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.
A forgettable night for:
Trevor Ariza – 39 minutes, 0-6 FG, 0-2 FT, 0 points, 2 turnovers
I’ll give Trevor a break due to the fact he is still obviously recovering from whatever “flu” he had, but he still provided absolutely nothing to this crucial game. It’s also possible that Randy should take most of the blame for not putting Martell Webster in more for the obviously struggling Trevor. Ariza’s defense and long-ball abilities were sorely missed last night as the Wizards could not lock down anyone on the defensive end and found themselves at the whims of one Josh McRoberts for most of the first half. Yes, Josh McRoberts. Let’s hope Trevor shakes off the rust from what I’m going to call strep throat or bronchitis (due his raspy voice) before the playoffs because without those long arms and that three-ball ability, the Wizards will be sunk.
Key stat of the game:
Wizards 3-PT FG ptg: 6.7%
The Wizards went 1-for-15 last night from three-point land with Martell Webster being the sole contributor to that in the 4th quarter. It seems to be that for this team to make any noise in the playoffs, they’re going to have to rely a lot on the long distance shots. In their defense, they have shot quite well from long range over the season, but this is still an unnerving thought for any Wizards fan.
Thanks to this loss resulting in a loss in the season series, the Wizards now have to beat out the Bobcats over the next four games in order to keep their 6th seed dreams alive. Thankfully, the Wizards get somewhat of a break as they head to Orlando to face Arron Affalo and the already-checked-out Magic. The Bobcats have a bit of a tougher opponent in Boston on Friday, so game one could go to the Wizards’ way. Either way, charge your phone because it’s officially scoreboard watching season.