October 27, 2016 – Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
Washington Wizards basketball is finally back and it was against their budding rival Atlanta Hawks who knocked the Wiz Kids out of the playoffs back in 2015. The Wizards played nowhere close to their best basketball but kept it close through three quarters.
Then in the 4th quarter, it was as if the Hawks turned on a light switch and blew Washington out of the state. Atlanta went on a 25-5 run and there was nothing the Wizards could do right. They turned the ball over offensively and allowed their frustrations on offense to affect their focus on defense. Washington left the Peach State losers as they fell 114-99.
#WizHawks in a Tweet…
the 4th quarter https://t.co/Y7aAT07a8h
— Danny (@recordsANDradio) October 28, 2016
The Game’s Top Performer
Damn, someone (Wall) turned the volume up on Markieff Morris. pic.twitter.com/nrogkrz0AY
— Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) October 28, 2016
Markieff Morris was one of the lone bright spots for the Wizards tonight. Last season’s trade acquisition is looking to be worth the first-round pick as he dropped 22 points on 50 percent shooting from the field over 28 minutes played. Morris added four rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block along with tough, physical defense in the paint.
A forgettable night for..
Marcus Thornton looked so much better in a full MJ uni. pic.twitter.com/LtNWlP7cMw
— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) October 28, 2016
When Marcus Thornton was re-signed in the offseason, I was surprised but figured Washington could use a veteran shooter on a team that inexperienced with their recent roster overhaul. Tonight, proved that Thornton should not be playing 20 minutes in a game, especially when that comes at the expense of Tomas Satoransky. Thornton was an inefficient 2-for-8 shooting from the field and committed a turnover and two fouls in an overall abysmal performance.
Key Stat of the Night
New year, same story? Washington was outrebounded 38-28 which allowed the Hawks to win the second chance points battle 20-6. Additionally, the Wizards committed 19 turnovers that Atlanta converted into 26 points, which was a big part in the wheels coming off early in the 4th quarter.
• John Wall was clearly rusty. He was 3-for-15 shooting from the field and settled for fade away jumpers too often during the game. Of course, playing your first meaningful action in over six months with two knee surgeries in between will do that to a player. Hopefully Wall is back to his usual self soon, but he did contribute with 10 assists and four steals.
• Scott Brooks rolled out a second unit full of five bench players. Usually you would see Wall or Beal in the game at all times, but with the latter getting into foul trouble that was not the case. I would have liked to see Beal given a little bit of rope to play late in the third quarter before things unraveled.
• Andrew Nicholson, a man with a thousand moves per his head coach, looked good in his Wizards debut. His length allowed him to play at center at times and he showed his diverse skillset on offense by scoring a couple buckets in the paint as well as a 3-point field goal.