Key Legislature: Wizards 87 vs Cavs 113 — Cleveland Rocks The Lethargic Wizards | Wizards Blog Truth About

Key Legislature: Wizards 87 vs Cavs 113 — Cleveland Rocks The Lethargic Wizards

Updated: November 27, 2014

Truth About’s Key Legislature: a quick run-down and the game’s defining moment for Washington Wizards contest No. 14 versus the Cavaliers in Cleveland, via Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20) from the District of Columbia.

DC Council Key Legislature

by Rashad Mobley.

A pitcher usually knows within the first two or three batters whether they have their “A” game or their best “stuff.” If they realize they left home without it, they have two choices. They can use experience and smarts to guide them and hope their offense bails them out, so they can leave with several hits scattered, a few runs allowed, and the victory. Or they can fail miserably for a few innings, get pulled by their manager, and spend the remainder of the game wondering what the hell happened. The latter is what happened to the Washington Wizards during their 113-87 loss to the Cavaliers last night.

There were subtle signs that the Wizards were in for a dogfight during the first two possessions of the game. The opening tip went from Marcin Gortat’s fingers to Kris Humphries to John Wall, who took a few dribbles, and then lost the ball. Wall regained possession, made a pass under duress (LeBron James narrowly missed the steal) to Paul Pierce, who made good out of the busted play and scored on an easy layup. Not even five seconds later, Anderson Varejao inbounded the ball to a streaking James, who beat everyone down the floor, waited for an opening, drove to the basket, and got fouled.

By the end of the first quarter, the signs the Wizards were in trouble went from subtle to troubling. LeBron was making a conscious effort to both be aggressive (eight free throw attempts and 12 points in the quarter) and get his teammates involved (five assists), while Wall (three turnovers ) and his teammates (four turnovers) were discombobulated and forced to rely on a series of broken plays for offense. The Wizards trailed as many as 19 points, before settling into a 13-point deficit at the end of the quarter, 31-18.

The Wizards’ bench (led by Rasual Butler’s 8 points) did their best to chip away at the Cavs’ lead, but, as Comcast SportsNet’s Phil Chenier and Steve Buckhantz continually pointed out, the Cavs had an answer for any and every thing the Wizards threw at them. The Wizards ended the second quarter on a 9-2 run, yet still trailed by 12 points, 58-46.

Paul Pierce came alive in the third quarter by scoring 11 of the Wizards’ 21 points, and when he hit the second (he missed the first) of two free throws with 8:57 left, the Wizards were within nine points of the lead. But Pierce’s missed free throws later in the quarter, and those empty trips combined with the lack of offensive continuity from any other member of the team not named Rasual Butler kept the Wizards’ deficit in the double-digits. That deficit got as high as 29 points, and by game’s end it had settled at 26 points, 113-87.

The Cavaliers went to the free throw line 38 times and made 31 (81%) while the Wizards shot just 22 free throws and made 16 (72%). The Cavs’ best player, (King) James, was aggressive from the opening tip and clearly made it his business to put the team on his back by scoring (29 points), passing (8 assists), rebounding (10 boards), and playing defense (3 steals). John Wall (6 points, 7 assists, 5 turnovers) looked lethargic, disinterested and lacked the aggressiveness the Wizards needed to counter what the Cavs were doing. Without their fearless leader’s inspired play, the Wizards had to rely on their oldest player in Paul Pierce (15 points) and the last man to make their roster, Butler (23 points). It wasn’t nearly enough. Said John Wall after the game, “They hit us in the mouth first.”


The Bullets.

  • Bradley Beal got his first start of the season and he continued to show confidence on takes to the basket despite the sore wrist. But Beal was never able to find the range from outside. He shot just 4-for-10 from the field, worth 10 points, to go along with Wall’s 2-for-6, six-point performance. Meanwhile Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving combined for 33 points—19 of those points came in the second half when the Cavs pulled away. On this night, the Cavs had “best backcourt” bragging rights.
  • DeJuan Blair returned to action for the first time since the Toronto Raptors blew out the Wizards on November 7, but he did nothing to earn more playing time in the future. In 14 minutes, he was scoreless with three turnovers and just one rebound. He alternated between getting torched by Love in the post and committing fouls because he was out of position. Blair could be rusty after being dormant for so long, but he’s a veteran, and his backup services were needed with Humphries taking on a starting role in Nene’s absence. Blair failed miserably.
  • The lack of rebounding from Marcin Gortat and Kris Humphries (3 and 2, respectively) contributed to this Wizards loss, but the main culprit is John Wall. The Wizards had just two fastbreak points the entire evening, and Wall could not find his offensive rhythm which had been so instrumental in last Friday’s win over the Cavs. Comcast SportsNet’s Ronnie Thompson commented after the game that Wall looked “disinterested” … it is difficult to disagree with him.
  • Garrett Temple, who made sizable contributions on both offense and defense during his 13-game stint as the replacement starter to Bradley Beal, only played 26 seconds during tonight’s loss. That could not have made the basketball gods happy.


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Rashad Mobley
Reporter/Writer at TAI
Rashad has been covering the NBA and the Washington Wizards since 2008—his first two years were spent at Hoops Addict before moving to Truth About It. Rashad has appeared on ESPN and college radio, SportsTalk on NewsChannel 8 in Washington D.C., and his articles have appeared on ESPN TrueHoop,, Complex Magazine, and the DCist. He considers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a hero and he had the pleasure of interviewing him back in 2009.