In the final home game of the season, the fans were treated to quite a snoozefest at the Phone Booth. In a 97-86 loss the Sixers, the Wizards found themselves battling themselves for the entire second half. A lot of selfish ball was played, and it ultimately damned the team and their fans of one last home win on “Fan Appreciation Night.”
It’s been a while since I’ve heard boos in the Verizon Center, and the fans were sure to let Nick Young (who got them every time he touched the ball), and the Wizards (who played like the Miami Heat’s bench’s bench) they were unhappy. In what came down to a lack of effort, the Wizards just couldn’t put things together like they did in the first quarter to hold off the offensively stagnant Sixers, who ended up finding their stride in the second half.
Here’s a surprise: John Wall breaks A.J. Price’s one-game MVP streak to regain the crown as MVP of the game. Pretty much the only source of offense for the Wizards, Wall ended the hometown season on his scoring streak, going for 24 points. It ultimately would not be enough for a squad that just looked disinterested, however. In what’s become a rarity since his return, Wall did not enter double figures in assists, going for seven. But with the lackluster play of everyone else on this squad, the final home game MVP will remain with John.
Jrue Holiday: Jrue Holiday was his usual self. The best parts of this game were when he and Wall would go back-and-forth. Unfortunately, this did not happen very much tonight. Holiday ended up going for 22 points, no rebounds and seven assists.
John Wall: John Wall had somewhat of an off-night, but thankfully, an off night for Wall means he only went for 24 points. His jumper was short for a decent part of the game, but he was the only lifeline the Wizards had in a game that should have been won. John did, however, have another beautiful top-ten move in the first quarter as he went for a spin move to the hoop that can only be shown in a .gif, rather than put in words.
Trevor Booker. It was nice to see Wittman let Trevor Booker come out and play with his friends tonight, and he did his usual “make the best of my minutes” moves, going 5-for-6 for 10 points. With Seraphin essentially useless on the court (he went 5-for-13 for 10 points), Booker was really the only option at the PF spot. However, Wittman really let Serpahin try and get into the swing of things in the second half instead of letting Booker continue his good night on the floor. In an even more confusing fashion, Wittman decided to throw Jan Vesely in while the Wizards were down 13 with about four minutes to play in the 4th quarter. If Booker is not brought back next season for whatever reason, he’s certainly making an effort to make it known to other teams what he’s capable of.
Turnovers. This was one sloppy game of basketball to say the least. The Wizards ended up with a total of 17 turnovers for the game. The Sixers were not much better either, turning the ball over 13 times themselves. The issue was really pushed by the fact that the Wizards stopped playing team-style basketball after the 1st quarter. It was a lot of one-on-one matchups with little emphasis on finding the open man and keeping the ball moving. I guess everyone was trying to show off for contract money next season..
The 3rd quarter was one of the worst quarters of Wizards basketball I’ve seen all season. The Wizards were outscored 26-16 and only went for 7-of-23 shooting. The team play that was shown in the first half did not carry over immediately in the second half as they only had three assists in the third as well. Philly, whose offense was about as stagnant as it could get in the first half, ended up getting in some form of rhythm and were able to gain a nine point lead by the end of the 3rd. The turnovers on both sides also contributed to the slow pace of the third as both sides had 13 turnovers collectively.