Bucks 109 Wizards 105 (OT)
December 7, 2013
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
“We can’t catch a break.”
“We can’t catch a break.”
That was John Wall’s remark after a reporter pointed out the headwind of losing Martell Webster on the same night Otto Porter made his career debut.
But even before Webster went down, the Wizards sagged onto the court, seemingly out of sync, over-laxed and focused on anything BUT basketball. The inferiority that was supposed to be the hapless, league-worst Milwaukee Bucks took the court much differently and took advantage of the listless Wiz Kids, powering their way to a 15 point halftime lead.
Wittman refused to blame the loss on anything but the Wizards’ horrendous first half play. But the Wizards, who were already depleted on the perimeter without Bradley Beal, would literally fold in that area after Webster went down. Besides your few customary Trevor Ariza corner buckets, the Wizards had zero perimeter punch. And you’d be mad to believe that Trevor Ariza alone was going to help John Wall win this game.
As far as Otto goes, he was everything I and everyone expected him to be. Rusty, kind of out of place, quickly gassed. Porter was just a body on the floor, getting his wind up in his first NBA game ever. After the game, he admitted his anxiety and nervousness. After all, it’s natural and I’m sure he’ll catch on soon.
In the second half, the inevitable had finally occurred. John Wall became the video game version of Greg Jennings with a broken leg – without the broken leg of course — but PUTTIN’ THE TEAM ON HIS BACK DOE (that was a pun, and here is the video I’m referencing).
Wall took 23 shots in this game, surpassing his previous season high of 21. Without his primary weapons on the wings, he had very little options to work with, and eventually he and the whole team would gas out by overtime.
But seriously– poor John Wall. The measure of decline in productivity that flares when Chris Singleton replaces Martell Webster is perplexing. But yet, he still put up shots, 10 of them. He didn’t make many, actually just one of them. In fact, even after all those misses, the final play in regulation still ended up in Singleton’s hands. You can’t knock the play too much. He WAS wide open in the corner. But this just traces back to my original point. It’s fair to believe Webster makes that. He f**king makes that.
The Wizards also broke down defensively just prior to Singleton’s last shot. Brandon Knight was freed up for a 3-point attempt after the Wizards decided to switch defenders on him off the screen, which disallowed a timely closeout and Knight nailed it.
Overtime was a joke as the Wizards only managed to score three points. The final score was 109-105. The second half effort was there. We knew it’d be. But we also knew how this sort of movie would end, especially without a proper starring cast.
Some more notes below:
– The Wizards did actually score the game’s first 4 points. They ran some fluid plays on offense, getting Gortat to the rim and to the line early. Wall also looked sharp on his jump shots; knocked down his first two.
– The lone shot that Singleton made all night was against one of those typical drifting defensive rotations that Wall causes. The help defense left Singleton open on the weakside and Wall found him with a pinpoint crosscourt pass. I love those.
– The section right below our media table cracked me up with the “ER-IC MAY-NOR” chants as he was subbing in. He heard them again at the free throw line. Fans truly know when it’s #MaynorTime.
– Otto Porter received a standing ovation as he trotted on the floor for the first time. As mentioned above, he was tense and timid. As I figured, the Wizards didn’t incorporate him too much in what was going on. He mostly lingered around the perimeter and played decent defense. He clocked a total of 14 minutes, had a couple rebounds, but missed all three of his shots.
– By the half, Khris Middleton (Google him) had reached his career high in scoring with 20. BY HALFTIME.
– Martell left with what could appear to be a high ankle sprain. He was carried into the locker room by head trainer Eric Waters and a spiffy Kevin Seraphin.
– Nene left the game shortly after with right foot tendenitis.
– Trevor Booker looked monstrous. I noted last night that what we saw out of Booker is the capacity of what he has to offer, and I’m pleased by that. When it comes to Booker’s game and the contributions he can give you, you won’t go beyond the nitty and gritty down low, the tough put backs, the good positioning that not always MAKES the play, but leads to it.