Milwaukee has become a trendy city for the Wizards this season. Roger Mason, Jr can’t seem to catch a break there and the Wizards defense doesn’t seem to show up until the third quarter.
Mason, who was actually able to shout "present" this time during the attendance call, was enduring a very productive game until he two-stepped his way to a traveling violation, failing to get a shot up and botching the game deciding possession.
The Wizards lost 119-118.
Very similar to the first matchup at the Bradley Center between the two teams back in December, the Bucks steam rolled to nearly 70 points in the first half and lead by as many as 22.
By halftime, coach Randy Wittman had seen enough.
Wittman sent JaVale McGee, Nick Young and Trevor Booker to the time out corner, and the Wizards responded with one of their more successful third quarter outings, cutting the deficit to three.
While Young returned to the floor briefly before Wittman changed his mind again, McGee didn’t see a spec of action the entire second half.
Umm, can you say “trade deadline”?
“I’m done with young guys,” said Wittman in reference to his decision to bench McGee and Young.
Wittman continued: “If they don’t want to play the right way, young guys aren’t going to play. It does us no good. They’re not going to learn anything when they want to play the game the way they want to play. You get no development out of them. All they’re developing is bad habits. I went with guys who I knew were going to go out there and bust their rear ends.”
I think it’s going to be only a matter of time before we see Wittman undoing his belt on the sideline, getting ready to spank one of these bad kids. The man sounds like a disgruntled parent venting to a pediatric therapist.
Booker, however, learned his lesson and became a key factor in the Wizards comeback attempt, scoring 16 of his 20 points in the second half along with 11 boards.
After having a fairly productive All-Star weekend in moments not involving Greg Monroe, John Wall played well in his first game after the break, tying his career high in assists (15) for the second time this season.
With virtually no inside presence offensively, the Wizards' guards rose to the occasion. Wall, Mason, Maurice Evans and Jordan Crawford all combined for 67 points on 58 percent shooting from the floor and 10 3-pointers.
As the trade deadline approaches, Young and McGee’s benching will most likely fuel the fire for more trade rumors, putting the Wizards front office in a tougher spot as they continue to search for recipients willing to relieve them of their burdening liabilities.
As for the fans, well, an entertaining start to the second half continues tonight when Superman visits the Phone Booth (you see what I did there).
The Wizards play their third of four meetings this season against the Magic, having lost both of their previous matchups.