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Game Notebook 61, Wizards at Bulls: A Night of Many Sins

Bulls 97
Wizards 92

March 3, 2015 – United Center, Chicago, IL

Let’s just hope Nene’s sinful night concluded with a solemn expression of repentance. Nene, who dramatized the pregame buzz with some juicy comments regarding his hatred for the Bulls, followed up his bark with no bite, going 0-4 from the field for zero points before eventually fouling out. He also flagrantly bodied Joakim Noah with a tomahawk chop to his right shoulder. And yo, this is just the preface to my recap. So buckle up.

Game Leaders:

[ezcol_1third]WIZARDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third][/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]BULLS[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Wall (21)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]POINTS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Mirotic (23)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]John Wall (11)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]ASSISTS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Brooks (8)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Gortat (12)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]REBOUNDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Noah (12)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Gortat/Wall/Otto/KS (2)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]BLOCKS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Noah (3)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Seraphin (+3)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]PLUS/MINUS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Brooks (+16)[/ezcol_1third_end]

Yes, being alive is always great, but what a sad, sad time to be alive a Wizards fan. You know, some of these late games on TNT and ESPN (regretfully none were available last night) after a Wizards game serve as such sanity-restoring commiseration. After all, spending 150 earth minutes watching a festering offense devised by Randy Wittman carried out by his underachieving troopers can actually drive you to impulsively cold turkey the sport of basketball out of your life entirely, like a pack of cigarettes. I mean, you might as well be watching Ann Coulter host the Tonight Show. Okay that might be taking it too far.

But it’s not all entirely on Wittman, and this isn’t going to be a 3,000 word editorial on his tainted philosophy, although that doesn’t mean one isn’t warranted. Besides, this might only break 1,000 words. And it’s part of a game recap. Anyway, it’s unquestionable to me now the high probability of NBA coaches whom, after facing the Wizards’ offense, share a healthy dose of laughter by the water cooler the following day at practice, sneering at its predictability. I’m dead serious. The lack of structure allows defenses to effortlessly counterattack the ball. The recurring chucks from midrange and the bricks they create conveniently pack defenders in the paint as they smartly refute contesting a low-percentage shot. There are no plays designed for 3-point shots. Half the time, the resource for points is an undeserved, yet God-given second chance bailout play that cancels out the buffoonery that had unfolded in the few seconds prior. It’s pure madness.

But, like I said, the ineptness of Washington’s offense is the effect of a myriad of issues, tangled like the hair knots on Glen Rice Jr. The shit’s a mess, but Wittman isn’t the only one taking dumps.

Okay, for a moment, let’s be mindless of the fact that Wittman’s philosophy teaches the Wizards shooters (however many they have or don’t have) to dribble into an open-invite midrange shot gracefully offered to them by the defense. What happens when you miss even those? #HouseOfGuards? More like #HouseOfPAIN in the Wizards backcourt. John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 14-38 shooting and 1-9 from 3-point range. Wall also had a game-high six turnovers.

For the next moment, let’s be mindless of the fact that the course of Randy Wittman’s rotations is a perpetual brainfart. No, wait. Let’s not be mindless of that. At least not yet. What the flying fudge was that horrific sequence at the end of the game!? Small ball? On the final defensive possession!? On a play in which the Bulls had trotted out THREE (3) big men – Niko Mirotic (6’10), Joakim Noah (6’11), and Pau Gasol (7’0)? You notice how the three of them are cutely one inch taller than the previous? Anyway, the Wizards had already been playing small. Nene had fouled out and so on the floor for the final 4ish minutes or so was Gortat as the lone big along with Wall, Beal, Otto and Pierce. However, down three with 0:29 remaining, the Bulls with possession and the Wizards needing just one stop, Wittman decided to remain with a small lineup and sub in Garrett Temple for Pierce. The nonsensical decision drew a parade of mismatches on the floor, with the game-deciding offensive rebound by Gasol after Otto Porter..ah fuck it, you know what happened. Go ahead, watch it again.

This is that sadness I was speaking of in the opening sentence. This is peak sadness. Otto Porter, Heaven’s darling, left frozen in place as his man Tony Snell skated across the baseline and curled for a 3. Otto’s daydream forced Washington’s one lone big on the floor to abandon his territory and contest Snell’s 3-point shot. Snell missed, but with Washington’s one lone big on the floor far out of position to grab a rebound, the Bulls’ frontcourt tandem of Noah and Gasol put Garrett Temple in a big man vice, allowing the ball to trickle easily right into Gasol’s left hand. What was left was a plethora of Internet jokes with ‘Otto Porter’ trending worldwide on Twitter. You hate to see a guy like Porter become the butt of jokes, but this sequence could yield no resistance to it. This was the icing, the cherry, and the candle melting into a spoiled #SoWizards tres leches cake that has become the depiction of NBA basketball in our city. I’m probably not even making sense anymore. I have nothing further to say. Have some highlights and a good morning.


The Wizards offense usually botches into a bailout 2nd chance bucket by God’s grace, an elusive trailing Pierce 3, or absolutely nothing at all.

John Wall’s buzzer-beater from 25-feet out was fun. This also happened after a mess of dysfunction.

Seriously, though. Otto Porter had a GOOD game. This chase-down block on Doug McDermott is everything.

Nothing makes me happier than the #Panda going hard in the paint, getting buckets and drawing fouls. Especially when both happen on the some play. I also enjoy Otto Porter’s delightful reaction.

Mr. Lonely


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