Bobcats 94 – Wizards 88 (ot)
April 9, 2014
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
“The way we play right now, we not gonna beat anybody. Not even Milwaukee.”
— Marcin Gortat
— Marcin Gortat
As the Wizards prepare to play in their first playoff game in just over a week, I have only one request to whatever opponent they face:
Please no overtime games.
For some reason, this team continues to crumble in overtime. Whether it be stagnant offense, tired legs or a failure to box out, the Wizards cannot get it together in an extra five minutes. The game was sent to overtime off of an Al Jefferson lay-in that could have been prevented with a foul (Wizards had one to give), but the story of why this happen varied from player-to-player. Wall credited the play to Charlotte’s ball movement and Marcin said he didn’t go up to foul Jefferson in order to prevent an and-one.
What wasn’t mentioned was that the entire team played terrible defense that entire possession, which was one of the themes of the night. With a still-ailing Trevor Ariza, the Wizards could not find a way to stop anyone on the Charlotte Bobcats in the first half; however, thanks to a charge led by Wall and Trevor Booker, the Wizards clawed their way back in the third and fourth quarter, but ultimately could not put the Bobcats away in regulation.
Then came overtime. #WizardsTwitter let out a giant sigh as the extra five minutes began because everyone’s seen how this one ends before. The Wizards found themselves scoring only one point in overtime. Yes…ONE (1) POINT. Shots refused to go through the rim and the legs were looking tired yet again. The Wizards managed to potentially give away the 6th seed in the East.
Unfortunately, nothing was too surprising in the locker room. This has happened so many times that all the answers about what happened in overtime have just become recycled at this point.
“We played the same minutes they did, can’t blame it on that.”
“Shots weren’t falling.”
“You gotta give credit to them.”
Call me crazy, but I still believe this team has become somewhat complacent with being in the playoffs. I have no doubt that they knew the implications of this game, but the playoffs aren’t riding on it. That does speak to the character of this team, but I believe it also serves as somewhat of a relief for anyone worried about the playoffs. This team tends to play to its competition, and with a (more-than-likely) Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers series looming, I’d look to see some rejuvenation come next weekend.
Trevor Booker – 16 points, 4-5 FG, 8-8 FT, 5 blocks
It’s hard not to give John Wall the MVP after he tallies his third triple-double of his career, but when you play the way Trevor Booker did in the first half, it’s even harder not to select him. With the entire Wizards squad looking sluggish on the court, Booker was the one spark that the Wizards had on the court the entire first half.
True to form, he was constantly sprinting, hustling and even running the fast break (yes you read that right). He was the Wizards’ sole offense early in the first with his eight free throws and was the main factor of why the Wizards weren’t down by more than 13 at the half. It’s baffling why he wasn’t given more run in the second half, as I believe he could have been the key in what might have been a huge victory for this squad, but alas, look for Trevor to continue to be an impact in the upcoming weeks.