Warriors 112 – Wizards 96
January 5, 2014
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Another pathetic 3rd quarter, another home loss, another gray strand.
For the second game in a row the Wizards, now in the midst of a 3-game slide, came out of the locker room in the second half monotonous and unenergized. Flattened by 30-5 opening 3rd quarter run, the Phone Booth lingered in lifelessness as they cringed at every Bradley Beal brick and moaned at every advantage the Golden State Warriors conversely took.
The Wizards have now been woefully driven to the ground a 70-31 in their past two 3rd quarters combined. Not sure if Wittman needs a reverend to ghostwrite his halftime spiels or what, but the bottom line is the Wizards need to break through this inexplicable second half shittiness that’s collapsed them the past two games.
And what the hell happened to Marcin Gorat, you ask? Wittman evaded a proper explanation, claiming that he was “coaching” and had to make a change once the Wizards started to pummel. As for The Hammer himself, he was expectedly long gone when the media entered the locker room. Gortat was pulled by Wittman early in the 3rd, seemingly after Gortat erratically tried to beat Bogut in the post and failed miserably after desperately heaving the ball over the rim. He clocked only 4 quick minutes in the second half.
The Wizards did take advantage of a slow 4th quarter start by the Warriors and managed to pull within 11, but any glimmer of hope for a comeback quickly evaporated in the following few minutes when Golden State went on an 11-2 run to pull back up by 20.
On pace for nearly 120 points in the first half, the Wizards didn’t even break 100, and dropped the fifth of their last six home games 112-96.
MVP: Nene – 14 points, 6-9 FG
I should troll this segment and praise Jan Vesely’s 8 points and 6 rebounds, but that would just disparage this blog even more. Once again, not much stood out tonight to comfortably choose an MVP, but for the second game in a row, Nene was the most efficient player on the team. Although his position on the bench hasn’t fared too well for the Wizards, it has certainly kept him fresh. Nene hasn’t been clocking much more than 25 minutes a game, but when he’s on the floor we’ve noticed a lot more sharpness and vigor, especially at the rim.
LVP: Trevor Ariza – 10 pts, 4-15 FG, 4 TO’s, minus-22
Ariza, like some of his other teammates *cough* Brad *cough* Beal*, is playing through a merciless funk. Ariza’s 2014 thus far: 17 of 23 shots missed and he’s been thrown out of a game. He hasn’t really been doing things much differently either, he’s just…off. Tonight was no different. Ariza missed all five of his 3-point shots, had no impact on defense, and like everyone else, just looked uninterested.
Key stat of the game: – Golden State’s 30-5 run in the 3rd quarter
Cue EPMD because this kinda slump has never seen before, heard before. The Warriors steamrolled out the locker room in the 3rd quarter, advantageous of a myriad of Wizards missed shots and more importantly, the ability to respond by making most of their own shots. This was probably the most lopsided quarter of basketball I’ve seen as everything the Wizards did wrong, the Warriors did right. The Wizards shot just 28% in that period, while the Warriors shot 64%. Want to hear more? The Wizards scored just 15 points in the 3rd quarter; David Lee had 12 alone. I’m done.
I’ve never heard a group of players and their coach seem more excited to get away from home. In a weird season where the Wizards have won more on the road than they have on their home floor, it may be clear Judgement Day is looming. The Wizards anticipate a rekindled togetherness on a 3-game road trip in which they hope will boost them back in the right direction. First stop: Charlotte to face a pesky Bobcats team that beat them 3 out of 4 times last season. This is their first meeting this year. The game does hold some early seeding implications as the ‘Cats sit one game behind the Wizards in the East. Following Charlotte, the Wiz will move on to New Orleans and Indiana before returning home for the Rockets.