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Recap: Wizards talk intensity, but no where near it against Suns

Suns 99 – Wizards 93

March 27, 2014
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
NBA.com highlights


Marcin Gortat may not have been the best defender on this play, but he does perform a swell pirouette. However, least impressed is #WittmanFace.


For what was a very well-attended game (especially on a Wednesday night), the Washington Wizards put on one of their poorest performances of the season. In this episode of #SoWizards, the crowd was treated to terrible defense, a Bradley Beal injury and a nonexistent John Wall for two and two-thirds quarters.

The Wizards came out looking unbelievably complacent on both sides of the court. Defensively, where they’ve excelled all season, they failed miserably. Phoenix took advantage of the lackadaisical defense and knocked down 14 three-balls. Even with the Suns scoring from beyond the arc the way they were, no help was to be found to chase anyone off that line.

Thankfully for the fans, Wall single-handedly led an impressive comeback after the team was down by over 20 points in the 3rd quarter. Starting it off with two 3’s, Wall continued the onslaught in the 4th and brought the team to within single digits, but all to no avail. The Phoenix 3’s ultimately continued to sink the Wizards and they were handed yet another loss at a crucial time of the season.

All was also not lost after Bradley Beal went down with a right hip-pointer and was initially questionable to return in the 2md quarter. Wittman sent him back into the game late in the 3rd and Beal mentioned after the game that he hopes be good to go by Friday.


Play of the night

John be nimble.
John be quick.
John crossed over Goran Dragic.


Game MVP:
John Wall – 29 points, 6 assists, 2 steals

As mentioned above, John Wall was nowhere to be found for the first half and most of the 3rd quarter. But once the team was down by 25, Wall somehow kicked into gear and brought life back into the Phone Booth that had previously been witness to some boo birds in the crowd.

While the effort was not enough in the end and honestly should have been the effort seen the full game, it is still commendable to see Wall stand up like this and bring this team back. While not playing the entire game like a superstar, he’s really starting to show his true capabilities as one in this league. One can only hope these glimpses grow in quantity when the playoffs kick off.


A forgettable night for:
Bradley Beal

While an injury sidelined him for a good portion of the second and third quarter, Bradley is continuing to struggle with his shot. Going 3-11 for 8 points, Beal just could not find the stroke yet again.

After the game, Beal said the injury had nothing to do with his poor shooting and that he hopes to be ready to go by Friday against Indiana, but when he says he had to play through pain, you really have to wonder if this isn’t going to be another day-to-day bug.


Key stat of the game:
Phoenix Suns: 14-28 from 3-PT range

It was said in every post-game interview: defense was and is the reason the Wizards have been losing these games. It was best displayed tonight as they allowed Phoenix to have a field day behind the arc. While some of it was simply that Phoenix was just having a hell of a night shooting, you have to put the responsibility on Wittman and the players for not closing out.

Wall mentioned after the game that the Suns’ ball movement and pick-and-rolls were to blame for not being able to get to close out, but as a coach, you’ve got to be able to tell these guys how to keep them off the line; and if effort and fatigue is the issue, put someone else in.


What’s next:

It only gets harder for the Wizards as they face the (..gulp..) Indiana Pacers at home on Friday. Fighting every single game for playoff positioning, the Wizards are going to have to grit every one of those 48 minutes out in order to not slip in the standings as Charlotte and Toronto continue to be on a tear.


From the chambers:

Our entire #WizSuns preview post was dedicated to the Wizards’ need for more intensity and an increased sense of urgency. To be more HUNGRY. As a result, we got a 5 minute long post-game presser from #WittmanFace dedicated to the Wizards’ lack of intensity. You really can’t draw it up any more #SoWizards than that.

we are Hoop District

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