Near Career Night For Steph Curry Sends Wizards Reeling | Wizards Blog Truth About

Near Career Night For Steph Curry Sends Wizards Reeling

Updated: October 25, 2018

OAKLAND, CA – OCTOBER 24: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards looks on during the game against the Golden State Warriors on October 24, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Steph Curry played against the Wizards as if he were a man possessed, or rather he played the game like a man defending the honor of his baby brother. The latter is probably a made up narrative, but it might help Wizards fans sleep better knowing that their demise came at the hands of a player who can best be described as the cheat code to the analytics world.

Curry poured in 51 points through three quarters against the Wizards as he was serenaded by MVP chants from the electric Oracle crowd all night. “Some of the shots he was making, you just don’t see it,” says Scott Brooks in his post-game media availability. “It seemed like every three was a back breaker and then it seemed like we missed every chance to cut the lead from eight to five or seven to four,” Brooks continued.

Washington didn’t play terribly in their 144-122 loss, but the team didn’t play all that great either and as the great Jay-Z once said: “Moral victories are for minor league coaches.” The Wizards were at a severe disadvantage to begin the game when they were forced to start Jason Smith at center against the defending champions. Surely Smith did not envision a scenario in where he would be relied on to hedge pick and rolls against Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, but injuries to Ian Mahinmi and Dwight Howard thrust him into the role.

Golden State started hot by finding Kevin Durant early and often, as the P.G. County native started the game 5/5 from the field with 10 points in the first quarter. Durant’s perfection combined with Curry’s brilliance resulted in the Wizards facing an insurmountable challenge. It certainly did not help that Bradley Beal missed a significant chunk of his first half with a bruised sternum. Beal would eventually return to the game, and wind up leading the Wizards in scoring with 23 points on 10-15 shooting from the field. But he did not receive sufficient help from his Wizards’ teammates to ward off the onslaught of Curry and company.

John Wall did not have his best outing in Oakland as he only shot 5-12 from the field and was not able to really ever seize control of the game as he has grown so accustomed to doing. Wall seemed to be reacting, rather than asserting himself within the flow of the game. Wall has looked sharp driving the ball to the basket, his shooting stoke has not come around just yet. Wall has shot 2-17 from behind the arc for 11% and is still struggling to find his rhythm overall offensively.

On a more positive note, Scott Brooks demonstrated signs of incremental growth with his rotations. For the first game this season Scott Brooks elected to not go to the all-reserve unit to start the second quarter, and chose with Otto Porter surrounded by a combination of versatile athletes. In the past, both Brooks and Wall seemed frustrated with Porter for not aggressively looking for own shot, and Brooks attempted to solve that problem by putting Otto in the best possible position to succeed without Wall and Beal on the court. Otto finished with just 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, but he does appear to be more comfortable as the focal point of the offense as opposed to being a tertiary option

The Wizards wing who is actually hitting his shots this season has been Kelly Oubre who, once again is starting the season on a hot-shooting streak. Oubre was the second leading scorer with 17 points on 5-10 shooting from the floor and 3-6 from three. He continued to play with energy, and his versatility on both ends of the floor allowed the Wizards small-ball units to flourish.

There are still three games left on the Wizards five-game road trip and each one of those games is quite winnable.  There is no shame in losing to the champs by more than 20 points, but it is a not-so-subtle reminder of just how far this team has to go.


Troy Haliburton on Twitter
Troy Haliburton
Troy Haliburton is a native Washingtonian, and graduate of Gonzaga College High School and Morehouse College. Bylines on bylines on bylines.

Will write for food.