home 2015-16, Blogs, Game Coverage Game Notebook 52, Wizards vs. Jazz: Flexin’ On Em

Game Notebook 52, Wizards vs. Jazz: Flexin’ On Em

Wizards 103
Jazz 89

February 18, 2016 – Verizon Center, Washington, DC

NBA Stats Box Score

The Utah Jazz rolled into DC last night feeling smooth. Winners of 8 of their last 10 games, and sitting among the ranks of the Western Conference playoff teams, well rested and ready for a post-All-Star push. They left battered, beaten, and feeling the blues, steamrolled by a Wizards team playing with purpose.

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Tempo was always going to be crucial in this game, and the Wizards controlled the tempo from the opening tip. They shot 57% in the first quarter, got 9 fast break points, and blocked 5 shots, an indicator of a defensive intensity that just hasn’t been there every night. From that point on, Utah was off key, forced to play catch-up with a roster not built for catching up.

What transpired was a complete and comprehensive Wizards victory, as the Wizards held off every Utah push (they even resisted their standard third quarter collapse), and put together one of their better team wins of the season. DC won the turnover battle 23-11. They shot 49% from the field. They finished with 34 fast break points. They swatted a season-high 9 shots. And they did stuff like this:

The result was a 103-89 victory. Not a bad way to start a back-to-back-to-back.


The Game’s Top Performer

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That game summary above was okay. Here’s the real game summary: We had John Wall. They didn’t.

Wall finished the game with 17 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals and just 2 turnovers. A great line, true, yet his impact was much greater than his stats. Wall completely controlled the tempo of the game from the outset, taking the Jazz out of their game right from the start. Wall had the Wizards running when the numbers were in their favor:

And when the numbers weren’t in his favor, he pushed it anyway, in the way only John Wall can:

There’s more. Wall’s passion and unselfishness surpassed even his execution. Watch Wall bask in his teammates glory, and ask yourself, who else celebrates more joyously for an assist than for themselves?

When John Wall plays like this, there’s no one else you’d rather having running your team. Just ask Trey Lyles:


A forgettable night for..

The Jazz Point Guards

Poor Raul. It wasn’t his fault he was facing a rejuvenated John Wall on the defensive end. The guy tasked with setting the tone for the Jazz never had a chance. Neto finished with 2 points on 1-5 shooting, 4 assists, and 4 turnovers.

Trey Burke didn’t fare much better, scoring just 2 points on 1-8 shooting. He did manage 7 assists. Maybe that will help him sleep tonight, at least until the nightmares of John Wall start.


Notables:

  • The Birthday Boy:

    “Rest will do the baller good.” – some NBA player during All-Star break, probably.

    Exhibit A: Marcin F’ing Gortat.

    We knew you had it in you! We never had any doubt! The Polish Hammer brought it on both ends, getting the best of the so-called Stifle Tower, Rudy Gobert. Gortat was active, he was accurate, and he was dominant.

    His energy was evident early, with three first quarter blocks, and a number of excellent finishes. For the night, Gortat shot 9-12 for 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and had a season high 5 blocked shots. And John Wall was nice enough to give him this belated birthday gift.

    Happy Belated Birthday March!

  • Bradley Beal, Bench Dynamo:

    Beal came off the bench again, and again performed admirably. After a slow start, he finished with 16 points on 7-14 shooting, and looked healthy doing it:

    He did give us the standard scare, with a slow limp back to the huddle at one point, but as long as it’s not a limp straight back to the locker room, we’ll take it.

  • Kelly Oubre Jr., Bench Warmer:

    Randy Wittman this to say about Kelly Oubre’s extensive bench time:

    “I can’t play 15 guys, come on. This is not about one individual on the team. He didn’t play tonight. He’s got to be ready. His time will come. No, I don’t need to see anything different. I know who Kelly is and what he can do. Tonight was an opportunity that I went with the guys that I went with.”

    And Kelly Oubre had THIS to say about Kelly Oubre’s extensive bench time (via Adam Rubin of TAI):

    “Honestly, I don’t know. I’m doing what I need to do on a daily basis to get better. I make sure I stay ready. That’s my job to stay ready. Whatever is going on with the rotation is going on.

    A lot of guys just say it’s kind of what goes along with being a rookie. You kind of have to wait your turn. But me knowing what I can do and having confidence in myself knowing that I’m ready and I can take on whatever, that’s just where I’m at mentally. Obviously I’m just waiting my turn.”

    Barring multiple injuries, or a miracle, it looks like this is pretty much the end of the 2015-2016 Kelly Oubre Experience. Oubre technically played 1 minute and 50 seconds last night, but he basically was DNP’d. With Markieff Morris coming in, and Alan Anderson coming back, it’s impossible to see any PT coming for Oubre in the season’s final stretch. Maybe the silver lining will be some spectacular layup line dunks, since he won’t need to save his legs for the game…unless he’s just listed as inactive instead…let’s just stop now…this makes me sad.

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