Wiz Biz (11/20/2018)

The Big Picture

I can tell you exactly when I lost all faith in the Wizards season. It was saturday afternoon while I was sitting on the toilet scrolling in the ESPN app when I decided to take a look at the NBA standings. At the time the Magic were 8th in the Eastern conference, I was mildly surprised. I knew the Magic had some a really good young players, but I didn’t expect them to be hanging around the playoffs this season. Then I looked at who was below them on the outside looking in and two teams stuck out as challengers, the Nets and the Heat. It was only later that I realized something shocking, I didn’t consider the Wizards a challenge to make the playoffs anymore. I subconsciously gave up on the season.

Only last week I said that the Wizards have playoff hope, and that remains true. The eight seed Charlotte Hornets are only 2.5 games are well within striking distance given the sixty or so games left, but this era of Washington basketball in dead in the water. The writing is really on the wall (no pun intended) now as earlier today Woj reported that the Wizards are ready to move everyone, including Porter, Beal, and John Wall. It was also reported (among other things) that Beal and Austin Rivers had a verbal altercation at practice, and that the Pelicans are preparing a package for Otto Porter.

I’m sure I’ll have a longer article dedicated to this soon, but the fact that this era is over is very upsetting to me. We had some fun with Wall, Beal and co. hopefully the upcoming rebuild will be speedy and successful.

W vs CLE 119-95 (11/14)

This was a good night for the Wiz, maybe the best they’ve had in quite sometime, and maybe the best they will have for a while. The 3rd straight win for the club featured a positive plus/minus for every single player except one Dwight Howard. It’s not like this was a big accomplishment, the Cavs were 2-11 when this game took place and were missing arguably their three best players in Kevin Love, George Hill, and Kyle Korver. No matter how you view it  it though, the Wizards played well.

The offense got off to a fast start, scoring a season high 41 points in the first quarter. Otto Porter was effeinciet, scoring 15 points going 7-11. Dwight Howard played hard on defense, and the Wizards won the rebounding battle for only the 2nd time this season.

Overall a good effort against the worst team in the league.

L vs Nets 115-104 (11/16)

Assuming the team doesn’t sell everyone off here (and let’s be honest, even if they do) this game could be an important tie breaker. The Nets are currently directly above the Wiz in the standings. This was a classic Wizards loss, it hit all the major points.

The Wizards were playing a team that is inferior to them on paper, but is outplaying them in actual game via the Brooklyn Nets. Washington was on a hot streak with three straight wins, and maybe as a result of this they played lazy, sloppy, uninspired ball. Featuring classic Capital One Arena fair such as: giving up on defense, shooting covered midrange jumpers, and of course not getting back on D because they were arguing with the refs.

As always they turned in enough decent performances to give the positive fans something to cheer about. Dwight Howard turned in his best run in a Wizards jersey featuring 25 points and 17 boards. Kelly Oubre also had a good game with 18 points and shooting 5-6 from the field. All of this game stuff was overshadowed by the fire storm that blew up the next day.

L vs POR 119-109 (11/18)

Earlier this season the Wizards had their best win of the season in Portland against the first place in the loaded west Trail Blazers. This was a first half of runs that wasn’t as close as the scoresheet would indicate. First the Blazers jumped out to a 19-8 lead before really going on a tear with a 13-4 run making the score 32-12 (and prompting the boo-birds to come out in DC for the 2nd time this season). However the Wiz made in somewhat interesting with a 13-0 run of their own making the score 32-25 at the end of the first. The teams traded punches for the first half of the 2nd quarter before the Blazers blew the game open ending the the 2nd with a 23-7 run give them a 62-41 lead at halftime.

The Wizards were down by as much as 29 in the 2nd half before the bench put together a run to make the score respectable, but trust me, it wasn’t that close. The starting lineup, minus John Wall, was horrendous in this one, with four of the five sporting over -20 plus/minus. Just the worst in this one. Of course this game was kinda lost in the shuffle given the circumstances around the team at the time (and still around the team).

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