Pistons at Wizards Final Score: Washington uses 17-0 third quarter run to blow out Detroit, 109-91

Washington overpowered Detroit this evening outscoring them 35-15 as they’d run away and beat the Pistons, 109-91. In a bounce-back game, Markieff Morris led the Wizards with 23 points while Otto Porter and Tomas Satoransky added 17 points each.

With the lead seesawing back and forth for most of the first half, Washington took control with a 17-0 run in the third quarter and never looked back.

Five players scored in double figures for Washington as they drop Detroit for the second time this season.

Takeaways

Big third quarter propels Wizards

Washington was flawless in the third quarter.

After trailing 52-46 at halftime, the Wizards started the third period on a 17-0 run to regain the lead, 63-52. It started on the defensive end as Washington turned Detroit over three times early on, many of the ‘turnovers leading to touchdowns’ variety. The Wizards were able to keep Andre Drummond off of the offensive glass and forced Avery Bradley and Tobias Harris into some very tough shots.

Washington outscored Detroit 35-15 in the third period, which propelled them to the blowout victory.

Bounce back game for Morris

Tonight was by far, Markieff Morris’ best game of the season. Morris hasn’t looked like himself recently as he battles back from a sports hernia. But tonight, he shook that off for a game-high 23 points on 10-16 shooting including going 2-3 from three-point range.

Morris got cooking early for the Wizards connecting on his first four field goals for nine quick points. Washington made it a priority to get the big man involved as they ran the first two plays of the game through him. Morris connected on two shots in the midrange which has become his bread and butter but also knocked down a three-pointer early on to get his confidence up.

Obviously, it helps that his shooting was on tonight but in addition, his aggressiveness on the offensive glass and attacking the hole also played a big role in his bounce-back performance.

We officially have a backup point guard battle

Tomas Satoransky was outstanding tonight.

The second-year player scored a career-high 17 points on 5-6 shooting including two three-pointers late in the game for the Wizards. He dished out four assists to go along with a steal but most importantly, didn’t commit a turnover this evening.

Satoransky and Frazier both played 23 minutes tonight and we officially have an open battle for the backup point guard position.

Game Notes

  • Marcin Gortat notched his 7th double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
  • Avery Bradley gave Bradley Beal fits for most of the night but here; Beal got the best of him.

  • The bench turned in another solid performance combining for 41 points. 
Advertisements

Ranking who needs to step up the most in John Wall’s absence

News surfaced this weekend that after receiving injections to reduce swelling in his knee, John Wall would be sidelined for two weeks. Unfortunately for Washington, these small nicks and bruises often tend to linger longer than the initial diagnosis. The Wizards have already had a bumpy start to the season and with a tough schedule looming, there couldn’t have been a more inopportune time for the injury bug to rear its ugly head.

Here’s a ranking of the Wizards who need to step up if Washington is going to come out of this stretch with minimal wounds.

1. Scott Brooks

As mentioned by Ben Mehic, the honeymoon is over for Brooks. And if he wants to recreate an optimistic buzz around this team and its fanbase, here’s his chance.

Many thought Brooks was a not-so-creative inside the box hiring during the Summer of 2016. We’re only at the quarter pole of the season but his rotations still make you scratch your head, sometimes doesn’t make in-game adjustments fast enough, the team easily loses focus, and it looks like it may have spread to the rest of the coaching staff.

If Wall truly only misses two weeks of play, that means he’ll miss games against Portland (Loss), at Minnesota (Win), at Philadelphia, Detroit, and another early season west coast road trip at Utah, Portland, Phoenix, and the Los Angeles Clippers. On paper, that looks like a 3-5 or a 2-6 stretch.

Hopefully, Brooks will be able to push the right buttons like he did in Tuesday’s win, going with some unusual lineups down the stretch that got the job done.

2. Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal has been the best player for the Wizards so far this season and if Washington is going right the ship while Wall is out, they are going to need Beal to continue playing like an All-Star. Bradley Beal is averaging 24.7 points in games where Wall has been sidelined this year while knocking down 46.4 percent of his shots in those contests.

The sharp-shooter, who adds a little more to his offensive arsenal every year, is currently posting a usage of 28.7 percent, putting him in the 96th percentile of the league, per cleaningtheglass.com. With John Wall out, and Beal finding the ball more in his hands more often, there’s no reason to think that that number will drop.

Scott Brooks has toyed with Beal being the primary ball handler on the court. Although it’s a very small sample size, it doesn’t feel (nor look) natural when Beal is bringing the ball up the floor to trigger the offense. However, he’s excelled as the secondary handler, specifically, when running the pick-and-roll with Gortat or the rapport they’ve built in the two-man game.

With Wall out, Beal will not be lacking scoring opportunities and will be able to showcase his ability to be ‘the guy’ for this team. It’s not so much that he needs to step up, but rather, continue playing at an All-Star level for the Wizards to stay afloat during this stretch.

3. Otto Porter

Like Beal, Porter is putting up the best numbers of his career and has a huge opportunity to showcase to the national media that he was worthy of that big deal this offseason and maybe, just maybe, work his way into All-Star talks.

Even though Porter is posting career-highs in points, rebounds, steals, two-point shooting percentage, and three-point shooting percentage (let me catch my breath), his usage rate is just 16.1 percent; putting him in just the 53rd percentile in the league. That’s unacceptable for a player as efficient as Porter.

Scott Brooks is often criticized for running next to no plays for Porter but if the Wizards don’t want to fall behind in the surprisingly improved Eastern Conference, that has to change. Specifically, Porter has to be more assertive and aggressive when his number is called. The only criticism of Porter so far this year is that he still sometimes disappears during games. That can’t happen for one of the Wizards’ most efficient players.

As one of the best and most efficient players on this team, it’s time for Porter to start being a bit more selfish and take matters into his own hands, as we saw late in Tuesday’s win over the Timberwolves.

4. Tim Frazier

Frazier has been fairly underwhelming through the first quarter of the season. However, with the increased playing time about to come his way, he can change all that.

So far, Frazier seems content in trying to get others involved but is very reluctant to shoot the ball. Frazier is averaging just 7.5 points per 36 minutes on a putrid 38.2 percent shooting.

Should Frazier start jacking up shots to make the defense respect him more? Not at all. However, he does need to look for his shot just a little bit more as teams are lagging off, begging him to shoot. On a positive, Frazier is shooting a career-high 92.3 percent from the foul line. The only issue is, he doesn’t get there that often evidenced by his 0.7 attempts per game or 1.4 attempts per 36 minutes.

If Frazier could watch the tape on Ramon Sessions while he was here in Washington, and mimic his aggressiveness, that would pay dividends for the backup point guard. He’s very solid at setting his teammates up, he now just has to take advantage of these extended minutes to make himself more of a threat and open up things for his teammates.

It’s not going to be easy to replace the All-Star production of John Wall, however, if the Wizards are going to stay competitive during this tough upcoming stretch, it all comes back to these guys stepping up.

Wizards at Sixers Final: Wizards’ Hack-A-Simmons strategy erases deficit, but Wiz fall to Sixers, 118-113.

The Wizards were this close to completing one of the most bizarre comebacks.

With over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Wizards went to the hack-a-Simmons strategy on 12 straight possessions. Washington, once down 24 was able to the trim the lead to three, 100-97 as Simmons missed many of those free throws. And every time it looked like the Sixers had a comfortable lead, the Wizards managed to stay within striking distance.

The strategy worked as it gave Washington a fighting chance, but the comeback would fall short as they’d lose, 118-113.

TAKEAWAYS

No Wall, no Beal, no chance.

Midway through the first quarter, Jerryd Bayless went up for a layup swinging his off arm, knocking Bradley Beal in the face. Beal exited the game and was out for the rest of the first half (he did return in the second half) but that killed any chance the Wizards had of winning this game.

Washington, who only mustered up 91 points just one night prior had tons of issues scoring once Beal went down. Chalk it up to tired legs and the rest of the starters having another off night, the Wizards officially had no offense with their best scorer down.

The Wizards looked to push the pace and tried to get some easy baskets in transition but that didn’t do the trick. The lid was on the cup early in this game as once again, the team started 4-16 from the field.

Beal came back to play in the second half and ended the night with 21 points, but it was too little too late.

Wizards get crushed on the glass

Yes, Philadelphia is the best rebounding team in the NBA, however, the Wizards showed no life on the glass this evening. Washington was crushed on both ends as they were outrebounded 35-14 in the first half and 64-35 for the game. No starter grabbed more than four rebounds tonight and it was Tomas Satoransky who led the team with eight boards.

Philly crashed the glass, to the tune of 21 offensive rebounds that often ended up in easy put backs right at the rim.

It’s already tough to keep Philly of the glass, and the Wizards did themselves no favors tonight.

Washington can’t keep Philly out of the paint

This and rebounding often go hand in hand. When you give up 16 offensive rebounds, you often tend to give up many easy baskets in the lane. Joel Embiid and Dario Saric did most of their damage in the midrange but it was Ben Simmons who had no problems getting to the rim tonight.

Morris started off the game guarding Simmons and was no match for the rookie. Morris often went under screens in hopes of forcing Simmons to shoot but Simmons was still able to navigate his way to the hole.

After a nice game from Ian Mahinmi last night, he wasn’t able to provide any rim protection either. The Sixers scored 54 points in the paint tonight and already notched 32 by halftime. You’re not going to win many games when your opponent puts up that kind of numbers.

GAME NOTES

  • For the second straight night, Tomas Satoransky outplayed Tim Frazier. It’ll be interesting to see if Satoransky gets more and more of Frazier’s minutes as the season rolls along.
  • Jodie Meeks scored a season-high 21 points but it was too little too late as most of those came with the game already out of hand.

Wizards vs. Timberwolves final score: Late heroics by Otto Porter lift Washington to 92-89 win

There must have been a full moon in Minnesota Tuesday night.

At several points in the game, Washington looked dead in the water. But they continued to claw back behind the extraordinary play from Otto Porter to beat the Timberwolves, 92-89.

Otto Porter scored a game-high 22 points for Washington followed by Kelly Oubre Jr. with 16 off the bench. Mike Scott and Jodie Meeks added 12 points a piece as Washington’s bench combined for a season-high 49 points to help the team snap their two-game losing skid.

Takeaways

Otto Porter comes through in the clutch

Scott Brooks has caught heat for the lack of plays run for Otto Porter. Well, tonight, he went to Otto not once, but twice in crunch time and Porter came through for the Wizards.

First, Brooks ran a play to get Porter isolated on the block and he converted a tough layup with 55 seconds to play. The next time down the court, Otto found the ball in his hands near the right elbow to bury the jump shot and give Washington a 91-89 lead.

As a fan base, we’ve been screaming for Brooks to call Otto’s number down the stretch of games. He did so tonight, twice; and it paid off.

It’s time for Kelly Oubre to replace Markieff Morris in the starting lineup

This has been looming for a while but the stench was all too obvious tonight. From the get-go, Washington looked slower and inferior athletically, specifically at the power forward and center positions. And this is becoming a common theme night after night.

Markieff Morris is no longer on a minutes restriction so one can assume that he’s healthy. It’s unclear as to why he’s starting over Kelly Oubre as Oubre has proven to be the better player so far this season.

Oubre came in and was instant offense off the bench this evening with 16 points. Morris, on the other hand, was missing open shots, committed silly turnovers, and was no match for Taj Gibson or worse, Karl-Anthony Towns when switched onto either of them.

It’s hard to be competitive in today’s NBA if you don’t have athletic and interchangeable players in the 1-4 positions, and tonight was a prime example.

The bench provides a huge spark in the first half

In what was probably their best collective effort for a half, the bench outscored the starters 25-18 at the midway point of this game (yes, you read that correctly).

After starting the game 4 of 16 from the field, the bench sparked a run for the Wizards connecting on 10 of their next 16 field goals to regain the lead 34-32 early in the second quarter. Scott Brooks opted to go with the much-criticized all-bench lineup in the first half and it paid off as they outplayed the starters (and it wasn’t really close if we’re going to be honest).

Kelly Oubre was the first player off the Washington sideline and was in attack mode early on as he was able to navigate through the paint for some easy baskets.

Jodie Meeks, who has been less than stellar so far this year, maybe, just maybe, broke through as he scored nine points in the first half knocking down his first three three-pointers (4 of 6 overall). Meeks has had open looks this season but they hadn’t been falling, that wasn’t the case in the first half.

Meeks’ hot streak was key to Washington’s 16-2 extended run from the first quarter into the second quarter to keep the Wizards in this one.

Game Notes

  • Bradley Beal was held under 20 points for the first time in seven games.
  • Don’t look now but the #FreeSato movement is catching momentum. Sato actually received six more minutes of playing time than Frazier.
  • Three of Washington’s starters – Frazier, Morris, and Gortat did not play in the fourth quarter.
  • Ian Mahinmi played well tonight. Seriously.

Next up: The Wizards are back in action Wednesday as they take on the 76ers in a rematch of the season opener, but this time, they’ll be in Philadelphia.

Wizards at Bucks Final Score: Washington uses a balanced attack to drop Milwaukee, 99-88.

Bradley Beal continued his hot shooting leading the way with 23 points as the Wizards beat the Bucks 99-88. Kelly Oubre added 18 points off the bench on 6-8 shooting on a night where Washington had six players score in double figures.

The Wizards held Giannis Antetokounmpo in check for most of the evening as the Greek Freak did score 23 points but on 8-21 shooting.

This was a terrific all-around team effort for the Wizards as they win one on the second half of a back-to-back, something that was a rarity last season.

TAKEAWAYS

Kelly Oubre provided a huge spark off the bench

Kelly Oubre checked into the game knocking down his first three-pointer late in the first quarter and you knew it would be one of those evenings for the third-year wing. As mentioned Oubre was 6-8 from the field including 3-5 from three-point range.

The reserves scored the first 18 points to start the fourth quarter for Washington including a personal 5-0 from Oubre in there. Everything was clicking for him tonight. He was knocking down catch-and-shoot threes, attacking the weak side for putbacks, and even showing off his pull-up jumper.

Once again, when the Wizards get a spark from Oubre, they often come away with the win.

Bradley Beal continues his hot scoring streak

Bradley Beal had another great game with 23 points on just 10-16 shooting. Again, Beal started hot connecting on 4-5 first shots for nine first-quarter points.

Things really got cooking for Beal in the third quarter as he knocked down a three-pointer early in the period. That would be a record-breaking 700th three-pointer becoming the youngest player in the NBA to reach 700 made threes.

The sharpshooter ended the quarter on a personal 7-0 run as the Wizards began to pull away from Milwaukee.

Too many turnovers

Washington committed 18 turnovers resulting in 18 points for the Bucks. It didn’t come back to haunt them tonight, but that’s too many for this team to be giving up. Unfortunately for the Wizards, many of these were live ball turnovers giving the Bucks easy transition opportunities.

And although they won’t show up as a turnover in the stat sheet, Washington missed a bunch of bunnies at the rim that the Bucks turned into layups and dunks on the other end.

GAME NOTES

  • Marcin Gortat notched his 6th double-double of the season with 10 points and 15 rebounds
  • Outside of Oubre, the bench combined to score a measly 10 points.
  • Free-throw shooting was better but still not great as the Wizards were 12-17 (70 percent) from the charity stripe.

Up Next

Washington heads to Charlotte to finish off their mini eastern conference road trip.

Wizards vs. Raptors final score: Washington falters without John Wall in 100-91 loss

Two weeks ago to the day, Washington went into Toronto and beat the Raptors without John Wall. The sequel would not be as enjoyable as the Wizards fall to the Raptors Sunday night, 100-91.

DeMar DeRozan led the way for the Raptors with 33 points as Toronto evened the season series with Washington.

John Wall sat this game out with swelling in his knee and the Wizards wouldn’t have the firepower late to keep up with the Raptors. The short-handed Wizards were competitive for most of the contest but ran out gas in the fourth quarter.

Bradley Beal scored 27 points (22 in the first half) while Marcin Gortat stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists.

Takeaways

Bradley Beal continues to score at a high rate

With John Wall out, the Wizards needed a big game from Bradley Beal to stay competitive tonight and he delivered. Bradley Beal scored 27 points on 11-23 shooting including going 5-9 from three-point range.

Beal was the primary option for the Wizards early on. The sharp-shooter scored 12 points for Washington in the first quarter on 5-8 shooting and outside of a mini spark from Kelly Oubre, was Washington’s only scoring threat in the first half.

Bradley Beal cooled off in the second half as he scored just five points (and was held scoreless in the fourth quarter), totaling 27 for the night.

Points in the paint and offensive rebounding doomed Washington in the first half

These things tend to go hand-in-hand – when you give up offensive rebounds, that usually leads to easy baskets for the other squad. That was the case for the Raptors who destroyed Washington on the offensive glass this evening, especially in the first half.

In just the first half alone, Toronto grabbed eight offensive rebounds and made Washington pay. Jonas Valnciunas grabbed two offensive boards in the first half and flipped up the missed shots for easy baskets in the lane. Already a great scorer, the ball often found it’s way to DeMar DeRozan on these second-chance opportunities as he also had too many easy baskets around the hole.

As a result, the Raptors had nine more shots (51-42) than Washington in the first half.

Free-throw shooting plagues the Wizards

Was this the only reason Washington lost? No. However, it’s pretty concerning that this is something we have to talk about after nearly every game. Washington was 11-19 (57.9 percent) from the charity stripe this evening. Jodie Meeks knocked down 5-6 attempts and was the only Wizards player to have a respectable showing from the line.

Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Mike Scott, and Tim Frazier combined to shoot less than 50 percent from the line whereas neither Beal, Gortat, or Morris even attempted a free-throw tonight.

Game Notes

  • Washington shot better from three-point range (8-13) than they did from the free-throw line (5-11) in the first half.
  • Markieff Morris took a shot to the face diving for a loose ball in the first quarter. Morris looked to be shaken up but didn’t miss any time. Morris took yet another shot in the second half when he got sandwiched going up for a loose ball. Again, he played through it.
  • Kelly Oubre connected on 2-3 shots of the catch-and-shoot variety but was 0-4 from the field when trying to create his own shot.

Next up: The Wizards will be back in action on Monday as they head to Milwaukee to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.

Wizards vs. Kings final score: Washington picks up third straight win with 110-92 victory over Sacramento

John Wall had a near perfect game with 21 points on 8 of 9 shooting as the Wizards blew out the Kings, 110-92 on Monday night. Marcin Gortat added 18 points while Otto Porter and Mike Scott chipped in with 15 points each as the Wizards won their third straight home game.

Washington’s energy mimicked the energy of the half-empty crowd to start the game as Sacramento raced out to an early 27-17 lead. It wasn’t until the bench was inserted late in the first quarter that the Wizards got the jolt they needed. The all-bench unit spurred a run to get Washington going and even up the score before the starters came back into the game and helped the Wizards take the lead going into halftime.

Washington blew things wide open in the third quarter. The Wizards started the period 5-6 from the field to stretch the lead to 14 and (almost) never looked back. Scott Brooks had to reinsert the starters for a few moments after the Kings cut the lead down to 13, but Washington handled their business down the stretch to close out their homestand with their third-straight win.

Takeaways

John Wall has a perfect first half

John Wall said that he wasn’t 100 percent himself as he was still battling illness. You couldn’t tell from his play in the first half. Wall confidently stepped into two three-pointers to start this game and was a perfect 4-4 from the field for 10 points before he got subbed out.

The Wallstar came back in the second quarter and picked up right where he left off knocking down another three-pointer in transition as the Wizards stretched the lead to seven. Wall ended the half a perfect 6-6 from the field including 3-3 from three-point range for 16 points.

In the second half, he put on a show as the Wizards pulled away:

The bench turns in another solid performance

Scott Brooks, who’s still toying with the rotations, went with an all-reserve lineup at the 1:49 mark of the first quarter. It’s cost them in the past, but tonight it was a strength for Washington as the reserves would go on a 15-2 run from the 1:49 mark in the first quarter to the 8:00 mark of the second quarter to regain the lead for Washington.

Kelly Oubre Jr. was the leader off the bench as he notched seven points and seven rebounds in the first half. He was very active on the defensive end with two ‘Pick-6’s’ resulting in easy layups on the other end. He also had had several deflections forcing the Kings to scramble for the ball and put up tough shots late in the shot clock. He finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes of play. He capped it off by doing his dance and finishing with a nasty dunk.

Mike Scott continued his resurrection season as he was the first man off the Washington bench tonight scoring 15 points including going a perfect 4-4 from the field and 2-2 from three-point range in the first half.

Game Notes

  • Marcin Gortat made his 95th consecutive start, the fourth-longest active streak in the league.
  • Our old friend Garrett Temple was one of the only bright spots for the Kings tonight scoring 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting in his return to D.C.