: Wiz go quietly into the night

The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Washington Wizards, 97-77, Wednesday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Nikola Pekovic scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Kevin Martin led the Wolves with 28 points.

The game was overshadowed by the return of Kevin Garnett to the team where he became a superstar over seven years, before he was traded to the Boston Celtics.

This was the biggest blowout victory of the season for Minnesota, and holding the Wizards to 77 points was the Wolves’ defensive season-low in points.

The Wizards were up, 20-11, at the quarter break after quickly jumping out to an 18-3 lead. The Wolves tied the game at 42 at halftime by outscoring the Wizards, 31-22, in the second quarter.

The Wolves took their first lead on their first possession of the second half when Garnett fed Andrew Wiggins for a dunk. Minnesota cruised thereafter, opening up a 14-point lead at the end of the third quarter.

Marcin Gortat scored nine points and pulled down 15 rebounds in a losing effort for the Wizards.

The Wizards have lost their fifth straight and 10 out of their last 12. The Wizards were playing without Bradley Beal and Paul Pierce due to injury. Kris Humphries left the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury.

Washington Wizards Game 57 Review: Turnovers doom Wizards in loss to league-leading Warriors

Combine 26 turnovers with a team that happens to not only have the best record in the NBA, but arguably the best shooter in the game, and, well, you have a recipe for a loss. That’s exactly what happened on Tuesday night at Verizon Center, as the Washington Wizards fell to the Golden State Warriors, 114-107.

[Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 56 Review: Wizards suffer another bad loss, fall to Pistons

The Washington Wizards came out of the All-Star break and stunk up the Verizon Center in their first game back by getting destroyed by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Wizards weren’t able to show much better on the road against the Detroit Pistons in a Sunday matinee, losing 106-89.

In the first quarter, things were slow and steady for both teams with mediocre shooting. The majority of offensive production for both teams came from the paint where the Wizards had 10 of their first 12 points. Even though Nene was sidelined early with two fouls in the first five minutes of action, Kevin Seraphin, not Kris Humphries, stepped in to have a bucket and two assists early. This allowed the Wizards to have an early 12-11 lead midway through. The Pistons began to find their stroke from deep as they hit four straight 3-pointers late in the quarter giving them a 27-22 lead. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 55 Review: Wizards come back from All Star break to get blown out by rival Cavs

The Washington Wizards came out of the All-Star break with a 33-21 record. The time off did the Wizards well in the fact that they were able to get Kris Humphries healthy. However, they are still without sharp shooting Bradley Beal who is still dealing with a toe injury and a more recent stress reaction in his lower right fibula. That loss of scoring showed up as the Wizards got blown out by the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-89.

The first quarter was off to a fast start which did not suit the Wizards well defensively. The Wizards had four turnovers within the first six minutes of the game, which were converted into eight points for Cleveland. Moreover, all of the Cavaliers players were able to get to the paint wherever they wanted as 16 of their first 21 points came inside.

Even though the Wizards played well offensively, the Cavs were able to get eight assists on their first ten field goals leading to 73 percent shooting early on. Although the Wizards defense started to improve as the quarter progressed, the Cavaliers got too many opportunities on the break, where LeBron James is virtually unstoppable. The eleven fast break points for Cleveland was a major factor in their 35-26 lead at the end of the first quarter. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards acquire Ramon Sessions

From the team press release:

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has acquired guard Ramon Sessions from Sacramento in exchange for guard Andre Miller.

“Ramon is a proven veteran who will bring an up-tempo style to our second unit and give us quickness, energy and defensive presence,” said Grunfeld. “He can make plays for himself as well as others and will help to solidify our bench as we head into the final 28 games of the season and the playoffs.”

Sessions (6-3, 190) holds career averages of 11.3 points, 4.5 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 503 career games (134 starts) in seven-plus years with six teams. He has shot .435 from the field and .797 from the line. The 56th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft has averaged 5.4 points, 2.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 36 games (seven starts) with Sacramento this season. In seven games as a starter this season, he averaged 9.6 points, 4.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds. Sessions enjoyed his best season during the 2012-13 campaign when he averaged 14.4 points, 3.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 61 games with Charlotte. In 12 career playoff games with the Los Angeles Lakers, he holds averages of 9.7 points, 3.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds.

Miller was originally acquired by Washington on February 20, 2014, in a three-team trade with Denver and Philadelphia. In 79 games with Washington in parts of two seasons, Miller averaged 3.7 points and 3.0 assists (including 3.6 points and 2.8 assists in 51 games this season).

“Andre was a consummate professional during his time with the Wizards and gave us great veteran leadership,” said Grunfeld.  “We wish him and his family the best.”

Washington Wizards All-Star Break Mid-Season Review

While John Wall is off representing the Washington Wizards in New York City as the starting point guard of the Eastern Conference All-Star Team, it is time for us to think about how good the Wizards really are. About two-thirds through the season, the Wizards sit at a record of 33-21 and currently hold the fourth seed in the conference standings.

Although this may be an improvement from last year at this point, Washington is a staggering ten games back of the Southeast Division and Conference lead as the Atlanta Hawks have a stranglehold on both.

The Wizards are 18th in the league with 99.7 points per game and ninth overall with only 97.3 points allowed per game. This is a regression from their 100.7 points per game last year, yet an improvement from their 99.4 points allowed per game. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 53 Review: Wizards ride hot start to win over Magic

WALL FALLS ONE POINT SHORT OF TRIPLE-DOUBLE

With strong starts to open both halves, and behind a stellar outing from John Wall, the Washington Wizards beat the Orlando Magic 96-80 Monday night at Verizon Center.

[Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 52 Review: Wizards get badly needed win by beating Nets to end 5 game skid

The Washington Wizards entered play Saturday riding a five-game losing streak, their worst such stretch since the end of the 2012-2013 season. The Wizards looked to end the skid and regain some ground in the playoff race in the final three games before the All-Star break. They did what they had to in emphatic style, as seven scored in double-figures and all 13 who played scored in the 114-77 win over the Brooklyn Nets at Verizon Center.

[Read more…]

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