Key Legislature: Wizards 127 at Sixers 118 — Casual Friday on Philly Freeway | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Key Legislature: Wizards 127 at Sixers 118 — Casual Friday on Philly Freeway

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Updated: October 17, 2015

TAI’s Key Legislature… The game’s defining moment, its critical event, the wildest basketball thing you ever saw, or just stuff that happened. Wizards at Sixers, Preseason Game 4, Oct. 16, 2015, by Kyle Weidie (@truth_about_it).

As far as preseason games go, Friday night’s affair in Philadelphia might as well have been an exhibition against a patsy opponent from a foreign player’s home country. DeJuan Blair grew up and attended university in Pittsburgh, so that’ll have to do.

It was John Wall’s sandbox. One moment he was tossing errant lobs to Marcin Gortat which clanged off the rim (the Wizards got the ball back and Wall threw a lob to Kris Humphries for a dunk instead). Another moment he was sailing passes out of bounds and into the first row, disrupting sideline sports-goers—mixing beer with cotton candy. But then Wall was mostly dazzling, displaying the same command of the game up there with his highest highs last season. Except Wall was making it look as easier than ever, albeit at times careless … just ‘cause. Preseason, man. We all know the Wizards won’t get to play Sam Hinkie’s minor league experiment for all 82 games, well at least for 78 of them.

Wall had six assists and two turnovers in the first quarter, 10 assists and four turnovers by halftime, and capped his 21 minutes on the evening with 14 dimes and five cough-ups.

Three-pointers? Who needs ‘em? The Wizards scored 41 points in the first quarter on 16-for-19 field goals, 1-for-1 from deep (a 3 procured by dear, sweet Otto Porter was the team’s first bucket; assisted by Wall, of course), and 8-for-10 from the free throw line (4-5 for Spider Kelly Oubre!).

If Wall is the cook, Gortat’s got to be the all-important mixing bowl and/or skillet. Bradley Beal is the sous chef, clearly, and that would make Otto Porter a spatula. Twice midway through the first quarter Wall found a cutting Porter for reverse layups at the basket, one coming via an inbounds pass from the corner. Washington stood on the left while tapping Philly on the right shoulder, and they looked. How the Sixers defense cleared the paint to worry about action at the 3-point line, leaving Otto room to deftly get past his man and create a lane for an easy pass and score, looked silly.

Kelly Oubre also showed up … well, everyone, hitting his first for reals but preseason field goal against another NBA team—a smoothly arching 3-point shot rolled in during the second quarter. He looked his most comfortable on the court yet, starting for Porter in the second half due to a mildly sprained ankle. Not sure which part is better, that Oubre has quick hands to go with his 7-foot-2 wingspan and can adeptly poke at opposing dribblers as if his reach were powered by springs from a mechanical pen, or that nine of his 16 points on the night came at the free throw line (on 11 attempts). Oubre otherwise went a modest 3-for-4 on shots from the field in 26 minutes.

The key moment of the game was me being ready for the preseason to be over early in the third quarter, mostly hoping that Wall and Bradley Beal emerged unscathed and wondering if five games, instead of seven, is enough for the NBA preseason. Maybe not, in particular for coaches still tinkering, but especially considering these kinds of auditions for those who, given the odds, won’t make an NBA roster.

The Wizards weren’t doing well to give up 29 points in the third quarter, scoring 30 themselves, but that still put them up 25, 99-74, heading into the fourth. That’s when the Sixers made a valiant effort, getting within five points, 116-121, with 1:28 left, while DeJuan Blair & Friends farted around the court playing preseason showcase ball. Ish Smith answered with a runner to stop the bleeding, and Washington later boarded a plane to Milwaukee with the pretend 127-118 win.

Bullets.

  • In two preseason games the Wizards have scored 256 total points versus the 76ers.
  • The game was broadcast on the local-DC Comcast outfit, but brought to viewers through the eyes and sounds of Philly commentators Marc Zumoff and Alaa Abdelnaby. They were solid if plain. At least we got some endearing moments from Steve Buckhantz on Twitter as a supplement.
  • Nene rested due to a calf, as did Alan Anderson with an ankle, Garrett Temple with a hamstring, Martell Webster with a hip, and Jared Dudley with a back. Game of connect the body parts!
  • I’m really liking Ramon Sessions’ game (8 pts, 4 rebs, 1 ast, 0 tos in 15 minutes; plus a dunk of wizardry), and imagine that there will be some #StopSessionsSlander moments this season when the Wizards play his old teams—Sacramento, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Minnesota, Tulsa, Milwaukee again, the University of Nevada, and the Myrtle Beach High Seahawks.
  • Journeymen guards trying to make it, Ish Smith and Toure Murry, did not impress and were a respective minus-16 and minus-23 during their 12 and 14 minutes. They definitely had a hand in Philly’s 44-point fourth quarter that brought some excitement to the Wells Fargo Center. Smith had his quick moments, but mostly appeared to be making late-game, hero ball mistakes. Murry simply seemed to be pressing on offense too much, bonering a couple turnovers (once when Philly sprung a surprise full court press). But Murry did play solid defense, even if he was victim of two blocking calls when he was moving his feet. Lacking something that resembles a true point guard, it really seems like Sixers fans (and the announcers) want Ish Smith back.
  • For their parts, Bradley Beal (RIP Long 2s), Kris Humphries, and Marcin Gortat looked just fine. Again, let’s get to the real games.
  • Drew Gooden: #LongHairDontCare

 

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.