December 21, 2015 – Verizon Center, Washington, DC
The Wizards entered last night’s game against the Kings with an official roster sheet blanker than the space on Taylor Swift’s list of ex-lovers. Six guys were dressed as cast members from the show “Suits,” leaving Randy Wittman with just seven players in his lineup (because Ryan Hollins and Dejuan Blair obviously don’t count). As a result, John Wall was left to his devices, and he made the most of them.
Despite the slim number of teammates, Wall still managed to attain a big number of assists, his biggest ever in fact – 19 – and the Wizards promptly danced to his tune en route to a 113-99 thrashing of Boogie and the Kings.
READ: Where There Is A Wall, There Is A Way
Marcin Gortat was the prime beneficiary of Wall’s historic feat. ‘Tat went 10-for-12 from the field, and all 10 buckets were assisted by Wall. Gortat finished with 27 points and 16 boards.
With Bradley Beal still out, Otto Porter out, and Gary Neal a late-game scratch, Garrett Temple anointed as the go-to scoring option for the Wizards (yikes). Temple had been coming off a career-high 21 point night against the Hornets on Saturday, and last night against the Kings, anted up with 23 points. He knocked down 5 of 10 three’s.
Kris Humphries also got back in the mix, knocking down his first 3-pointer in 9 games. He finished with 15.
Although the Wizards evaded a potential meltdown after yet another injury was tacked on to their long injury list, they are still in deep quicksand. The schedule for the rest of December and virtually all of January is jam-packed with games being played nearly every other day and there is no telling how long the Wizards can withstand the mounding setbacks.
#WizKings in a tweet..
when the squad is depleted & you dish out 19 assists pic.twitter.com/gfOQg8M6G6
— Danny (@recordsANDradio) December 22, 2015
The Game’s Top Performer:
John Wall – 12 points; 19 assists; 4 steals; +27
Damn all the analysis. John Wall is everything. Only six guys other than Wall cracked Randy Wittman’s rotation against the Kings. Six other guys were injured. Two were deemed incompetent. Six guys John Wall had to operate with on this night. On this night where he happened to pile up a career-best 19 assists. How else can you assess a player of John’s magnitude other than telling me he’s a flat out beast of basketball nature? How else can you mark this historic night for Wall other than telling me that it proved more than any other night how insurmountably valuable he is to the welfare of this team? John is the defier of odds and of reality.
A forgettable night for..
More like a forgettable tenure in DC for Ryan Hollins. Last night, Hollins couldn’t even crack some floor time as a victory gesture for Randy Wittman. Perhaps it was because Wittman knew that in less than 24 hours, Hollins would be terminating his month-to-month apartment lease agreement. Yes, that is correct, the Ryan Hollins era in DC has officially become history. The Wizards have waived – or are planning to waive – Hollins today and will be replacing his roster spot with Jarell Ellie from the D-League.
- Marcin Gortat played his ass off, racking up 21 points by halftime (27 for the game) to go with 16 total rebounds. All 10 of his buckets were assisted by Wall, and there could have been a few more had he not botched two dunks – his only two misses. During his quick halftime interview with Chris Miller, Gortat explained the reason for his success on offense:
- God bless Garrett Temple. The Wizards could easily have spiraled into total and utter despair if Garrett Temple had not reached a career high in points against Charlotte and then subsequently eclipse that high the very next game against the Kings. Of course, Wall is the master of player augmentation, but generally speaking, you simply never bet your chips on Temple. Temp’s back-to-back ‘EFF THIS’ games have conveniently made up for the absences of Porter and Neal, something he will certainly need to continue building off of. Temple’s motivation? Coach Wittman:
"Witt said to come out like this was going to be the best game I'll ever play. I've done that 2 games in a row"- GT pic.twitter.com/dClZrZ2FRE
— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) December 22, 2015
- How long can the Wizards keep afloat? You obviously can’t bet on the sustainability of 7-man lineups. At some point, if the boo-boos don’t heal quick enough, the Wizards will begin to disintegrate. The semi-good news is that the Wizards may be getting used to randomized mix and match lineups, increasing their chemistry and helping them conquer their weaknesses. The bigger issue is durability. Jared Dudley and Garrett Temple both clocked 40+ minutes. Wall played 39 minutes. Gortat played 37. Kelly Oubre played 33 minutes and Ramon Sessions played 31. Wittman reaffirmed his concern for the endurance of his remaining guys, we’ll see how exactly he addresses it.