January 25, 2016 – Verizon Center, Washington, DC
The Wizards entered tonight’s game against the Celtics well rested – Winter Storm Jonas halted civilization on the East Coast – and hoping to avoid a very early season sweep at the hands of Boston. In their first two matchups of the season, Washington got obliterated by Boston, losing by 20 and 33 points, respectively. In their most recent matchup, barely over a week ago, Boston squeaked by with a 2-point victory after a bizarre finish that included, among other thing, a late technical foul and a John Wall missed layup at the buzzer.
[Author’s Note: I took my four and five-year old sons to that game. I made them eat dinner early because I wasn’t paying$17 for some chicken tenders. They got hungry right around halftime. We watched the end of the game from home. Lesson learned.]
One benefit of the hiatus? Recuperation. The Wizards welcomed Otto Porter back to the starting lineup – his first game after sitting out the previous 4 with a hip injury. They also got Drew Gooden back for some reserve minutes.
The total team effort – even with a bolstered lineup – turned out to be one of the poorest of the season, as the Wizards got blown out (once again), 116-91.
The first half was a fairly ugly performance for both teams, as they both struggled with field goals. Washington missed their first 6 three pointers and didn’t connected on one until early in the 2nd quarter when Jared Dudley found the bottom of the net. The Wizards’ offensive woes were compounded with Bradley Beal exited for the game midway through the quarter when he took a blow to nose from an errant Marcus Smart elbow.
The Wizards also struggled with turnovers, on which the Celtics capitalized to the tune of 27 points through the third quarter. Washington would go on to turn the ball over a whopping 20 times over the course of the game.
The second half saw more Washington turnovers and a much-improved Celtics shooting performance. Boston used large runs of 9-3 and 15-4 to stretch out a lead that reached its peak at 30. At the end, the Celtics departed Verizon Center with a 116-91 victory and a Wizards season sweep.
As the sparse home crowd booed the lowly Wizards, you have to wonder how much longer can hold onto “we just need to get healthy” fallacy. This team just isn’t that good.
#WizHeat in a Tweet..
Sharp nailed it..
Just got home from Wizards game…. I've never needed Warriors-Spurs more.
— Andrew Sharp (@andrewsharp) January 26, 2016
The Game’s Top Performer
Otto Porter returned to action with a spirited effort, scoring 15 well-contested points, including 2-4 from three-point range.
In an opening half when Washington couldn’t connect on its shots, Porter also busied himself on the boards, pulling in a total of 6 rebounds and keeping loose balls active.
While limited in minutes like all other starters, Otto showed promise in his first game back.
A forgettable night for..
In an overall dispirited effort from the team, John Wall notched one of his worst performances of the season. Wall shot 3 for 11 from the floor, including 0-3 from three-point range, and turned the ball over 4 times. His performance was a far cry from his last game against the Celtics in which he scored 36 points on nearly 50% shooting.
Wall also had difficulties defending Isaiah Thomas, who had another big scoring night. The result was Wall being spelled for a stretch during the 4th, as he was outplayed by Ramon Sessions, before Randy Wittman pulled his starters.
John didn’t have much to rely on in this game and he simply failed to find a rhythm.
– Garrett Temple was also unremarkable for the Wizards tonight, missing all 7 of his field goals. We know that Garrett’s purpose is defense first, but even that aspect of his game fell short tonight.
– The Wizards are now 1-8 against the Atlantic Division teams, with half the losses coming at the hands of the Celtics.
– Jarrell Eddie hit two 3 pointers!