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.
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76ers at Wizards Final: Washington hangs on to beat ‘The Process’ in the opener, 120-115.

This one didn’t feel like the season opener. Nope, this one had the feeling of a first-round playoff matchup.

John Wall led the Wizards with 28 points and Bradley Beal scored 25 as the Wizards hang on to beat the 76ers, 120-115. Marcin Gortat played one of his best games in years with 16 points and 17 rebounds while the reserves combined for 41 points led by Kelly Oubre and Jodie Meeks with 14 a piece.

I thought the young 76ers might come out and cough the ball up until the early game jitters wore off but that wasn’t the case. Ben Simmons, who looked like he might be rookie of the year and Joel Embiid took it right to Washington early. But John Wall and co. weren’t having it. Although his shot wasn’t falling, Wall got his teammates involved as he had four assists in the opening quarter and imposed his will to score evidenced with this backdown dunk.

Washington led 32-23 after one.

The reserves, a huge question mark coming into this season showed signs of improvement. They did not play well in the early moments of the second quarter on defense but held their own on the offensive end. Kelly Oubre knocked down three of his first four three-pointers while Jodie Meeks also provided a scoring punch but it was the 76ers that led, 59-56 at halftime.

Bradley Beal, who had a cold first half, came out guns blazing to start the third quarter. Beal scored nine points in the first five minutes of the half for the Wizards. After few transition opportunities in the first half, Wall was able to get out for some nifty fastbreak layups to stretch the Wizards lead to eight, 82-74.

Wall and Beal would combine for 25 points in the period as the Wizards led, 90-82 entering the fourth quarter.

Philly was on fire to start the fourth quarter. The 76ers hit their first four three-pointers of the period to shrink the Wizards lead to two, 102-100 in an instant. And that’s when the Wizards turned this one around. Careless passes from the young 76ers led to highlight reel plays on the other end for Washington. It looked like the Wizards had this one in the bag as they led 115-108 with just over a minute to play. But again, Washington would have to survive one more barrage of three-pointers.

With the Wizards up two and Philadelphia looking to score in transition, Beal poked the ball free and Otto Porter was there to save it from going out of bounds. Philly sent the Wizards to the free throw line and that would be it as Washington would close this one out.

Wizards win the opener, 120-115.

The bench looks much improved

The reserves combined for 41 points tonight led by Oubre and Meeks with 14 a piece. Oubre was hot from three-point range connecting on three of his first four attempts. He then spent the second half attacking the rim and crashing the glass including this putback dunk:

Mike Scott played well knocking down a three-pointer off the bench as well as a few floaters in the lane. Ian Mahinmi played solid defense while Tim Frazier added five assists. This was easily one of the best performances from the reserve unit as a whole in recent memory.

The Power Forward position could be a rotating door until Markieff Morris returns

Jason Smith started the game but got injured early on. Regardless, he was pretty ineffective. After the Smith injury, Oubre and Scott spent the remainder of the game in the power forward position.

Oubre took advantage of the increased playing time with 14 points and eight rebounds in 32 minutes of play. It’ll be interesting to see if Scott Brooks opts to start Oubre or continue bringing him off the bench.