Wizards Out of Tune Against Jazz — 4 Quarters, 3 Notes Each | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Wizards Out of Tune Against Jazz — 4 Quarters, 3 Notes Each

Updated: February 27, 2017

The Wizards lost to the Jazz on Sunday evening by 10 points, dropping their second in the row since the All-Star break. Here are three things that stood out from each quarter.

1st Quarter.

#1) The first six Sunday afternoon minutes were a little bit hazy, for both teams, but a bit more so for the Wizards, who scored 9 points (7 from John Wall) to Utah’s 10 (9 from their backcourt of George Hill and Rodney Hood).

Two baffling moments: one after an Otto Porter steal at the 6:42 mark; as the guards pushed, Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat mostly watched and barely crossed half court. When they were needed for a bailout pass, Morris, barely past the line, almost bobbled the ball into a backcourt violation. Later, after a push resulting from another Jazz turnover, Wall and Gortat did not do much to get past midcourt, and the Wizards were once again almost caught without a bailout option after the push dried up. Luckily, the ball found itself to Wall, who created room with his handle, and found Bojan Bogdanovic on the left wing for 3.

#2) Washington’s offense struggled to find itself in prodding Utah’s big lineup early, which led to some over-dribbling, but dynamic possessions from Wall, who took it upon himself to score. The Wizards started 4-for-13 from the field (1-4 from deep) with only one assist but no turnovers in the first six minutes and ended the period 11-for-26 (2-6 on 3s), with six assists (5 from Wall) and one turnover. After Washington’s initial timeout, Wall concentrated more on getting teammates involved until Trey Burke entered for the final 48 seconds of the first.

#3) On the defensive end, Washington’s guards struggled to either avoid or execute a few switches. Beal also struggled with Rodney Hood’s length, allowing a 3-pointer and later fouling him on a 3-point attempt. Scott Brooks inserted Kelly Oubre to counter Hood later in the quarter — it did not take long for him to give up a 3-pointer to Hood after going under a screen. Oubre later gave up a wide-open lane to Joe Ingles and was a step behind a few possessions guarding Gordon Hayward. Hood scored 9 points in the first quarter and Hill scored 8.

Game: 24-24.

2nd Quarter.

#1) Just a brutal start for Washington’s second unit to start the second quarter, mostly on offense. Brooks fielded a lineup of Trey Burke, Bojan Bogdanovic, Kelly Oubre, Markieff Morris, and Ian Mahinmi, which seems like a good combination in theory, or at least one to test out. Unfortunately for the Wizards, Trey Burke was involved. Possessions slowed to a drip, and generally featured Burke pounding the ball far beyond the top of the arc while deliberately watching the offense unfold. There were possessions where Bogdanovic was working off the ball, only to receive a bad pass from Burke beyond the arc and out of position to do anything with it. Other possessions featured Mahinmi, nearly frozen, holding the ball up top while his teammates attempted to figure it out. The Wizards were stuck on 24 points till the 7:47 mark of the second quarter, with points 25 and 26 coming about 30 seconds after Wall checked back in for Burke.

#2) Wall served as the catalyst for a few second-quarter Wizards runs, and in general served up some beautiful plays and dunks, once catching a lob pass from Otto Porter to throw it down. After 11:12 first-quarter minutes, Wall played 8:15 in the second, scoring 6 points on 3-for-7 shooting with 2 assists to 4 turnovers in the period. Wall attempted to shoulder more weight after Bradley Beal picked up his third foul at the 5:09 mark — Beal did not score a point on two missed shots in the first half. Toward the end of the second, fatigue — and Rudy Gobert — caught up with Wall. At the five-minute mark, Gobert saw the standard Wall-to-Morris lob coming from a mile away, swatted the pass and saved the possession for his team, and the Jazz made Washington pay with a Gordon Hayward 3 on the other end. Other the last three-plus minutes of the first half, Wall lobbed another pass to Morris way out of bounds, and Morris, on a subsequent play, got a weak attempt thrown back by Gobert. Wall bounced back by forcing his way into the paint to create a dime for Gortat and followed that with a great open court pass to Bogdanovic, bringing the Wizards within 39-44 of Utah. But then Wall dribbled into another turnover; got swatted by Gobert on a drive (and then earned himself a technical foul); and finally got picked by George Hill, which then boosted Utah to a 49-39 halftime lead.

#3) The Wizards got outrebounded 24-15 in the first half (but bested the Jazz on the offensive boards, 4-2); Gobert snagged 10 first-half rebounds alone. Washington outscored the Jazz in the paint, 26 points (13-24 FGs) to 10 points (5-11 FGs), but Utah’s defense really curtailed Washington’s ball movement and ability to create open 3-point looks. The Wizards shot 2-for-9 from deep over the first 24 minutes to Utah’s 6-for-12 from beyond the arc.

Game: 49-39, Jazz.

3rd Quarter.

#1) Another brutal start to the third quarter for the Wizards, and while some on Twitter justifiably credited Utah’s defense, that was only part of the picture. Passes were ill-timed, rotations were off, and Morris picked up a silly Flagrant 1 foul in the early going to trying to toss Rudy Gobert before later reverting back to early-season Morris, the player who often gave up uncontested offensive rebounds.

There was John Wall airballing a 3; a bad Beal pass to Gortat, then the ball getting knocks away on a slow attempt; an Otto Porter-Gortat two-man game attempt that went nowhere; Gortat getting blocked by Gobert and then committing a dumb foul in transition; and Wall slipping during a defensive recovery on George Hill’s dribble drive before Morris did not step in front of Gobert from the help-side, resulting in a Utah dunk, among other things. It was just ugly.

#2) Brooks subbed Bogdanovic in for Gortat, making Morris the 5, with the Wizards down 43-62 and having been outscored 13-4 over the first 5:12 of the third. Morris soon after picked up his fourth foul. Brook stayed with his small lineup for a three-minute span, but they only gained one point on the Jazz. Washington’s defense packed the paint, often relying on the guards to recover on the ball on the perimeter while bigs sagged into the paint, but that only led to George Hill hitting 2-for-3 on 3s against Washington’s small unit. Hill finished with 21 points on 13 shots (5-8 from deep).

#3) Brooks could not bare the sight of Burke in the third quarter and instead inserted Tomas Satoransky for Wall with 1:49 left in the period. With his more energetic, ball-moving play, along with Beal starting to get woke (6 points to close the third after Washington trailed by 24), Ian Mahinmi’s defensive presence, and a very late 33-footer hoisted up by Bojan Bogdanovic, the Wizards’ kept the deficit to a manageable 13 points entering the fourth quarter. The combination of Sato, Beal, Bogey, and Ian played 6.1 minutes to the tune of plus-3 (+6 in 4.2 minutes with Otto Porter, -3 in 1.9 minutes with Morris).

Game: 73-60, Jazz.

4th Quarter.

#1) Bradley Beal stepped on the gas and tried against stifling defense to take over in the fourth period, where he scored 14 of his 22 total points. But, aside from Wall’s contribution of 9 fourth points, not enough other Wizards were involved at that point to be much help.

#2) Morris lost his cool soon after getting bullied in the paint by Boris Diaw, which was not long after Morris got lost on defense, giving up a long corner 2 to Diaw. At the 7:31 mark, Morris pushed Diaw, who flopped, giving Morris his sixth foul and a turnover. Morris reacted by tossing the ball and drawing a technical before he left the court. The Wizards had creeped to within 70-82 before Morris’ implosion, and so when all was said and done, they were back down 20 points.

#3) But over the last seven minutes of the game the Wizards actually outscored Utah 22-12 (Beal and Wall with 9 each). With two minutes left the Wizards were down 6, 89-95, and in desperate need of a stop. This is where Gordon Hayward got on his All-Star and ended the game. First he got a little separation from Porter and as Gortat just froze like a deer-in-headlights, Hayward popped a 3 to put Utah up 9. Then Wall committed a turnover — he was terribly distracted by the refs in the clutch and seemed winded at other times — and Hayward answered with a dagger step-back 2 versus Bogdanovic.

Game: 102-92, Jazz.

The End.

Afterward Scott Brooks wasn’t impressed with his team’s lack of physicality…

Wall didn’t necessarily agree with that, instead taking issue with his team not getting the same calls as “no-names” on Utah…

Morris tended to agree with Wall’s problem with the refs, while admitting that the Wizards just got their ass beat…

Marcin Gortat left early to avoid facing the media…

And Bradley Beal seemed to be having a Groundhog Day moment, unable to explain Washington’s latest woes and not understanding while some teammates focused on the refs so much.

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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 currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.