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Game Notebook 55, Wizards vs. Pelicans: A NOLA Party In DC

Wizards 109
Pelicans 89

February 23, 2016 – Verizon Center, Washington, DC

NBA Stats Box Score

The New Orleans Pelicans soared in to DC last night, fresh off a 59 point-20 rebound performance from their superstar Anthony Davis, hoping for another victory party.

Instead, what they got was Mardi Gras in DC, with John Wall putting together another dance-worthy performance in front of a surprisingly rowdy Verizon Center crowd.


The game started tenuously, with both teams playing perfectly average basketball. The two teams combined for just 9 turnovers, but each shot poorly, with Washington shooting 43%, and New Orleans shooting 40%. Defensively, both teams were sound in their schemes. The Wizards were intent on not letting Anthony Davis beat them, and Davis was happy to oblige. He finished the first half with just 4 points on 4 shot attempts, but he did add 9 rebounds. John Wall wasn’t substantially better, with just 5 points on 1-8 shooting, but adding 7 assists. The net result was a 54-51 Wizards halftime lead.

That’s when the party started.

The defense locked in, getting stop after stop after stop. They forced 7 turnovers in the quarter and held New Orleans to 28% shooting.

On offense, they went to Jared. “Duds” got hot, knocking down three 3’s in a quick span, sparking the Wizards to a 31-14 3rd quarter, giving them a 20 point lead heading into the fourth.

After going to Jared in the 3rd, the Wizards went to John in the 4th. He did not disappoint. After a quiet first three quarters from a scoring standpoint, Wall closed things out with 8 fourth quarter points, including a triple to seal his 5th career triple double….

….and a celebration dance soon after to send the fans home happy.

The Game’s Top Performer

The crowd!

Maybe it was John Wall addressing the multi-season crowd related elephant in the room the other night:

Maybe it was our guy Abdullah pleading the fans for more energy:

Wizards Fans Have Become A Noticeable Embarrassment

Maybe it was the infusion of Turkish fans to celebrate Turkish Heritage Night at The Verizon Center.

Whatever it was, can we bottle it and hand it out every game?! For whatever reason, the crowd was amped last night. They turned out in respectable numbers, and had good energy from the start. On multiple occasions, the crowd erupted like a Pelican had just missed two fourth quarter free throws, only it happened in response to ACTUAL BASKETBALL. This Beal assist to Nene ended the 3rd quarter, and the noise was truly palpable!

And the players noticed. Sessions addressed the crowd first thing in his on-court post-game interview:

Let’s keep up the good work!

A forgettable night for..

Anthony Davis

Jared Dudley said keeping Anthony Davis in check was a total team effort:

Yes, it was a total team effort. But it started with Jared Dudley. Dudley was simply phenomenal, doing the majority of his defensive work before AD ever got the basketball. He pushed him away from his sweet spots. He denied passes to AD all night, and forced Davis to uncomfortable areas of the floor. Time after time, Davis found himself at the top of the key with limited options, and the Pelicans found themselves settling for long jump shots from poor long range shooters.

After a 59 point game Sunday against Detroit, Davis finished with 9 points. I’m going to write that sentence again in all caps.


Even worse than his point total was his shot total. Davis only got up 9 shot attempts, making just 3 of them He did grab 20 rebounds, but only 3 of those rebounds were offensive. Davis finished -20 for the game in +/-.

His counterpart, Jared Dudley, scored 18 points, and finished a team high +24.

If you’re AD, and you get outplayed by Jared Dudley, that’s got to be a forgettable night.


Markieff Morris

Markieff had his best game as a Wizard. His box score doesn’t show it (just 6 points), but Kieff looked more comfortable in every aspect. Coach Wittman admitted as much in his post-game presser:

And he added this hammer for good measure:

Speaking of hammers….

Marcin Gortat:

Shhh. Let’s just whisper about this so the rest of the league doesn’t notice, but look:

14 points, 10 rebounds, 54% shooting, 1.3 blocks, Offensive Rating 108, Defensive Rating 106.

18 points, 11 rebounds, 62% shooting, 2.25 blocks, Offensive Rating 129, Defensive Rating 92.

Sure, the raw numbers are good enough, but look at those advanced ratings! Gortat is getting it done offensively and defensively, and the Wizards are thriving on both ends anytime Gortat is on the floor. The Pelicans were the most recent opponent to get Hammered. Let’s hope it continues.

John Wall:

Ask John Wall, and it was just another day at the office. He shot just 5-17, and committed 3 turnovers, and you can be sure he’s not happy about it.

And that’s why John Wall is a sSuperstar. Even without his best, Wall can affect the game dramatically. Wall dished 11 assists, grabbed 12 boards, had 2 steals, and a block, to go with 16 points.

Even without his best, John Wall puts up triple doubles. And leaves Cajun lingerie on the floor in his wake:

Get Dante Cunningham some beads.

we are Hoop District

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