Game 1 Rapid Reaction: It Was Raining 3s and the Wizards Drowned | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Game 1 Rapid Reaction: It Was Raining 3s and the Wizards Drowned

By
Updated: April 14, 2018

Rapid reaction from TAI’s Rashad Mobley to Washington’s 114-106 loss to Toronto in Game 1 of the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs

M.V.P.

https://twitter.com/NBA/status/985280125028749313

There were times when John Wall looked as indecisive as he displayed toward the end of the season. There were other times when his teammates (Kelly Oubre) let him down by not holding their position as he drove the lane.  And then other times when Wall simply did not finish the play at the rim, which could possibly be attributed to rust. But make no mistake about it, until the last 10 minutes of the game, when the Raptors outscored the Wizards 26-15, Wall was the reason Washington had a chance.

He shot just 6-for-20, but he had 23 points, 15 assists, four steals and two blocks. Nine of Wall’s points and 10 of his assists came in the second and third quarters, when the Wizards not-so-coincidentally had their two highest scoring quarters of the game (62 combined points).

Since he prides himself on being the leader of this team, Wall (and Coach Scott Brooks) have to figure out a way to restore Kelly Oubre’s confidence and get Otto Porter more shots (he had nine points on seven attempt). But for the most part, Wall was in the 2017 playoff form, and if he can maintain that, the Wizards will always have a chance.

L.V.P.

Kelly F. Oubre.

Oubre finished the season in a slump (shooting and otherwise) so bad that the normally diplomatic Scott Brooks took time out of several postgame pressers to let the media know that he was not happy with what he was seeing.

Otto Porter was less than 100 percent, Mike Scott was fresh out of concussion protocol, and with the task of stopping the juggernaut Raptors bench ahead of them, the Wizards needed Oubre to snap out of his late-regular season doldrums to help his team out. He fell way short in Game 1.

It wasn’t just that he shot 1-for-4, scoring three points, but he committed three fouls and turned the ball over twice in just 16 minutes of play. It was the overall malaise that seemed to overtake him the entire game. He mishandled rebounds, failed to stay in a spot where Wall could find him for a open 3, and committed unnecessary fouls rather than moving his feet. Oubre (along with Tomas Satoransky) is one of the most talented players off the bench for the Wizards, but he failed to have a positive impact. Conversely, the Raptors were missing their best bench player (Fred VanVleet) and still managed to get stellar performances from CJ Miles (12 points in 20 minutes) and Delon Wright (18 points in 24 minutes). The Wizards are desperate for Oubre to contribute, especially since the team lacks the necessary wing depth.

That Game Was … Lost Due to Lack of Defense.

The Raptors finished the regular season 18th in 3-point shooting percentage (35.8%) and tied for fourth in 3-pointers made per game (11.8). Against the Wizards in Game 1 they shot 53 percent and made 16 from deep, thanks to Washington’s inattention to detail on the defensive end.

Wizards-killer CJ Miles and Delon Wright combined to shoot 7-for-11 from the 3-point line, and most of their shots were wide open. The Wizards would fail to communicate on some possessions, or be slow to close out on others, and the Raptors made them pay.

The most damning example of this came with 6:28 left in the game, with Washington still within four points. Comcast SportsNet’s Chris Miller reported that in the practices leading up to Game 1 of the Wizards-Raptors series, Coach Brooks quizzed each of the Wizards’ defenders on how to stop CJ Miles, and they all responded by saying he had to be run off the 3-point line.

But Miles was wide open the ball came to him with 6:28 left, and despite a late contest by Mike Scott, he nailed the shot to put the Raptors up seven points. The Wizards never got closer than seven points the remainder of the game.

They held the backcourt of Lowry and DeRozan to 28 points on 10-for-26 shooting which should have added up to a victory, but their lack of attention to detail with the bench players led to their demise.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Toronto.

 

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.