Boston Brings Another Beatdown — Wizards vs Celtics, DC Council 42 | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Boston Brings Another Beatdown — Wizards vs Celtics, DC Council 42

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Updated: January 26, 2016

The D.C. Council… TAI’s highlights, seen and heard, from each Washington Wizards game. Now: Wizards vs Celtics, Game 42, Jan. 25, 2016, at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., via John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend). 

Lead Tracker

M.V.P.

Jared Dudley, and don’t let the plus/minus tell you otherwise (Dudley and Marcin Gortat each fielded a team-low minus-24 on the night). Dudley shot 5-for-7 from the field and 2-for-3 from 3 for a game-high .856 True Shooting Percentage. Dudley also went to the free throw line as many times (4) as Otto Porter and Garrett Temple combined. Only one assist for him versus Boston—after recording four in each of the previous three games—and three turnovers, but Dudley nailed his role as a stretch 4 off the bench. Dudley also continues to pull-start the Polish Machine with surprisingly effective drives and dishes. His defense? Solid enough—he’s got the smarts and is deceptively strong in the paint.

L.V.P.

John Wall was a candidate. He had too little impact for much of the game and shot 3-for-11 from the field, but Wall gave a good defensive effort (more blocks, 2, than the Celtics) after the first quarter and 10 assists mean that he can’t be the least valuable player. The designation could easily go to Temple. He’s been better than expected this season (expectations were nonexistent), but Temple’s only contribution against Boston was the always hard to quantify “hustle.” Going 0-for-7 from the field (0-4 on 3s) is never good, but again, it’s never-been-a-sharpshooter Garrett Temple. Hey, he didn’t turn the ball over!

So … it’s gotta be Nene. Again, don’t let the plus/minus fool you: he was the only Wizard who had a positive rating (+4), but he tried to do too much with the ball. Once, racing up the floor in transition, he dribbled the ball off his shin. More often, he’d have the ball in the post, or in a good position on the wing, only to miss a shot or make a poor decision, throwing the ball away (2 turnovers) and/or letting Boston get fingers to a pass. Nene went 3-for-9 from the field, 2-for-6 from the line, and finished with just two points in the paint against a Celtics frontline whose most intimidating presence is Jared Sullinger.

Counterpoint: Nene helped defend Boston’s pick-and-roll game better than other Wizards bigs, according to Randy Wittman: “He was the best at it. He was our best big at doing that, our other bigs didn’t challenge (Boston’s pick-and-roll) at all.” Still, with him back in the starting lineup once again, this is when Washington needed their Nene the most.

X-Factor.

Bradley Beal was the favorite for this one, opening his scoring with a stop-turnaround J that could be cut into a Dwyane Wade highlight mix without anyone noticing. Next, he checked his drive, pivoted, and set up a score for a cutting Marcin Gortat with a backhanded bounce pass. Beal’s only blemish in the first quarter was trying to make a cross-court pass that only John Wall (and his NFL eye discipline) could pull off. Oh, and Beal fouled Evan Turner behind the arc as the clock expired. Yuck. Then, a third of the way into the second quarter, he took an elbow to the nose/face as Marcus Smart skied to the basket; Beal left for the locker room and never came back.

So, congratulations to co-leading scorer Otto Porter (15 points along with Dudley). Porter tied the team-high for points in the paint (4), led the team in fast break scoring (4), and made two of his four attempts from 3. An Otto P. who hits 3-pointers is an X-factor. Always. (He’s a career .312 shooter who’s shooting .313 this season.)

That Game Was … Another Big Loss To A Better Team.

The Wizards’ first possession went nowhere. Nene missed an easy layup, then, after Porter grabbed the offensive rebound to keep the possession alive, Nene very nearly turned the ball over on a bounce pass. Temple then missed an open 3. The Celtics on the other end took their time, looked for a mismatch, then found it: Avery Bradley vs. Nene 20 feet from the hoop. Splash.

Kind of the sums up the night. Really, that’s pretty much how it went. The Celtics got to their spots, exploited the space created by rotating defenders, and burned the home team from the arc (40.9% on 22 3-point shots) and at the rim (42 paint points). The Wizards, meanwhile, got whooped, again, by the Celtics. Boston always seemed to be a step ahead of Washington, even on the second night of a back-to-back.

The Wizards were outscored by 21 in the second half and by 11 in the fourth quarter. A 16-3 Celtics run in the fourth put the C’s up 102-78. After a timeout, Wittman would call ‘game’ with about five minutes to play, feeding this five-man unit to the lions: Ramon Sessions, Kelly Oubre, Jarell Eddie, Drew Gooden, and DeJuan Blair. They were minus-3 in five minutes, while the lineup of Wall, Sessions, Porter, Dudley, and Gortat went minus-12 in five minutes (minus-10 in 4 fourth-quarter minutes).

Major credit is due to Brad Stevens and his staff; the Boston head honcho talked halftime adjustments after the game. Chalk-talking Randy Wittman had a different opinion, though.

“We just gave in. It’s been like that all four games against this team. They just out-toughed us all four games we’ve played them,” he said. “We gave up on so many plays tonight it’s incredible, and we just gave them baskets. Are we willing to pay the price? And that’s not just on the floor during the game, it’s in practice putting the time in that’s needs to be put in.”

Classic stuff from the Washington Wizards head coach.

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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.




  • disqus_9kuKKIhKag

    This loss was so deflating as a fan. They had all this time off. There is no reason to play that way. Are they trying to get Randy fired? I don’t get it. I don’t even think a trade helps at this point. Poor effort is poor effort.