The Night that John Wall was Poked in the Nose | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

The Night that John Wall was Poked in the Nose

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Updated: January 14, 2017

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[Ed. Note: At the end of this story John Wall gets a finger in his nose.]

The latest back-to-back: they won one, they lost one. They are a .500 team and would be better — they have the talent — were it not for the facts: they are a wildcard. They are the Washington Wizards.

Now very fun to watch and learning how to win. We’re seeing it more than ever in two stars, John Wall and Bradley Beal. Take time to think about that and appreciate it [Ed. note: franchise history].

Against Boston, the focus has been on the after-game antics, but the beauty is in the slugfest that preceded all that. Each team led by at least 10 points at parts, and there were 19 total lead changes and ties.

Washington flubbed some fastbreak opportunities as Brad Stevens’ gritty bunch (short five players, including All-Star candidate Avery Bradley) scrambled to catch-up. Boston targeted that Wall-Morris pick-and-roll defense a couple times with Isaiah Thomas. These two teams exchanged 7-0, 8-0 (both the Wizards), and a 9-0 run in the first quarter alone, the latter being Boston’s. What was key for Washington: the continued distance shots Bradley Beal hit for his confidence. Beal went 6-for-10 on 3s for the evening, his second most makes on the season (7-13 in that OT win versus the Kings in D.C.). The Celts, surrounded by a quieted crowd but manufactured crowd noise (*per Buckhantz), were down 8 to the visitors with 100 seconds left in the first — but the Celts ended the period up 36-35.

The second quarter can best be described by Markieff Morris’ night in total. Fourteen points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals seems fine for one of the latter fiddles on the team. But 21 of the team’s 105 shots were used to do that, and, meh. Like his season. Morris was part of the problem early-on (in the season), but his November 41.1 eFG% climbed to 48.0 in December and 51.8 so far in January. So, sure. He’s not the reason, but what is?

Facts are fax, in that technology is dead: Scott Brooks is trying. Using undrafted free agent rookie Sheldon McClellan to boost his bench. (Not Marcus Terrell Thornton.) And it’s kinda working! McClellan has a lot to learn but he’s no deer, or doe, under NBA headlights.

Third quarter. Bradley Beal scored 10 of his 35 points (4-7 FGs, 2-2 3s in the period). In some weird way, he picked up a technical foul after Marcus Smart figured out a way to drag him to the ground. To Bradley Beal’s credit — first of all praise his lord and savior Jesus Christ — he went right back at Smart. But later Beal would pick up his fourth foul and after the game John Wall called that “key,” which, in this day in age, is a reminder to stay woke: some doors you don’t want to enter.

In the end, John Wall had the exact kind of night that you’d figure Boston fans in McHale jerseys would want: 4-for-21 shooting, 0-for-5 from deep, 9 points. And the Celtics, well, they adeptly countered Washington’s peripherals making noise (Markieff rebound-dunking, Jason Smith dunking, and the what-not), with gosh darned Al Horford hitting 3-for-3 shots (including a 3), and Isaiah Thomas scoring a Donald F-ing Trump 20 points in the fourth quarter alone.

The Wizards melted under a barrage of fourth quarter 3s — 5-for-11 was Boston, 3-for-5 coming from Thomas. Their good ole weakness, even in positive times, defending the 3. This is a talented, fun, yet just clearly struggling with being OK team.

What’s next for the Wizards? Most immediately, the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. The future? Ernie Grunfeld is not going down called on strikes.

Oh yeah, there was this scuffle after the game, you might have heard. Jae Crowder who?

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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.