As the Wizards grow thinner and thinner on the depth chart thanks to injuries, the expectance of other players, usually out of position, to rise and fill those voids grows as well. After losing A.J. Price to what has now been revealed as a broken hand, it was a given who would take over the helm at point guard to close out the game: Jordan Crawford. Crawford steezed the Wizards through the fourth quarter, scoring 12 of his team high 22 and knocking down key 3-pointers to keep the Wizards in it. JC was a catalyst, nearing a triple double as he lead the team in all three major statistical category, finishing with seven rebounds and eight assists.
As part of the All-Time Should-Have-Been-A-Wizard Team, Stephen Curry is truly special to watch. His speedy transition up and down the floor, deadly range and superb court vision makes Curry a tremendous defensive assignment for opposing teams and it was especially evident in the first quarter. Curry came out the gates gunning, scoring 10 points with his wet long distance J on display. But Curry would cool down from long range for the rest of the game, going 0-4 from behind the arc, after going 2-4 in the first quarter.
What a finish for Bradley Beal. The game was nearly scripted in Beal’s favor as he nailed a clutch 3-pointer with 8 seconds left in the game to bring the Wizards within one. After two Curry free throws, the ball ended up in Beal’s hands again as he dribbled towards the arc to attempt a game tying three, but the Warriors smartly fouled him before he could get his elbows up for the shot, sending Beal to the line for two shots. After making the first, Beal purposely, and perfectly missed the second, grabs his own board but gets blocked by Festus Ezeli. And that was all she wrote. It was a moral performance as the growing pains continue for the teenager. He shot poorly but finished with an impressive stat line of 17 points, six boards and six assists.
Ball movement has become a vast improvement for the Wizards over the past few games. Of the 37 shots that the Wizards made, 23 of them were assisted. Martell Webster and Nene were each one point away from helping the Wizards finish with seven players in double-figures. The Wizards also were more than doubled in turnovers by the Warriors, but one of the key factors in their loss, besides the unfavorable late game bounces, is what will be discussed in the next segment…
Free throws, free throws, free throws. Yes, at the end of the day, in-game execution is what determines the outcome of game, but part of successful execution is earning trips to the line. Unfortunately for the Wizards, those efforts merely become a disservice after missing nine of them. Wittman said it himself…
“Again, free throws. We gave nine points away there.”
One of my favorite quotes come from our very own Charles Lamar, as he once voiced his disapproval for professional basketball players unable to shoot uncontested 15-foot shots: “How you a basketball player and you missin’ free throws?! They’re free!!!!"
Jordan Crawford’s post-game interview. The man was clearly fed up with his valiant efforts resulting in losses. A guy who is normally doesn’t embrace the presence of the media in the locker room, Crawford was really annoyed last night. And I felt for him. Although a certain degree of the scrutiny towards Crawford is justified, there’s very little question that he is the portal of the Wizards offense.
Check out Jordan’s post game remarks along with the rest of the locker room and Coach Wittman here.