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Game Notebook 71, Wizards at Warriors: It’s Hard to Win in this League, After All

Warriors 107
Wizards 76

March 23, 2015 – Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA


A perturbed Martell giving a concerted #effort in Wizards problem-free offense last night.


I’ve exhausted so much with this team. I’ve taken a myriad of avenues to describe their failure to achieve. I’ve tried to discover loopholes to cross through in order to try and not flat out shit on the coach and front office for their inept style of management and direction. Ever since I began covering this team there’s been some sort of pedestal for comedy and the latest rendition of it has been Randy Wittman and his strong, yet foolish retort against the idea that his offense is a problem.

Two nights ago in Sacramento, after the Wizards were embarrassed by the subordinate Kings, Wittman lashed out at a reporter for questioning the team’s offense. As quoted in my recap, Randy seemed appalled that the state of his team’s offense would even be addressed. Almost as if he were carrying some blueprint model of Mike D’Antoni’s system from his tenure with the Suns in 2005. Wittman insisted his offense was fine. I mean, after all, they did score “what, 50 points in the first half?” Mindless of their dismal second half performance, Witt’s target had been reached, his goals were fulfilled, and leeway had been given to offer his typical cop-out excuses such as ‘effort’ and ‘focus’ for their repugnant 36-point second half outing.

Hop on the I-101 heading south over to Oakland last night where Wizards fans braced themselves for a likely genocide on the second night of a back-to-back road game, against the almighty Golden State Warriors. The Wizards once again show and proved their ability to partially compete, scoring 49 points in the first half and miraculously trailing the Warriors by just 3 at halftime.

They then made just one field goal in the 3rd quarter.

*Cue Brick Top from ‘Snatch’ when Turkish was informing him that they had lost Gorgeous George*

“In the quiet words of the Virgin Mary, come again?”

Yes, you read that correct. The Wizards were held to just one field in the 3rd quarter.

1-18 to be exact. Here’s the 3rd quarter play-by-play, so that you may #NeverForget it. So that three years from now, when the Wizards are still displaying humdrum performances, you can say “look at where we came from.”

The Wizards’ first field goal of quarter came literally 11 minutes in, courtesy of Kevin Seraphin, which at that point it was practically upsetting that he scored it.

As for last night’s Pompeii-ish collapse, Wittman offered a different kind of sentiment: “Troubling”. A “lack of commitment.” I guess that’s a better choice of words by Randy, although, again, the issues run deeper than just the measure of effort, focus, and commitment. The Wizards can’t guard stretch 4’s. The Raptors’ Patrick Patterson will vouch for that theory. As will Chicago’s Nikola Mirotic. And after last night, Draymond Green will tell you all about it as well. In fact, Green was so good last night, he earned a post-game interview with a local Washington reporter after the game instead of a Wizards player. Green took advantage of the Wizards bigs’ inability to close out on him around the perimeter, scoring 13 points and knocking down three 3’s through the first three quarters. Marreese Speights, who had a field day in the midrange area, scored 16 points off the bench. He also offered a demoralizing explanation for why the Warriors were able to throttle the Wizards in that 3rd quarter.

Per the report from CSN’s Ben Standig:

“We knew if we hit them, if we got a couple stops they would start arguing with each other and quit. We went out there with a good mindset in the second half and we did it.”

Speights’ words mark the Wizards as quite disreputable and it’s not exactly how you want your playoff-bound team to be described with just 11 games left in the season.

Also, let’s face it. John Wall can’t go blow for blow with Steph Curry, no matter what Degree Men and their ‘Game Changer challenges’ tell you. Curry and Wall shined in the first half with 15 and 11 points respectively, but while Curry’s light continued to beam into and throughout the 3rd quarter, John Wall’s blew out immediately. Curry scored nine points in the 3rd, all by way of 3-point shots. Wall didn’t have a single point or assist in the second half.

What else, what else. Oh, so this loss..well actually these three consecutive losses may be a bit more tolling than we imagine. Sure, a five-game home stand seems replenishing but the reality is that these guys are probably flustered mentally and physically beyond imagination. To get toasted three nights in a row, twice by title contenders and once by a lowly squad like the Kings is punishing, especially when you have to immediately fly cross-country overnight back home and gear up the very following day for your next game. It may actually take the Wizards a game or two to regroup after the brutality they just faced, although word to goodness I hope I’m wrong. Either way, Wittman’s repetitive excuse for losing is archived and available for immediate use, as it was last night after the loss to Golden State.


Vinelights

With the Wizards providing just 24 minutes of basketball last night, naturally the amount of Vines we posted was minimal. Enjoy some of the good moments, never forget the bad ones.

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