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.
Wizards 100 — Blazers 90
February 3, 2014
Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
The Wizards held the highest scoring team in the NBA to under 100 points last night in a victory which set them over the highest .500 bar ever seen. Yes. It finally happened — and mostly thanks to… Trevor Ariza and Kevin Seraphin?
The Verizon Center was cured of its Monday blues with an exciting win over the Blazers in what can only be described as gritty. The Wizards proved themselves to be contenders in this NBA as they faced a team that almost every other opponent has had a devil of a time going up against. Even with LaMarcus Aldridge making every single shot known to man, the Wizards found ways to shut the Blazers’ runs down.
And yes, the place was abuzz about the over-.500 record. Every fan in attendance cheering for the Wizards was obviously a “true” Wizards fan as they knew the meaning of this game. What was even more impressive was their appreciation for the tough defense that the Wizards upheld in the 2nd half as they gave John Wall a standing ovation for simply trying to keep the ball in play to force a Portland turnover.
It was all fun and games in the locker room afterwards and here are the stats to explain why:
MVP: Trevor Ariza – 20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 7-12 FG (4-7 from 3-PT)
Trevor Ariza had a contract-year game against Portland as he took on the “star” role last night. It must have been foreshadowing because in the opening minutes of the game, the ball was strangely running through Bradley Beal and Ariza and not so much through John Wall. Ariza went on to make some huge 3-balls and fast break plays to boost some energy on the court, on the bench and in the stands.
Randy Wittman commended Ariza’s effort on the defensive end, as well. He literally was all over the court deflecting balls, grabbing steals and shutting down any attempt the Blazers made to get a play going at times. He was the biggest focus of the post-game interviews and showed some his veteran side by attempting to keep the focus on the future and the playoffs. With a championship ring already, Ariza knows this is nothing to get excited about. While .500 is pretty cool for a team that has struggled the past five years, the playoffs are what matter now.
LVP: Martell Webster
With only five points and going 2-6 from the field (and 0-3 from 3-point land), Webster gets the LVP of the game. He did not provide much of a spark, and for once, seemed completely unfocused. With 4 seconds on the shot clock later in the game, he heaved the ball up on a terrible step back 3-ball which didn’t even come close. I blame it on the Seahawks victory. However, it didn’t matter as Trevor Ariza more than made up for the lack of production from Webster.
Key stat of the game: – Kevin Seraphin – 19 points
With Trevor Booker out for personal reasons, it was either Seraphin or Vesely’s time to shine. Vesely came in and hustled during the first quarter, but ultimately could not get anything going after getting stuffed on two consecutive possessions.
Then, Kevin Seraphin entered and dominated the game for the bench squad. His trademark hook shots and 10-foot jumpers were actually falling. They were frustrating to watch go up, but lovely to see come down. He shot 70% from the field and went 5-for-6 from the free throw line as well. Not every night is going to see friendly rolls from Seraphin’s awkward shots, but thank goodness the Blazers had to witness it last night.
One of the first things Randy mentioned in the post-game presser was the fact that San Antonio is next. While the Wizards have fared well against the Western Conference, San Antonio is still an eerily solid team that can and will strike at any time with their fundamentals. So which will outweigh?
Is it too late to join the Eastern Conference? Asking for a friend.
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 4, 2013
— wizznutzz (@wzzntzz) February 4, 2014
— Ben M (@BenAgent0) February 4, 2014
— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) February 4, 2014