March 8, 2015 – Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
[ezcol_1third]WIZARDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third][/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]BUCKS[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Pierce (14)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]POINTS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Middleton (30)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Wall (6)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]ASSISTS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Carter-Williams (9)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Wall/Gortat (9)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]REBOUNDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Middleton (9)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Nene/Gortat/Butler (1)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]BLOCKS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Henson (4)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Temple (+8)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]PLUS/MINUS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Pachulia (+16)[/ezcol_1third_end]
The Wizards and Bucks game on Saturday night was pretty much like that one pickup game where you and four random dudes who’ve called next are grouped up to face the team who hasn’t lost all night. By this I mean while the Bucks were setting screen after screen, rotating shooters around the perimeter and swinging the ball beautifully to find high percentage shots, the Wizards lackadaisically winged each possession, almost as if to pretend like they have some sort of structure to their offense.
The depth of Washington’s woes is practically bottomless. If it’s not the lack of strategy that’s killing most possessions, it’s the lack of personnel. If the Wizards aren’t dribbling the ball aimlessly into the winding seconds of the shot clock before an errant John Wall crosscourt pass or a pump fake into a long two, then they’re swinging the ball nicely around the perimeter only for the ball to end up being shot by a criminally regressed Rasual Butler. Oh, but Garrett Temple shot 4-6 from the field! Yeah, now explain to me how sustainable that is and how much we should rely on that sort of elusive productivity going into the playoffs. No, save it actually. Sure, Temple’s numbers look alright, and his plus/minus is boxscore porn, but it’s decisions like this that overwhelm me to the brink of insanity.
Even that 16-1 run in the 3rd quarter was unsatisfying because again, all of what made that run was unsustainable. Wall knocking down a 3, followed by Temple. Two consecutive Paul Pierce 3’s were legit but those shots just come by so infrequently as of late. Temple’s steal and breakaway layup was cool. But the run was quickly countered by, well, the Wizards themselves, really. While the defense kept the Bucks scoreless for the final five minutes of the quarter, the Wizards also flamed out in that span, going 1-6 and committing three turnovers.
Here’s one of the two Pierce 3’s, courtesy of his trademark pump fake. Also, if you’re like me, and you’re almost certain Pierce won’t be picking up his option to return to the Wizards next season, then enjoy this just a bit more. There aren’t many of them left.
The final five minutes of the game began with a typical “enough is enough” strong drive to the rim by Wall for a layup and a foul.
But the rest would be a 50-caliber shot to in the foot. Khris Middleton, Certified #WizardsKIller, nailed three 3’s in the final three minutes. One of them being a dagger within a dagger when Zaza set him up after a long offensive rebound.
Similarly, on a possession just a few moments prior, a rare Khris Middleton miss was compensated with another offensive board, this one by MCW.
The Wizards suffered a loss factored by a number of issues, but down the stretch it was due to not having the proper personnel to matchup against the Bucks’ incredible length. The negatives revolving around the Wizards are vast, and the positives are unsustainable. The Wizards are spiraling and are becoming damn near unwatchable. And so I beg, somehow, please make it stop.