Role Players' Revenge — Wizards at Celtics, DC Council 5 | Wizards Blog Truth About

Role Players’ Revenge — Wizards at Celtics, DC Council 5

Updated: November 7, 2015


Bradley Beal continues to show how much he wants that max contract, and he’s now scored 125 points on the season. It’s the 11th most points ever scored by a Wizard through the first five games of a season; only Bernard King, Walt Bellamy, Earl Monroe, Gilbert Arenas, Don Ohl, Michael Adams, Moses Malone, and Jeff Malone have scored more. He also tied Arenas for the most 3-pointers made by a Wizard through the first five games, with 16 (Beal did it in three fewer attempts).

On Friday night, Beal’s offense was quite necessary, as the Wizards were a mess. The Celtics couldn’t miss and they played the better game, so give them credit, but Washington looked totally hung over from the Spurs win earlier in the week. Beal was one of the few bright spots and it was reassuring to see him continue to attack the basket, as well as attack Celtics going toward the basket (poor Isaiah Thomas).

Beal scored 24 points in a game in which the next two leading scorers, John Wall and Marcin Gortat, combined for 23. The good news for Washington is Beal continued to reinforce the notion that maybe the offense won’t completely fall to pieces every time Wall leaves the court. Wall turned it over three times before picking up his second foul midway through the first quarter, and Beal continued to do his thing even when Wall went to the bench. The problem was nobody else did; Beal was the only Wizard to score in every quarter.


So, we’re back to this, DeJuan Blair?

Blair showed some promise in preseason, and it seemed for awhile he could be back to his old self who played a valuable role with the Spurs a few years ago. No, it’s apparently not to be so. In just eight minutes, Blair committed five fouls and turned it over three times while not scoring and only grabbing two rebounds. Honestly, that’s impressive.


Ramon Sessions and Gary Neal were a combined minus-48 off the bench. Sessions went 1-for-8 with two assists in 20 minutes, marking the fourth time in five games he’s: 1) made one or fewer field goals, 2) shot .250 or less, and 3) dished out three or fewer assists. Not great from your backup point guard.

Sessions gives the second unit a jolt, but it’s tough to say he’s actually helping all that much. He just isn’t a good enough passer, and while his drives to the basket helped with a second unit that couldn’t score last year, he’s now playing with Neal, Nene, and Dudley, instead of last year’s second unit of Kris Humphries, Kevin Seraphin, Rasual Butler and Garrett Temple (OK, still some Temple action). Sesh needs to feed his teammates more if the second unit is going to have any chance of staying afloat while Wall and Beal rest.

As for Gary Neal, I just get the feeling he doesn’t have any idea of what he’s supposed to be doing on the floor in this Wizards offense. I don’t know if it’s his fault, Sessions’ fault, Randy Wittman’s fault, or if it’s something that just needs time to develop. He just hasn’t been particularly effective while on the court and Friday was especially bad. He and Sesh could work really well together, I think, but Sessions needs to working on driving and kicking out while Neal needs to find his spots and make himself more available.

That Game Was … Atrocious, But An Abberation.

Those are certainly two ways of saying it: The Wizards were awful on Friday night. There were spurts in which they made little runs and it seemed like they were about to get right back in the game, but shots didn’t fall like they could have or there were miscommunications and they gave the ball up at the wrong time, and the Celtics immediately answered with a crushing basket or two.

It also really didn’t help that Boston simply couldn’t miss in this game. No, the Wizards weren’t playing good defense, at all. And no, they didn’t deserve to win. But there’s no denying this game was an outlier for the Celtics just as much as it was for the Wizards. In previewing this game, I called the Celtics a team full of role players desperately looking for a star. On Friday, playing without perhaps their best player, Marcus Smart, the Celtics got star performances from Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, and Isaiah Thomas, while Jae Crowder and Evan Turner had strong outings as well. That won’t happen often. The Wizards won’t be so incredibly inept very often, either.

Three Things We Saw.

  1. It was about as sloppy of a game as we’ve seen from the Wizards in quite some time, and you can pick from any number of stats to make the point. Wall had eight of the Wizards’ 24 turnovers, which was a new high for the season for both the player and the team. The Celtics went just 5-for-24 (20.8 percent) in the fourth quarter, yet the Wizards only outscored them by six because they went 6-for-18 (33.3 percent) and turned it over seven times. Washington was outrebounded 53-45, committed six more fouls and seven more turnovers, and, despite the Celtics missing 19 shots in the final period, Boston still shot 4.5 percent better from the field. Oh, and there was this: It was the first time since January of 2010 that the C’s scored 70 points in a half, per the Boston Herald‘s Mark Murphy.
  2. John Wall is a grown-ass man. He recorded three more blocks in the game, including two vicious chase-down swats, to bring his season average to a cool 2.4 per game. Not bad for, y’know, a point guard. Who also scores 19.2 points per game. And dishes out 8.2 assists per game. And adds 2.6 steals per game. Not bad at all.
  3. Kelly Oubre! He played! And scored! In a game that might as well have been his debut, Oubre dunked home a John Wall alley-oop for his first basket as a pro, and he added five more points in garbage time. He looked a bit shaky at times and is quite obviously still figuring out his way around an NBA court, but the rookie showed a lot of positives in his first real game action, even under pressure at the rim. He was mostly confident (was there ever any doubt?) and he stayed active. He was also much more useful than Garrett Temple, so perhaps he’s earned some additional bump going forward.
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Bryan Frantz
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Bryan is a D.C. native with a degree in something or other from UNC. He has important, interesting hobbies, but mostly he just weeps over D.C. sports teams. You can find him on the Metro, inevitably complaining about Red Line delays.