Key Legislature: Wizards 111 vs Sixers 76 — Basketball Rebuilding Liberty Cracked in D.C. | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Key Legislature: Wizards 111 vs Sixers 76 — Basketball Rebuilding Liberty Cracked in D.C.

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Updated: January 20, 2015

Truth About It.net’s Key Legislature: a quick run-down and the game’s defining moment(s) for Washington Wizards contest No. 42 versus the Sixers in D.C., via Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks) from the Verizon Center.

DC Council Key Legislature

by Conor Dirks.

In the game’s opening moments, both the Wizards and the 76ers looked overwhelmingly out of sorts. With five minutes left in the quarter, Washington held a sparing 11-10 lead, overwhelmed by a glut of turnovers and missed shots. And then, without warning, the dam broke. By the end of the quarter, after John Wall, Marcin Gortat, and Rasual Butler all took turns driving the engine of Philadelphia’s destruction, the Wizards were up 27-14. The rest, despite valiant forays by the Sixers into the deep roads of an insurmountable lead, was cake.

After the game, the always-candid Marcin Gortat downplayed the significance of the victory:

“Well, let’s just be honest and not cocky: They were just smaller guys and not really experienced, and John [Wall] was distributing very well, and I was running really well today. So we were just using opportunities.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Sixers coach Brett Brown, who marveled with some degree of envy at the disparity in size and maturity displayed by the Wizards:

“It was times you look out at the floor, and you saw a bunch of men. You saw a physical, big, playoff-hardened team. They are strong at each position, and they’re physical at each position. And there are times sitting on the bench realizing just the difference in experience and maturity.”

There’s a certain basketball amorality to Philadelphia’s structure, a skewered structure that resembles something built by an observer of nature, rather than a participant. The franchise’s assets float without gravity, melt into formlessness, mean nothing. That it’s all on purpose, and built broken based on the extension of logic to a place of radical extremity, makes it compelling, even if it’s often hard to enjoy.

If the Wizards were once “bad by design,” the Sixers are undesigned by design. And, ultimately, I’m glad the Wizards beat the hell out of them, for four quarters, in almost every way possible. Gortat followed up his revenge game against Brook Lopez by going 9-for-11, with one of those two misses being a quickly recovered bunny placed back up in the basket immediately thereafter. While Gortat insisted that he, personally, did not need the rest afforded by the blowout (indeed, he claimed he’s good for 48 minutes, every game), Randy Wittman was pleased that, during the “dog days” of late January, prior to the All-Star break, his more aged players (most notably, Paul Pierce and Nene) could take a deserved seat and let the likes of Otto Porter and Kevin Seraphin bring the team home.

This game was over by the end of the first quarter, but that doesn’t completely discount the labor of keeping a lead. Wizards players played hard beyond a point at which it would have been excusable to indulge.

Among Washington’s starters, Wall was the only player to shoot under 50 percent, but his shooting wasn’t the concern. At 3.8 turnovers per game, and with five turnovers in this contest, Wall’s electric play sometimes carries risks. Against teams like the Sixers, five turnovers is just a head start in a race against an elementary school kid, but against real competition, even a high assist total won’t offset the loss of momentum and free transition points that turnovers offer for the opposing team.

On the other side, Michael Carter-Williams, previously a thorn in the Wizards side, was an awful 2-for-13, with five assists and four turnovers. Coach Brown, probably more hopeful than correct, opined aloud that, if you rewound time a few years, John Wall would look a lot like today’s MCW. And there are similarities, to be sure. But there’s also a reason that Wall was drafted first overall, a reason that’s being borne out as Wall enters the MVP conversation: his speed, talent, and size make him, as Brown described it, “something elite.”

Before a rematch on Wednesday against Kevin Durant’s Thunder, winners of what was a game in the bush, at least, for the Wizards during their prior Western road trip, a challenge wasn’t necessary; that’ll come soon enough. While aspiring to parity, the league still features teams like the Sixers. And contenders beat them, badly.

 

D’Vine.

 

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Conor Dirks
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
Conor has been with TAI since 2012, and aids in the seamless editorial process that brings you the kind of high-octane blogging you have come to expect from this rad website. The Wizards have been an assiduous companion throughout his years on the cosmic waiver wire. He lives in D.C. and is day-to-day.