Blazers 116 – Wizards 103
March 20, 2014
Moda Arena, Portland, OR
The following contains graphic #SoWizards content. Discretion is advised.
For approximately 32 basketball minutes, a puzzled #WizardsTwitter questioned the absence of Al Harrington from the lineup. But a short while after he finally trotted onto the court – deltoids securely attached together with masking tape and all – the sequence displayed just above this opening paragraph shamed us all for desiring his presence.
In fact, the Wizards as a whole left us all demoralized, driven to despair and any other applicable D words that denote defeatism. We’re just halfway through what’s been a shitty start to this road trip and the return date on the travel itinerary can’t come any sooner.
To begin the night, our rejoice over the confirmed absence of LaMarcus Aldridge swiftly receded after Marcin Gortat twisted his back during pregame warmups and consequently became a last minute scratch. A #SoWizards occurrence that would only happen prior to squaring up against the league’s number one rebounding team, right? But luckily the Wizards didn’t shy away from the glass and in fact, they matched the Blazers in total rebounds while accumulating more offensive boards – also classified as #SoWizards. But the regression on defense was clearly apparent. It’s been an inescapable truth since Nene’s injury and even more so last night as the Blazers scored the ball at will, causing affliction from both the perimeter and in the paint. Their efficiency was, well, I’ll let John Schuhmann spew the analytics:
Blazers scored 116 points on only 91 possessions. 63 on 45 (140 per 100) in the 2nd half.
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) March 21, 2014
Play of the night
Pleasurable is elusive Bradley Beal aggression.
John Wall – 24 points, 14 assists, 5 made 3-pointers (career high)
This man put his heart on the floor last night. While the Wizards were collectively reprehensible, Wall did as much as he possibly could to push the pace and keep his guys clinging on amid the storm. His three 3’s in the 3rd quarter helped the Wizards from getting their graves completely sodded by Portland’s relentless attack. Two rhetorical questions: Speaking of those 3’s, how convenient has John’s range been for the Wizards this season? How incredible is the fact that in one season he’s doubled the number of 3’s made in his first three seasons COMBINED?
A forgettable night for:
Trevor Booker, but only for this one attempted ball-dodging moment:
Key stat of the game:
Portland’s deflating (another D word) 20-3 run to end the first half and start the second half
“We gotta get more dirty.”
“You can’t squander.”
Casual post-game #Wittmanisms to describe the Wizards’ fallout in that wretched stretch of the game. Up 51-45 with under a minute the Wizards were derailed by an 8-0 run from Portland to close out the half, ending on a towering Damian Lillard verticle leap to attempt a put-back dunk right before the buzzer. Luckily for the moment it clanked but the Wizards were sore enough going into the locker room. The start to the 2nd half proved so as the Blazers shot point blank from 3 on their first four possessions. The Wizards would complete their early check-out shortly after: