home 2014-15, Blogs, Game Coverage Game Notebook 80, Wizards vs. Hawks: Wiz Punch Out Hawks In Final Regular Season Home Game

Game Notebook 80, Wizards vs. Hawks: Wiz Punch Out Hawks In Final Regular Season Home Game

Wizards 108
Hawks 99

April 12, 2015 – Verizon Center, Washington, DC

Game Leaders:[ezcol_1third]WIZARDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third][/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]HAWKS[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Wall (24)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]POINTS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Scott (19)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Wall (9)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]ASSISTS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Mack (6)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Nene (10)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]REBOUNDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Antic (7)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Gortat/Porter (2)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]BLOCKS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Bazemore/Brand (1)[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Beal (3)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]STEALS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Bazemore/Jenkins (3)[/ezcol_1third_end]

With the Wizards back at the Verizon Center, and the team looking to get back in the Win column, John Wall was back in the starting lineup. The same could not be said for the Hawks, who elected to sit their entire starting five of Teague, Korver, Carroll, Millsap, and Horford. John Wall promised not to let the Hawks lack of starters affect the Wizards mentality of handling their business.

And from the jump, Wall kept his promise. The Wizards came out somewhat uncommonly sharp, and far more uncommonly three-happy. Pierce knocked down #dc3 after #dc3, accounting for three of the Wizards SEVEN 1st quarter threes.

Wall was back looking like #OptimusDime, dropping this nasty dime to Gortat early:

And just in case John Jenkins was feeling himself a little too much playing a starting role, Wall reminded him who the best John on the court was:

Wall finished the first quarter with thirteen points and six assists, and led the Wizards to a 38-22 first quarter lead, that could be pretty much summarized by the Wizards doing this:

However, the Hawks made it quite obvious that although Wall looked pretty sharp, he was clearly way off on his pregame assessment that the Hawks bench is just as good as their starters. The Hawks starters don’t usually put together these types of sequences.

The second quarter was more of the same, as an aggressive and springy Bradley Beal joined the party, throwing down this put back dunk.

The Hawks fought hard to stay in striking distance with their self-depleted (and NYPD-depleted) roster. Dennis Schroder got into the paint, Jenkins showed off his shooting stroke, but none of it did anything to put a dent in the Wizards first half lead. Shelvin Mack even tried to do his part by stripping John Wall clean and heading in for an easy two. But poor Shelvin would learn that despite John Wall’s contractual sponsorship obligations, Good Things DO NOT Come To Those Who Take.

The first half numbers told the tale: The Wizards shot 52%, 7/12 from three (58%), and out-rebounded the Hawks 30-18. Wall had a full games worth of production in the first half alone, dropping eighteen to go with seven assists, and leading the Wizards to a 66-45 halftime lead.

In a rare showing of competence coming out of the locker room, the Wizards actually extended their lead, as opposed to letting the Hawks make an early push, courtesy of a little bit of Panda:

And courtesy of A LOT of Panda!

But as quickly as the lead swelled, it began to shrink, and the Wizards entered the fourth quarter with just a 90-75 lead, after this patented John Wall coast to coast masterpiece.

By the five minute mark of the fourth quarter, the lead was down to nine. How you ask? The same old #SoWizards way: Turnovers. After just six first half turnovers, the Wizards committed 13 in the second half. Despite several highlight plays, Wall had some rusty moments too, finishing with 10 of the Wizards 19 turnovers. And after hitting 7/12 threes in the first half, the Wizards hit just 2/9 in the second half. Neither of the two came during a four minute stretch during the fourth quarter without a made field goal. The result was restored hope for the Hawks.

But the Hawks, already giving the Wizards a gift with their sitting starters, provided the Wizards and John Wall with one final gift to put the game away, and give Wall 24 points on the night:

After Wall’s rim rocking exclamation point, the Wizards were able to hold on for a 108-99 win. Not an especially inspiring win, but a win nonetheless. On the plus side, the Wizards were able to shoot 46%, while holding Atlanta to 41%. They out-rebounded the Hawks 51-38. They had five guys in double digits, led by Wall’s 24, along with Beal (17), Gortat (15), Pierce (14), and Nene (14).

However, the Wizards committed 19 more turnovers, 10 by Wall to take a little shine off of his nine assists. The Wizards again demonstrated the ability to do damage from three, knocking down 7 of 11 first quarter attempts, yet attempted just 10 total for the remainder of the game. And the Wizards were once again unable to nail down a dominant victory, even when establishing a dominant lead. But a win is a win. And at this point in the season, with little left to play for, maybe that’s the best we should hope for.

Then again, with the Wizards having such regular trouble putting the nail in the coffin against bad or undermanned teams, maybe the guy in the building last night they need isn’t a rested John Wall. Maybe it’s this guy.

we are Hoop District

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