This is your #Wizards after party, where we channel all of your Wizards post-game essentials into one massive data over-filled post. Game recap, locker room interviews, and a selection of delectable in-game tweets & Vines finger-picked from #WizardsTwitter.
Raptors 103 — Wizards 93
February 19, 2014
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
The wrath that would become Kyle Lowry and the fine-tuned Raptors was evidently a pre-game forethought of Trevor Ariza.
After an outstanding showing at All-Star Weekend led by John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards came back home to face the troublesome Toronto Raptors last night. It could have gone either way for the Wizards: either they come out with a ton of energy or they come out sluggish due to the break.
Well, the Wizards hung in there the first half as they kept up their fast break style of play, but that dreaded 3rd quarter bug managed to hit them again as Toronto stretched the lead to 17 at its worst. On top of that, John Wall could not get anything going like he did in the first half, shooting a dreaded 0-for-7 from the field in the second half.
The Wizards managed to make one last stand in the 4th quarter to try and come back, but one Kyle Lowry would not have any of that. Being snubbed as an All-Star, Lowry played with a chip on his shoulder all night, going for 24 points, 10 assists and a couple of steals.
It was just one of those dreaded situations where player with the chip on his shoulder comes out and proves his talent better than the players who participated in All-Star Weekend.
Don’t fret too much, Wizards fans, as you’ve got to believe this team will bounce back and begin to play like the team the fans have seen most of this season. While there are no excuses in the game of basketball, one has got to give a little bit of a pass due to an emotional hangover from the past four days.
MVP: Marcin Gortat – 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to name Marcin Gortat the MVP of the game. It’s still tough to do it today with the weekend Wall just had on top of his 22 points, but Wall’s 2nd half performance (going 0-7) led to Gortat taking the reign last night.
Gortat has been effective the past few games, but he has not been the powerhouse that we’ve been used to seeing all season. Adding to Ariza’s 11 rebounds, Gortat’s production ultimately led to the Wizards out-rebounding the Raptors 40-29. While not meaning much by the end of the game, it was good to see Gortat get going again.
LVP: Bradley Beal – 9 points, 2-10 FG, 3 TO’s
Unlike Wall, who at least had the stroke in the first half, Beal was absolutely ineffective in this game. Randy Wittman (who found himself ejected in the fourth quarter) ended up putting Trevor Ariza on Demar Derozan in an attempt to boost Beal’s production on the offensive end, but it worked to no avail. Bradley ended up going a measly 2-10 from the field for nine points.
Before the game, Wittman mentioned he was not expecting any moves before the trade deadline, but you have to believe Ernie needs to work something out to get a qualified point guard to back Wall and Beal up when they have nights like this.
Defining moment: Toronto’s 15-2 run in the third
The Wizards were hanging in there at halftime, only being down by six, when the dreaded third quarter began. It’s been an issue most of the season, but as of late the team has seemed to get things together coming out of the half. However, a 15-2 run sparked by Demar Derozan ultimately ended up sinking the Wizards in the long-run and led to their biggest deficit of the night (17).
The Wizards look to bounce back as they head to Atlanta to take on Al Horford and the rest of the fifth-seed Hawks. The Wizards are looking to break a three-game skid that leads back to before the All-Star break. Thankfully for the Wizards, Atlanta has dropped six straight, but that also means they’ll be coming out extra prepared at home to break their own streak.
FROM THE CHAMBERS:
“Toronto was the better team tonight.”
— Randy Wittman
— Randy Wittman
Post-game #WittmanFace was expectantly concise after another stomach churning loss to the Raptors, and especially after being tossed after one too many yaps too at the official after an assumed non-call. Wittman’s final verdict on the game was simply put: Toronto was the better team. The glaring truth in that was certainly evidenced by the operative methods Dwayne Casey used to exploit the Wizards defense and manage a resounding 57% shooting percentage on the night. Beating defenders off the dribble, setting up crushing screens, and lots of Kyle Lowry penetration towards the rim produced high percentage opportunities for the Raptors offense all night, and they certainly capitalized.
Lowry pillaged the Verizon Center for 14 of his 24 points in the 2nd quarter.
Wizards were outscored in the paint 60-48.
Wizards bench outscored 43-21.