Milwaukee Bests The Wizards…Again | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Milwaukee Bests The Wizards…Again

By
Updated: January 16, 2018

A little over a week ago, when the Milwaukee Bucks visited the Capital One Arena, the Wizards were in control in the first quarter, played even with the Bucks in the second and third, and then lost control in the fourth quarter. The Wiz ultimately lost the game, 103-110.

In that January 6 game, John Wall and Bradley Beal, who combined for 30 points and 13 assists (12 by Wall) in the first three quarters, fell victim to cold shooting and hero ball and went just 1-for-12 for six points in the final quarter. Conversely, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe combined for 20 points, and the Bucks as a whole outscored the Wizards 28-18 in the final stanza. Otto Porter (hip) did not play.

From the post-game quotes, the general feeling from Wall, Beal, and Coach Brooks was that missed shots here and there, a few bad calls and the presence of Giannis were all that stood between them and a victory.

Nine days later, the Bucks were right back in the Capital One Arena for an afternoon Martin Luther King Day game, less than 24 hours after losing to the Miami Heat. The Wizards were the fresher team having not played the night before, but it was still their third game in four nights. Regardless of the variables surrounding the game, the end result last night was similar to the January 6 game: Milwaukee went on an 11-2 run the last 5:17 of the game, and won 104-95.

Wall and Beal combined for 43 points in the first three quarters of basketball, but in the fourth quarter, they combined for just three points–and Beal went scoreless.

Kelly Oubre (8 points) and Tomas Satoransky (5 points) did their best to keep the game close, but as a team the Wizards shot just 33 percent. Similar to the last game, Milwaukee down the stretch was led by Eric Bledsoe (11 points), Giannis (6 points) and Khris Middleton (7 points). Six of Bledsoe’s 11 points came on wide open 3-pointers that the Wizards failed to contest. As a team, the Bucks shot 52 percent in the fourth quarter.

In addition to their inferior fourth-quarter offense, the Wizards also had to overcome their game-long inability to protect the basketball. They committed 23 turnovers (seven by Beal, four by Wall) which not only limited the Wizards to just six fast break points all game but also hindered their ability to achieve any offensive fluidity. Wall, Coach Brooks and Satoransky all mentioned the Bucks’ length as a major factor, but the Wizards knew that coming into last night’s game, and they still were not judicious with the basketball.

But by far, the oddest, most unexpected scapegoat of the night, was Otto Porter–who addressed the crowd before the game, and implored them to remember and celebrate Dr. King’s legacy. Otto, who still seemed a bit hindered by the hip strain, finished the game with just eight points and six rebounds in 30 minutes of play. He took just eight shots the entire game and hit just three of them.

After the game, both Brooks and Wall implied that Porter’s offensive reticence was not because Wall and Beal were not looking for him or Brooks was not calling plays for him. Instead, they implied that Porter needed to do a better job of working hard, getting open and getting himself involved in the offense:

“We would like to see Otto get more [shots], but Otto needs to help himself get more. The bottom-line is that Otto needs to get himself open and be ready to catch and shoot and get more shots.” —Scott Brooks

“We just have to do a better job at getting Otto the ball, but he’s also gotta do a better job himself at just being aggressive when he gets it.” —John Wall

Wall’s comments about Porter were particularly interesting because of his body language. When Wall was being complimentary of Porter, he looked directly at the media. But when his words turned slightly more critical, he looked in the direction of Porter’s locker (where Porter was quietly dressing) before he finished his thought. It could have been intentional or it could have simply been an involuntary reflex, but the concept of Porter somehow being at fault was odd.

Regardless of whether it was Porter, turnovers, hero ball from Wall and Beal or the shortening of the Wizards’ bench (Jodie Meeks, Tim Frazier and Jason Smith were DNP-CDs and Ian Mahinmi was scoreless in just 13 minutes), the bottom line is that the Wizards dropped two home games to a Milwaukee team that will surely be jockeying with them for playoff position. And the Wizards, who still have visions of Eastern Conference Finals grandeur, are unable to consistently close games, produce consistent bench rotations and are just two games in the loss column from falling out of the playoffs.

Not exactly what was expected when the Wizards touted their ability to maintain personnel continuity over roster upheaval in the off-season.

Satoransky Silver Linings

Against the Bucks, Tomas Satoransky did not have many opportunities to run the second unit the way he’s been accustomed to since taking over the back-up point guard role from Tim Frazier. But he did get rare minutes in the back-court alongside John Wall and his athleticism was on display on this impressive play, which gave Washington a two point lead early in the fourth quarter:

 

Rashad Mobley on FacebookRashad Mobley on InstagramRashad Mobley on Twitter
Rashad Mobley
Reporter/Writer at TAI
Rashad has been covering the NBA and the Washington Wizards since 2008—his first two years were spent at Hoops Addict before moving to Truth About It. Rashad has appeared on ESPN and college radio, SportsTalk on NewsChannel 8 in Washington D.C., and his articles have appeared on ESPN TrueHoop, USAToday.com, Complex Magazine, and the DCist. He considers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a hero and he had the pleasure of interviewing him back in 2009.