December 9, 2019

Washington Wizards Game 18 Review: Missed free throws, lack of front court, and Wesley Matthews doom Wiz against Mavs

JOHN WALL INJURES KNEE IN LOSS, WIZARDS STAY SUB-.500

The Washington Wizards have been hard to figure out so far this season. They beat the best team in the Eastern Conference on the road, lost to Kobe Bryant and the lottery bound Lakers, and then win a crazy game against the Suns. With the Washington Redskins hosting the archrival Dallas Cowboys Monday night, the Wizards hosted the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday looking to get back to .500. Unfortunately, that will have to wait as Washington left points at the charity stripe, were without four key big men, and could not stop the fire shooting of Wesley Matthews (10 3-pointers). Dallas was victorious 116-104, but the greater concern is for the health of John Wall‘s right knee.

Wall banged knees while playing defense late in the game. He was helped off the floor by teammates and did not return. After the game, Wall said he was “a little sore,” and wasn’t sure on his status for Monday’s game in Miami.

“I don’t know. I have no idea right now,” Wall said. “I just did an X-Ray and did not look at it. I just left. I will probably get all the information tonight.”

Another game where Washington was without the majority of the front court, coach Randy Wittman was forced to play a tiny ball lineup at times. From the beginning of the game, a back-and-forth pace insued. The game was tied seven different times during the first quarter alone. In a suprise performance off the bench, DeJuan Blair contributed seven points in his first five minutes of play on just three field goal attempts. Washington was up 21-16 midway through the quarter before a 11-4 Mavericks run towards the end had Dallas up 29-28 after one quarter.

Even without a true big man on the court, Washington’s offense was running fairly well given the poor shooting from beyond the arc — 1 of 7 to start the game. In a lineup with Jared Dudley playing center and four guards on the floor, the Wizards went on a 23-9 run to secure a ten point advantage. Gary Neal got going in the second with 13 points in extended minutes of the bench. A 6-0 run by the Mavericks as a result of sloppy play by Washington resulted in just a 58-55 advantage at halftime for the Wizards.

(Photo by: @NBA)

(Photo by: @NBA)

In the third quarter, Wesley Matthews and the Mavericks caught fire from beyond the arc. The former Trail Blazers had four 3s in the quarter, which helped the Mavs go on a 26-10 run, extended back from the first half. John Wall was single-handedly keeping Washington in it with 14 points in the quarter, many of which came on difficult shots. Going into the final quarter, the Wizards trailed 87-84.

Even with getting outrebounded, it was the continued 3-point shooting of Wesley Matthews that doomed Washington. Three more 3s had the Wizards down 10 with eight minutes to play. Anytime Washington tried to cut into the lead, Dallas was able to respond with a bucket of their own to keep the Wiz multiple possessions away. Things turned even worse when John Wall had to be carried to the locker room, without putting any pressure on his right leg, after bumping knees on a screen. Washington fell 116-104 but are much more worried about the health of their point guard.

“You try and think positive,” Bradley Beal said of his fallen teammate. “You hate to see a guy go down for one, and two it being John. But you know I’m positive at all times and we want him to be smart, so if he can’t go another guy has to step up.”

No rest for the weary, as the Wizards jumped on a plane headed for South Beach immediately after the game, and will take on the Miami Heat Monday at 7:30 pm.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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  1. […] though in a loss, the Washington Wizards were extremely fortunate in last night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks. After John Wall had to be carrier off the court after bumping knees with Jeremy Evans, not […]

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