`I’m back! Back in the NY groove!
Washington pulls out the upset win in a put up or shut up contest against the Brooklyn Nets. By far the Wizards biggest win of the year erasing an 18 point deficit and going up 2-0 against the Nets on the season.
The game started very rocky and it seemed as if fans were in store for yet another disappointing loss. Brooklyn scored 38 points in the first quarter and the Wizards as they say “couldn’t guard a parked car”. Kevin Durant was getting any shot he wanted and Joe Harris insisted to shoot the lights out. Washington was down 31-13 with 2:56 left in the first quarter, woof!
Ultimately, Washington’s energy started to change and the deficit began to get smaller and smaller. Besides being outscored in the 3rd quarter by one point, Washington managed to scrape by with little defensive accompanied with explosive offense.
An explosive offense led by all-star duo Bradley Beal and Russell “Russell-Mania” Westbrook. Fans finally got to look first hand at how deadly this backcourt can be. The backcourt scored a combined 78 points. Bradley finished with 37 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in 37 minutes. Westbrook scored 41 points, secured 10 rebounds and 8 assists in 34 minutes. This is the first time in franchise history that the backcourt has scored over 70 points and won.
Russell Westbrook has hit a new gear in these past couple of games and started looking like the All-Star he has always been. On Friday, in Washington’s loss to Atlanta, Westbrook finished the game with 26 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. His energy has shifted since him John Wall had a few words to say to each other last Tuesday. We do not know what was said between the two but for starters, it did not look pretty and they both got under each other’s skin. If I was to take a guess, John probably said something along the lines of Washington is still his team and he’s going to prove to him why the trade was a mistake.
In all honesty, we should all be thankful for that altercation because Russell’s energy and play has shifted. At one point in the season, he had 126 points on 126 shots. Unbelievable.
When asked about his play over the recent games Russ stated, “Well I got healthy, my legs feel a lot better. I was out there playing with one leg”.
The highlight of the game came within the last 12 seconds of the game. Kyrie Irving hits a free throw to put Brooklyn up 146-141. Rui Hachimura inbounds to Beal and he hits an absolute bomb from 27 feet out with a hand in his face bringing Washington within 2. Joe Harris who played well all night made the mistake of turning over the inbound with 8 seconds left. Garrison Matthews steals the ball and runs to the corner for what looks to be a attempt to put Washington in the lead. Rather than take the shot, he passes it to an open Westbrook who drains a 3 to put Washington in the ahead by 1 with 4.3 seconds left.
Overall, the Nets did not value possessions and committed 17 turnovers that led to 25 Washington points.
Plays like this are what usually happens to the Wizards rather than it happening for them. As a fans for years, those string of plays is something I have never witnessed before last night. Washington secures the win 149-146 to remain undefeated against the Nets and improve their record to 4-12. We are not happy about that record but last night showed that Washington can compete.
Brad Beal didn’t take his first field goal attempt until there were 8 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. Beal was very quiet in the first half which is very uncharacteristic of him. In theory, he could have been taking a step back in order to see the energy of the rest of the team. He did not come alive until the later half of the second quarter. His ability to stop on the dime and score at will is truly amazing to watch. Bradley Beal has the written rule book on how to score on anyone at will. Beal is currently leading the league in scoring with 34.9 points a game and has scored 25 plus in 20+ consecutive games.
Over the past few weeks, his name has been heavily involved in trade rumors and he hasn’t been the happiest. Last nights win was the first time in a while where he looked like he was enjoying himself.
Ish Smith is great and a valuable asset to the Washington offense. His energy off the bench is unmatched and he could be labeled as one of the fastest guards in the league.
Davis Bertans went 0-6 from 3PT range against the Hawks on Friday night and didn’t really improve in last nights game. He didn’t go scoreless from 3 but he didn’t have the strongest game. The Latvian Laser finished with 11 points and show 4/13 from 3 in 30 minutes of play. So far this season in 13 games played, Bertans has shot 32 percent from 3 and 34 percent from the FG range. These are drastic drops from last year which made a strong case for Washington to resign him. The season is still young and he’s missed a lot of time due to protocol and visa issues. He will get it together eventually but we all want it to happen sooner than later.
The game ball can easily be given to Garrison Matthews for playing his role and making the smart plays but for this game the game ball in my opinion should go to Moe Wager. Wagner came off the bench and finished the game with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. He only missed one field goal the whole night. Wagner is displaying that he deserves starter minutes. Dating back to last season, he’s a player that will put his body on the line for charges, run up and down the floor and provide the bench squad with liveliness and spirit.
Alex Len was a solid pick up but if Moe keeps playing like this then we will be seeing a lot less of the former Maryland University player.
Great win fellas! The fans of DC are proud.
Notable Player Stats
- Russell Westbrook, G, WAS: 41 PTS, 10 REB, 8 AST, 2 STL
- Bradley Beal, G, WAS: 37 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST
- Kevin Durant, F, BKN: 37 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL
- Joe Harris, G, BKN: 30 PTS, 5 AST, 8-of-13 3PT
- Kyrie Irving, G, BKN: 26 PTS, 8 AST, 4 REB
- Jeff Green, F, BKN: 23 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST, 2 BLK