The Big Picture
We are only three games into the 82 game Wizards season, yet we already have a trend as clear as day in DC, the Wizards play in some really, really close games. So far the Wizards have lost by scores of one and four, and won by one in overtime. Also to no one’s surprise, the all-star backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal have been leading the way so far.
In the absence of prized free agency acquisition Dwight Howard, a couple of players in contract years have stepped up. Kelly Oubre has finally somewhat started to live up to his potential so far this season, while Markieff Morris leads the team in Player Efficiency Rating.
L VS MIA 113-112 (10/18)
Remember when Kelly Olynyk came out of nowhere to score 26 points in game 7 against the Celtics back in 2017? Well he done did us dirty again. In a game with 21 lead changes and 19 ties Olynyk knocked in a put back to give the Heat the W with 0.2 seconds left.
Several of last year’s worst trends came back in force over the course of game 1, including weak 3-point shooting (7-26), over reliance on Wall and Beal (41% of points came from these two), and Otto Porter not shooting enough (not a single attempted three). There were good things though. Jeff Green was a beast off the bench with 17 points including 2-4 from deep, John Wall looked like himself again, and the bench looked slightly improved.
We need to remember that the Wizards were a mere defensive rebound away from being 1-0 to start the season.
L VS TOR 117-113 (10/20)
Another game where the Wiz were oh so close to beating an eastern conference playoff foe. This time it was Fred Van Fleet burying the dagger with 13 seconds left in regulation. It feels like there shouldn’t be much to be upset about in this game, the Wizards hung with currently 4-0 Raptors and proved they can be one of the best teams in the east. COULD be, but they aren’t, it’s always something. This game it was the continued absence of Dwight Howard. The Wizards were slammed on the boards 52-37, it says alot when Jeff Green is playing center for large portions of the game.
The story of the game though, was Bradley Beal becoming the franchises all-time leader in three pointers. The all-star went 12-21 on the night including 6-11 from deep. He led all scorers with 32 points. John Wall picked up 25 while Austin Rivers got 12 off the pine.
W @ POR 125-124 (10/22)
It took OT, but the Wiz finally scored a win. It was truly a total team effort as six players scored double figures including two bench forwards (Jeff Green and Kelly Oubre). Several have called for Scott Brooks to commit to small ball at least until Dwight Howard returns to full health, last night his hand was forced as Ian Mahinmi was injured with a bad back 4 minutes into the game. Markieff Morris thrived in his absence with 28 points and 9 rebounds including 6-10 from three.
There was so much good in this game, at this rate John Wall is going to be first team all-defense as he held Damian Lillard to 33% from the field while not committing a single foul. Kelly Oubre turned in what could be his best performance as a Wizard, scoring 22 points while going 9-13 from the field and 3-3 from deep. Gotta give Otto Porter a hat tip as well as he recorded the first double-double the young season for the Wiz (16 pts, 10 reb). Good play down the clutch all around.