home 2013-14, Blogs, Game Coverage Game recap: Kicked while down; Wizards get blown out in Minny, lose Beal

Game recap: Kicked while down; Wizards get blown out in Minny, lose Beal

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Wolves 120
Wizards 98

December 27, 2013
Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
NBA.com highlights

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The Wizards return to the hardwood after Christmas break was all but a memorable one.

After coming out sharply to a 9-0 lead in the opening minutes, the Wizards crumbled after the 1st quarter, succumbing to bad shots, worse defense, and zero support from the officials.

Then, with the Wizards defenselessly curled in fetal position just cringing for the final buzzer, there came the unexpected hard-toe kick in the gut: Bradley Beal twists his left leg after slamming into the Wolves’ Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Beal went down in visible pain before being carried into the tunnel.

Updated reports say that Beal walked out of the arena without crutches and the initial X-rays came out negative. An MRI is scheduled for sometime today.

Meanwhile, back to the game, John Wall started off with a hot trigger finger, knocking down 5 of his 8 field goal attempts in the 1st quarter for 11 points. He had 22 by halftime before completely diffusing in the second half, shooting 0-for-4 in 11 third quarter minutes. He finished with just 26 for the game.

Nikola Pekovic hoed around Marcin Gortat all night, grabbing six of the Wolves’ 14 offensive boards. Second chance points and the inability to properly pull down the rock doomed the Wizards all night, a point of emphasis by Randy Wittman before the game.

The Wizards were also deficient in getting bodies in the paint, on offense and defense. Countless times the Wizards perimeter defenders were beat off the dribble with no rotating defense to protect the rim. And if there was, there’d be a foul committed.

I mentioned bad officiating earlier, but that surely wasn’t the only testament to the lack of free throw attempts. The Wizards lacked lane penetration and just settled for way too many jump shots.

The Wizards have been known to come out sluggish and slow after long stretches of time off. They are now 0-4 in games following at least a three-night gap.

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MVP: John Wall – 22 first half points, 11-20 shooting overall

Ehhh… don’t nut your panties too much on this one. Wall’s 22 first half points became a disservice once the second half blowout commenced and he became a non-factor. He did look nice with his hot shooting early, showing poise and a good push in his shot. He was the only player to formulate any kind of offense, but again, even that disappeared after halftime.

LVP: Marcin Gortat – 8 points, 7 rebounds.

We expect so much more from this guy, and rightfully so. Gortat has been solid for the most part while in DC, but when his game is off, he can be awful at times. His stat line displayed a meh 3-for-6 and an OK seven rebounds, but he proved again his hardships of finishing at the rim, getting boxed out and surrendering offensive rebounds, and just an overall lack of assertiveness.

Key stat of the game: – Wizards only 17 FT attempts

Again, despite the several non-calls and head-scratching calls against them, the Wizards were the prime culprit of not getting to the line. The shot chart below evidences the lack of involvement down low for the Wizards in contrast to the Wolves. Minnesota scored 48 points in the paint.

Screen Shot 2013-12-28 at 12.19.43 PM

Tweet of the night:

For all you porn enthusiasts..

What’s next:

Welp. With a blowout loss, highlighted by Beal’s injury, on the eve of the second of a back-to-back, against Detroit’s fearsome front court, “what’s next” isn’t something to be too anxious about. The battered Wizards return home for the Pistons tonight looking to somehow rejuvenate from last night’s debacle. Beal’s MRI results is obviously the main thought in everyone’s mind and we can only hope that he’s day-to-day at worst.

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