How Bout Them Washington Wizards?
For the past week or so the articles have covered losses, Washington’s inability to defend, take advantage of opponents mistakes, etc. Well, ladies and gentlemen, today’s article is going to be a little different.
The Washington Wizards (7-17) stun the Boston Celtics (13-13), 104-91 Sunday afternoon by dominating on the defensive end and making Boston pay on the offensive side. Everything that could go right for the Wizards, did in some way or the other. For fans, we all deserve to see some light at the end of the tunnel and Sunday’s win provided just that.
Beal returns to the starting lineup due to a rare rest against the New York Knicks Friday night. Beal, the leagues leading scorer, clearly seemed refreshed and ready to attack from all angles. Brad finished with 35 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and two steals while shooting 10/18 from the field. Yesterday marked his 11th 30-point plus outing in the last 15 games.
Watching him play is just poetry in motion. At this point, the future 2021 All-Star is unguardable. He is too deadly to leave open, too quick to pressure, and has the ability to stop on the dime for a step back.
How do you guard that? Well, he is currently averaging 32.9 PPG so the answer is, you don’t.
Westbrook did not have the best shooting night but he was a rebound shy of a triple-double. Russell-Mania finished Sunday’s win with 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 11 assists. Westbrook was one of 7 players with at least one assist. The ball movement yesterday was fluid with limited mistakes resulting in 24 assisted Washington scores.
We even caught a glimpse of Prime Russ with a fast break And-One dunk. His forced mid-range jumpers should be kept to a minimum and that is a fact. Though he is only shooting 64% from the free-throw line, his aggressiveness to get to the line and force contact is more beneficial to Washington.
Who knew this Washington team could play defense?
Moritz Wagner says after the game “There’s never been a question of whether we are capable or not…it’s a matter of trusting ourselves”.
Washington managed to hold the Boston under 100 points making it their first time to hold an opposing team under 100 this season. Everything that could have gone bad for Boston did. Jayson Tatum entered Sunday’s contest averaging 26.6 points but he has held to a season-low six. Early foul trouble and inability to get open shots hindered any rhythm for Tatum. Every all-star has an off night and Boston fans should not get used to this.
““I really don’t know,” Beal said, via Fred Katz of The Athletic. “It was just one of those nights for him. We all have them. I had one last week. … He’s a star. He let us off the hook, for sure.”
Boston had a very poor shooting night and could not guard any Washington players. The Celtics shot 32/90 from FG, 9/35 from 3PT, shot 60 percent from the free-throw line, and allowed Washington to gain a 25 point lead.
For instance, in the third quarter, Washington was up 17, Boston was shooting below 40 percent from the field and Beal had 27 in 23 minutes. Woof!
Keeping a hand up, being active, and not biting on fakes will grant this team more opportunities for fast break/transition points. Let’s make a habit out of this rather than seeing this once in a blue moon.
Scott Brooks did a great job with the starting lineup yesterday. Scottie Brooks’ starting lineup consisted of Westbrook, Beal, Garrison Mathews, Hachimura, and the goat Moe Wagner. This lineup should be used for future games.
Garrison Matthews is a very important player and he shows it every game. In Beal’s absence last Friday, he provided 14 points and shot 40 percent from 3 point range. Last night, he went scoreless in 19 minutes but that is not the point. The point is that when you watch him, you see that he wants to make the right pass, communicate, shoot good shots, and put the team in a good position to win. He has seen a huge increase in minutes these past couple of weeks and we know why.
Moritz “Swagner” Wagner finally gets his first start of the season. FINALLY! Scottie Brooks must have been scrolling on Twitter because this is something a few of us has been asking for a while now. His stat line of 11 points and 4 rebounds is not something that will get him on the front page but it’s the off-ball activities that can give him a solid role whether it’s off the bench or starting.
Bertans is starting to find other ways to impact the game and that is fine with me. He is still looking to find his jump-shot and shows his hot streaks in spurts but yesterday was one of the first times I have seen him contribute off the ball and rebounding. Bertans finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds, and a block. We all want to see the Latvian Laser back in Demi-God form but we have to be a little more patient.
Tonight, Washington (7-17) faces John Wall and the Houston Rockets (11-15) at 7 PM. This will be John’s first game in Washington since the trade that occurred a few months ago and he has made it known that he wants to make a statement. John Wall is not happy with how the Wizards management treated his situation and has made it a vengeance to prove them wrong.
“I felt like I deserved the honesty and respect because I’ve been there for 10 years. I’ve been through the bad times, when we had shitty teams and when we had good teams in D.C. I never turned my back on the organization.”
“I played through damn near every injury that a lot of people wouldn’t have played through,” Wall continued. “I played through broken hands in the playoffs. I think I did everything I could and gave everything I had, heart and soul to the organization on and off the court.”
-via Fred Katz
Very understandable for John to feel this way, which means we are in for a show tonight!
Till next time! Thanks for reading and Go Wizards!!!