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Game Notebook 70, Wizards at Hawks: Gettin’ Hot in Hotlanta

Wizards 117
Hawks 102

March 21, 2016 – Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

NBA Stats Box Score

What a time for living!

These Washington Wizards … YOUR Washington Wizards are now winners of FIVE straight, capped off by a textbook performance from John Wall and Bradley Beal and a 15-point thrashing of the THIRD SEEDED Hawks IN Atlanta.

The win streak is currently the longest in the NBA, and probably the longest the Wizards have enjoyed in God knows how long. In fact, even God may not remember. For a quick moment, though, please allow my cynicism to take over so that I can remind you all that getting ahead of ourselves about these Wizards is probably a bad call at this point. Because despite the five consecutive wins, the Wizards still find themselves a game and a half out of the 8 spot in the East after the Bulls and Pistons buzzkilled us all by also winning their games last night. The margin for error for the Wizards remains super slim and each game until the end of the season will be bigger than the last.

/end cynicism.

Still, it seems as though 70 games into the season, the Wizards have finally found themselves, or are very close to doing so. The defense has gotten stauncher (opponents have been held under 100 points in 4 of last 5 games); the ball is moving (27 assists per game in last 5 games); and the free throws are…no never mind the Wizards still suck at those.

Last night’s win over a high-seeded team on the road plays insurmountably to the Wizards momentum as the playoff push continues, and as I just mentioned, tomorrow night’s rematch against the Hawks in DC is going to be that much bigger.

Here are some of the reasons why the Wizards got hot in Hotlanta.

John Wall and Bradley Beal combined backcourt forces to bring back Freaknik to the South, dually scoring 52 points. Both members of the #HouseOfGuards (still a top 3, maybe 2 nickname for a duo) played their roles to perfection. Wall dished out 14 dimes, eclipsing the 700 mark for the season, while Beal got the most freaky in the 3rd quarter, knocking down three of his five 3’s on the night.

Beal has always touted his companionship with Wall, stating on numerous occasions his opinion that he and Wall make up the league’s best backcourt solely based off what they are capable of doing. They showed us that capability last night in Atlanta. The Wizards 6-1 when Beal scores 25 or more points, and that also entails a good game from Wall. The Wizards are very, VERY tough to beat when these guys are on.

Markieff Morris is on the verge of establishing himself as the guy at the 4 spot for the Wizards, if he hasn’t already. In fact, let’s just say he has already. Kieff has not only found comfort on the offensive end with his jumpers finally falling, he’s also been hamming it up on defense and Paul Millsap can tell you all about it. Morris was able to lock down Millsap one-on-one, allowing him to score just 13 points. As for Kieff, he overstuffed his stat sheet with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and a block. He made two of three 3’s and was a +18 for the game.

Raining 3’s! Here is an insightful tweet:

The Wizards were able to outlast the Hawks..and outlast their terrible free throw shooting by keeping pace with the Hawks’ 3-point shooting. The Wizards drained 5 more than they did in the last meeting against Atlanta, including this John Wall step-back DAGGER:

The Game’s Top Performer

Otto Porter

As much as I enjoyed Wall and Beal’s dominating performance, this is a good spot for Otto Porter. When he is at his best, Otto simply does everything. He spoon-fed his stat sheet with 16 points, 10 rebounds (4 offensive), 3 assists, 2 steals and a block. He didn’t shoot particularly well although he did hit two 3’s and we love when Otto hits 3’s. He was active on the glass and strong with the putbacks. Aside from being a utility man for the Wizards, Otto is also showing his punch as a scorer, totaling double-digits in points for the sixth straight game. He must be smelling the playoffs.

A forgettable night for..

Dennis Schroeder

When you look like Dennis Schroeder, it’s always a forgettable night.

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