March 9, 2015 – Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
“We just needed a win, we needed to play like this and win,”
~ Wizards head coach Randy Wittman.
~ Wizards head coach Randy Wittman.
[ezcol_1third]WIZARDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third][/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]HORNETS[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Pierce (14)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]POINTS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Williams (19)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Wall (9)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]ASSISTS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Williams (7)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Seraphin/Gortat (7)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]REBOUNDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Biyombo (9)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Butler/Gooden/Porter/Wall (1)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]BLOCKS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Maxiell/Zeller (2)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Wall (+20)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]PLUS/MINUS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Williams (-3)[/ezcol_1third_end]
Truer words have never been spoken and it wasn’t just the Wizards team that needed a victory like last night against the Charlotte Hornets, but the fan-base need one just as bad. John Wall was dropping off dimes, and pulled out his yo-yo dribble among his other highlights for his hometown North Carolina crowd. Marcin Gortat’s absence in the 4th quarter was not a post-game discussion as he established early dominance on his way to a 9-11 shooting night for 20 points and a healthy seven rebounds and two steals.
The Hornets entered the evening on a 5-game winning streak against the league, and 2-game streak against the Wizards, whom they beat twice in a row in January. Said John Wall, “They had been beating us pretty handily…we want to try to get back to playing the way we played early in the season.”
And that’s exactly what Washington was able to do. The Wizards not only held the Hornets to their lowest scoring game of the season at 69 (a point total they matched from a game against the Grizzlies in November), but they limited Charlotte to a gawd-awful 32.5% shooting and won the battle of rebounds, assists, steals and turnovers. A true basketball perfect ending.
After sitting out the debacle in Milwaukee, Bradley Beal made his return to the Wizards lineup and managed a nice little stat sheet stuffer type game with 14 points on 7-16 shooting to go with five rebounds, three assists and a block. There were some concerns after the game that perhaps he should have been pulled a little bit earlier to avoid the discomfort he showed earlier in the 4th after coming down hard after a dunk. But, considering we haven’t heard any earth shattering stress fracture news today, Washington looks to have avoided a bullet there.
It’s pretty remarkable that a team who is 3-7 in their past 10 games is only 2.5 games behind the Cavaliers for the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Amazing because that team is the Wizards, who normally would be a few games closer to or below .500 with a run like that around this time of year, and for the simple fact that for all the heartburn, anguish and suffering the team and its fans have felt over the last few weeks, a successful season is still there to be had.
Nobody, and I mean nobody is or should be feeling like the #dcRising is back, but at least it’s good to know Washington is capable of putting together games like this against capable NBA teams. Washington has 18 games left to figure out what they’re going to look like come playoff time. The more and they look like last night against the Hornets and less like the team that almost blew a 35 point lead against the Heat, followed up with that stinker in Milwaukee, the more #WizardsTwitter can stop talking about Randy’s job and go back to dreaming of another crazy playoff run.
As I would tell my kids, showing you can do it is the first step, repeating the success is what differentiates the winners from the losers.