home 2014-15, Blogs, Game Coverage Key Takeaways from Wizards – Raptors Game 2

Key Takeaways from Wizards – Raptors Game 2

For all the #WeTheNorth nonsense coming out of Canada, and all the #TakeTheNorth reactions by Wizards fans, the reality of it boiled down to one simple result: the Wizards took the fucking North. They turned Jurassic Park into petting zoo. They’re headed back to DC with a 2-0 series lead.

Here’s why it happened:

John Wall and Bradley Beal’s redemption.

Last night, it looked as though a little bit of – maybe a lot a bit of Paul Pierce was infused into Bradley Beal, ironically beginning in the 2nd quarter, where he went absolutely psycho, pouring in 16 points on 7-9 shooting, just two points less than the entire Raptors team in that span of time. Meanwhile, John Wall – the MVP in our hearts – dazzled on the floor alongside his backcourt comrade in that 2nd quarter, dishing five assists and catapulting the Wizards from a 10 point first quarter deficit to a five point halftime lead.

It’s hard to pinpoint where to start with these two. After combining for 11-41 shooting in Game 1, the #HouseOfGAWDS, as we proudly coined them on Twitter, mercilessly pillaged through the ‘6’, this time combining for 54 points on 20-37 shooting.

For John Wall, this was a career benchmark game after a franchise playoff record 17 dimes to go with his 26 points, highlighted by his abuse of Lou Williams on both ends of the floor.

For Bradley Beal, this matchup against Toronto clearly became personal after he sternly, and Paul Pierce-ly expressed his refusal to let the Raptors ‘punk’ him and his teammates around during his halftime spiel on CSN. Beal clarified his feelings later on in the second half when he dribbled around Kyle Lowry on a play and knocked down a midrange jumper in traffic. He then tongue-lashed Lowry while trotting back down court.

Make it a hashtag: #CantFuckMeKyle

But this is #PlayoffPanda. This is what we realized him to be in the postseason when he dismantled Jimmy Butler and the Bulls last year. It’s what he redeemed himself to be after a slow Game 1 this year. It’s what the Raptors are struggling with to contain and it’s what they simply have to ‘Beal’ with.

‘DC Snipers’ might be a bit too harsh of a label for these guys, but it’s hard not to classify them as some sort of a wrathful and barbaric duo terrorizing everything that comes in their way. Not after the way they left Canada last night. Beal took the lead, dropping 20 in the first half while John Wall provided the encore, pouring in 14 in the second.

Otto Porter. The producer of unicorns.

We’ve got a lot more on this coming up on Hoop District courtesy of Irfan, but I’ll round it out quickly here. Otto Porter has finally broken out of his overalls and into a long white T rockin’ a fitted, strapped with heat and gunning for that ass. After piercing a dagger into a dinosaur in Game 1, Porter erupted for *Ace Ventura deep inhale* 15 points on 6-8 shooting 2-3 from downtown 9 rebounds 4 offensive 1 assist and 1 steal in 35 minutes off the bench and one hell of a model American.

The key for Otto in this game was his ability to perform well playing even when running with the second unit. We’ve iterated the importance of Otto playing alongside John Wall and how much his game improves as the beneficiary of Wall’s facilitation, but last night we saw the Otto Porter that proved he doesn’t always need to be facilitated. He hustled, he put himself in position to make plays on the ball, he got putbacks, and he knocked down 3’s. He became everything we yearned for as a 3rd overall pick and he became it at the best moment a Wizards fan could have hoped for.


Ok. After posting this tweet earlier this morning, I give in. I can’t NOT commend Randy Wittman for his role in the Wizards once again dominating their opponents in a road playoff game. The reality of it all is that as much as we harp and clown on Wittman for his archaic offensive ideology, and his refusal to accept analytics, and the impact all of it has on the true development of Wall and Beal, the man can really get a group of guys flowing together with a chemistry that can dissolve anyone and anything in their way, especially in the playoffs, specifically on the road in the playoffs, where he is now 7-1. Now, of course, all of this praise for Wittman could dissolve itself once the Wizards find themselves completely out of options because the defense has caught on to their vanilla offensive strategies and then we find ourselves right back at square one watching the Wizards bojangle with the basketball into a terribly contested midrange jumper late in the shot clock. That is why I initially decided to to refrain from boasting about the man.

But coming out of two opening playoff games on the road as winners falls back on coaching just as any failure would have, and so due credit must be offered. Wittman has once again succeeded at conducting his group of guys and directing them well enough to where the bond between them is as tight as its been all season. He’s let Paul Pierce handle the youngins, and subsequently he’s unleashed Otto Porter, while giving Beal the authority to attack the defense, rather than just take what they give him. Now to find out how long this new found coaching prowess can sustain as the postseason prolongs.

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