When will the Wizards learn that no lead is safe, especially with this unit? The Wizards went 1-3 this week with their sole win coming against the lowly 76ers. The Wizards were up 19 in the first half on the Hornets Saturday night but in #SoWizards fashion, blew the lead and lost the game. This team is 2-6 in their last eight games but do have two winnable games before the All Star break coming up. Who’s trending which way?
Trending Up: John Wall.
Wall may as well get a permanent spot here. Just before the All-Star break, Wall turned in All-Star performances in all four games this week. The only problem? His teammates didn’t follow suit. Wall averaged 24.8 points, 9.5 assists, and 6.5 rebounds this week including a season-high 13 rebounds against Philadelphia. Wall continues his tear that is largely going unnoticed by most of the NBA.
Wall is having the best season of his career averaging 20 points and 9.8 assists per game. Since the Wizards are 22-27 on the outside looking in on the playoff picture, no one outside of Washington, D.C. seems to care. Wall put up the quietest 41 point and 10 assist game you’ll ever see against Golden State. Yes Steph Curry overshadowed him scoring 51 points including a 25 point explosion in the first but the fact of the matter is, the Wizards would have lost by 30 if Wall didn’t have those huge numbers.
Wall has come close to a triple-double many times this season and he finally got it against Philadelphia. In a surprising manner, assists were the last statistical category to hit double digits for Wall in that game but nonetheless, he got it.
Marcin Gortat: As solid as ever, Gortat averaged 14.5 points and 10 rebounds this week including double-doubles against the 76ers and Hornets. Gortat shot 58 percent for the week going 26-48 from the floor. The pick-and-roll with Wall is continuing to work; he’s still finishing with authority around the rim and is the only Wizards player who seems to care about rebounding. I’m being a little nitpicky here but recently when Gortat has caught the ball on the block, he hasn’t been very effective in his isolation moves. He’ll often end up shooting a hook which doesn’t go in.
Speaking of rebounding, Gortat is currently averaging 9.9 rebounds for the season and 2.8 offensive rebounds. Plain and simple, if Gortat doesn’t gather or tip out an offensive rebound, the Wizards aren’t going to get any second chance opportunities. Gortat is the only Wizards player who crashes the offensive glass and unless the team changes philosophies, I don’t expect that to change much.
Nene: Nene had a poor game against the Thunder with five points and two rebounds. He backed that up with a better performance against the Warriors scoring 12 points to go along with seven rebounds. But then Nene injured himself in the Warriors game and didn’t play against the Sixers or Hornets.
Nene has now missed 21 games this season. On top of that, you have no idea what you’re getting from the big man when he plays. Sometimes he plays well (see Golden State game) and sometimes he forces shots that aren’t there and commits lazy fouls on defense. I understand that Nene is in the tail end of his career but we’ve reached a point where it might be time to cut ties with Nene. Only problem is, I don’t think there are too many teams out there who want his services.