Eastern Conference Second Round – Game 4 – Indiana leads 3-1
Pacers 95 – Wizards 92
May 11, 2014
Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Demoralizing. Painful. #SoWizards
It started off as one of the most raucous crowds ever in the Verizon Center during a Wizards game, but ended with a barrage of sighs and shock.
On this episode of #SoWizards…
The game was a dogfight for much of the first quarter, but only until the Wizards eventually took off in the second quarter, building a 17-point lead via the likes of Andre Miller, Al Harrington and Drew Gooden, something we’ll discuss more below.
Then the dreaded third quarter displayed a stagnant Wizards squad on both sides of the court with no signs of life. The lead dwindled, and by the time it had been lost in the fourth, Randy turned back to the vets.
They built a lead back up, but eventually turnovers, poor defense and poor play from John Wall sunk this team in one of the most heartbreaking games seen in recent times.
With 6.1 seconds to play, the Wizards were down by 3 with an impending inbound. Ariza threw a bad pass to Beal that was then recovered by Paul George and it was a wrap at Verizon Center.
The crowd, which at a time was cheering “An-dre Mil-ler” was now groaning and grunting on their way out of the phone booth.
Another disappointing loss, but here are our highlights and lowlights from tonight.
The AARP Unit
In the second quarter, Randy threw Andre Miller, Al Harrington, Martell Webster and Drew Gooden in to run the court with Bradley Beal, and did it ever work…
Randy credited the vets as being the heroes of tonight. They were truly the only reason the Wizards were able to build a lead, and then later on stay in the game when the starters had given the lead up.
With a miserable performance from John Wall, you almost wanted to see Miller in the game during crunch time.
Yeah, it was that good. So good that Andre Miller was getting his name chanted while he was at the free throw line. Al Harrington was leading fastbreaks and Drew Gooden was in for defensive purposes. Life was truly weird at the Phone Booth for a while.
With Gortat and Wall struggling, it will be curious to see how much time these guys get in game 5. You have to hope the Wizards don’t need to rely on them, but will Randy reward them for their performances tonight?
A forgettable night for:
Marcin Gortat – 2-13 FG, 0-4 3-PT, hero-ball culprit
What’s gone wrong with Marcin? Not even he knows, as his body language reeked of frustration tonight.
Wittman sat him for the entire second quarter, opting to go with Gooden or Harrington instead. He couldn’t get calls, couldn’t sink a bucket and in the third quarter, was absolutely no match for Roy Hibbert who was just abusing him.
After that, Randy had seen enough and went back with his vets. The concern for me, however, is Gortat’s body language. After every play that went wrong, he showed a lot of emotion. He doesn’t have anything in check and it’s ultimately turning his play into a spiral down the drain.
You have to hope Wittman (or anyone) can get to him before Tuesday’s game, because if Gortat would have had even an average performance, you have to think the Wizards would have pulled this one off tonight.
Key stat of the game:
18 transition points in first half; ZERO in the second half.
It’s no secret that the Wizards thrive in transition and that they have to push the ball in order to keep up with the Pacers. In the first half, they did an excellent job (more specifically in the second quarter) of pushing the ball and taking full advantage of the opportunities that they were handed in transition. After the first half, the Wizards had racked up 18 transition points, which gave them a 17 point lead.
Unfortunately, the number of fastbreak points would not change in the second half. The Wizards saw 0 in the entire second half as they watched their once 19-point lead dwindle down the #SoWizards toilet and eventually disappear into oblivion.
Every game is Game 7 now for the Wizards, and they head to Indiana on Tuesday night to try and stay alive. The question will be who on the Pacers is going to explode for them and how will the Wizards respond.
Randy made note that every game (sans Friday night) has been a dogfight and they know they are still in this. Game 5 is the only thing on their mind right now and you have to hope that the Wizards squad from tonight’s first half is the team that shows up.