The After Party: Where we channel all of your Wizards post-game essentials into one massive data over-filled post. Game recap, locker room interviews, and a selection of delectable in-game tweets finger-picked from #WizardsTwitter.
Grizzlies 92 — Wizards 89
February 11, 2014
FedExForum, Memphis, TN
.. Beale Street Blues ..
Last night’s game was like that tricky differential equation you struggled through in your high school math class. You’ve got a groove going, you’re canceling out a few variables, and you start to sense you’ve got this bad boy. But elsewhere in the equation, one of the variables is squared and for the love of trivial algorithms, no one can remember how to isolate the damn thing. Heck, for all you know, it probably doesn’t even need to be isolated. And now you just feel like this.
That might not be the world’s greatest analogy but yo.. it passably defines the conflicting and offsetting performances from the Wizards’ 1-2 punch in Bradley Beal and John Wall. While Beal shot the electricity out western Tennessee advancing to a career high 37 points, a disengaged John Wall moped and waned, pummeling to one of his worst, maybe THE worst performance of his career.
More on both players below..
MVP: Bradley Beal – 37 points, 15-24 FG (5-7 3-PT), 5 rebounds
To hell with that minutes restriction. Beal clocked 37 minutes last night, grazing his usual limit of 33-34, and enjoyed his best shooting performance of his young career. Last night we saw the control, the dominance, the deadly arsenal that’s been long attributed to Beal yet only elusively witnessed. Beal set the FedExForum nets ablaze from the opening possession and continued the onslaught throughout the rest of the first half, scoring 19 points on 10 shots going into the break.
Beal cooled down towards the end of regulation, missing his final three shots. He was sought on the final possession of the game with the Wizards down 3 with only 11 seconds left in the game but Memphis knew better. With the defense blanketing Beal, Wall was forced to dribble down to the final second before chucking up a prayer 3 which bricked away.
LVP: John Wall – 5 points, 2-10 FG, 5 assists, 4 turnovers
I really hate to correspond a player’s struggles with their mental state or lack of conscience, but when it comes to Wall and the matchup against inferior backup point guards, well, let’s just say it’s those exact traits, “inferior” and “backup,” that need to be omitted from John’s vocabulary. Wall manufactured just five points and five assists, shot 2-for-10 from the field and turned the ball over four times. Ill-advised long jumpers, lazy passes, and just a general vibe of disinterest from Wall had him fazed out and had Memphis’ backcourt licking their chops. Courtney Lee and Nick Calathes combined for 13-of-24 shooting and 31 points.
Nick Calathes. Nick FREAKIN’ Calathes. One of those names you’d get used to as a character on Game of Thrones rather than a professional basketball player.
Pretty freakin’ embarrassing, and worse yet, pretty expected of this team. After failing to take advantage of a depleted Memphis roster that was missing Mike Conley and Tony Allen, the Wizards have proven they can only max out at .500 this season.
Key stat of the game: Bench production: 4-16 FG, 10 points
The bench was evidently useless. Martell Webster’s shooting deficiency continued as he misfired on four of his five shot attempts (all from downtown) and was a team worst minus-11. Trevor Booker went 0-4 in 10 minutes. Kevin Seraphin, although he did manage four blocks, was more or less a non-factor. He missed several defensive assignments and finished with just four points.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
No respect for the game.
“We cheated the game. You can’t cheat the game”
— Randy Wittman
Another typical exhibition of brain-funked basketball and “taking the night off” for the Wizards. Their pursuit of going over .500 has been accomplished just once out of I don’t even know how many tries and their performance last night was exemplary of their continuous failures. There’s an argument for who’s to blame for the relapses and after each loss, more and more fingers get pointed at Wittman. We know the Wizards have a glaring issue with maintaining confidence and aggression against inferior opponents and as basketball fans, we know that those qualities must be driven from the coaches and leaders of the team. John Wall is a star in this league and if his stance as a leader is to hold any merit, it’s games like Memphis where he needs to prove it the most. Same goes for Randy Wittman, who claims his players “take quarters” or “halves” off, but who’s to say that he doesn’t take a few timeouts off? Or that he doesn’t bark loud enough during his pregame spiels? My purpose here isn’t to fuel the blame game but simply to search for some clarity.
On to the next one.