September 24, 2020

Washington Wizards Game 76 Review: Wizards continue to take care of business against weak teams by beating Knicks

Two days removed from a thumping on the Philadelphia 76ers, the Wizards welcomed in an even worse team by record in the New York Knicks in their penultimate home regular season game. The Wizards took care of business trying to build momentum before going into the playoffs with a 101-87 win.

After taking 3 minutes to get their first bucket on 0-5 shooting, the Wizards started to exert their dominance over the weaker Knicks. Otto Porter and Drew Gooden both usually coming off the bench got the start tonight as Randy Whitman gave Paul Pierce and Nene the night off. Whether it was a coach’s intuition or just a coincidence, they were a big lift to the Wizards as they combined for 16 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, and four three pointers in the first quarter. Such execution led to a 19-0 run for the Wizards that gave them a 30-10 lead after the first quarter.

Although Quincy Acy began to make some shots for the Knicks, Ramon Sessions protected the big lead. Sessions opened the quarter with a steal and bucket, old fashioned three point play after a strong drive, and a pretty assist to Kevin Seraphin for an open hook shot. The Knicks were able to get within 11 as they were given many opportunities to get to the free throw line. After the Wizards starters pushed the lead back to 16 the Knicks were able to close the gap to 54-46 at halftime.

Bradley Beal started the half on a 5-0 run to stretch the Wizards lead back to double digits. Although the Knicks started to hit some shots from beyond the arc, the Wizards had consistent offense facilitated from the floor general John Wall. Marcin Gortat continued to have a strong game against the smaller Knicks lineup. Kris Humphries started to get involved in the offense after in his second game back from a prolonged injury. Going into the fourth quarter the Wizards held an 83-67 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Whitman decided to leave Bradley Beal in the game with the bench players to redevelop his shooting stroke after starting the game slow. Beal finished the half 6/10 from the field before earning a spot on the bench with the game in hand. In the end Whitman trusted his bench to hold on to the double digit lead and the Wizards finished their home stand with a 101-87 victory.

Why the Wizards Won:

  • John Wall had a career high 18 assists in a mere three quarters of play. Such a facilitating role got his teammates involved and allowed them to convert opportunities against a lesser defensive presence.
  • The Wizards won the battle in the paint in a dominant fashion. They outscored the Knicks 60-32 in the paint led by 9-13 shooting from Gortat.
  • The Wizards got out to an early 30-8 lead that diminished all hope that the Knicks young players thought they might have on the road.

The Wizards will be glad that they got to rest many of their players tonight as they have a quick 24 hour turnaround before traveling to Memphis to play a talented Grizzlies squad. In the last meeting between the two, the Grizzlies “disrespectfully”, according to John Wall, sat four of their five starters. The Wizards are unlikely to have such a luxury this time around as they will have to play a smart basketball to have any kind of a chance on the back end of a back to back game stretch in a hostile environment.

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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