The Wizards dropped an ugly game as they fell to the Grizzlies 85-76. The best way I can describe this game was that Memphis was the better bad team tonight. This was not a good game from either side, as there were a lot of ugly shots going up and ugly passes being thrown around. Washington had 15 turnovers to 19 assists and shot only 41% from the floor. Memphis had 18 turnovers to 22 assists and shot better in the second half to get their shooting percentage up to 44.9% for the game.
The Grizzlies wanted this game more than the Wizards. They outrebounded Washington 46 to 31 and got to the free throw line 17 times in contrast to 3 by the Wizards (more on that later). All in all, just a terrible game from the Wizards. I was kind of glad when it was over so we can try and pretend it didn’t happen and move on to the next one.
This section should be like the opposite of a kids little league game: nobody should be getting a trophy. John Wall was on his way to putting up a nice stat line, but he couldn’t fight through the Wall that is Randy Wittman. John put up 9 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists in just over 23 minutes of play, but spent the most important minutes of the fourth quarter sitting on the bench. If I am being forced to give a WE MVP, I guess it would go to Nene. He was 7-16 from the floor for 14 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 6 assists. I thought he did a fairly good job guarding Zach Randolph, especially on the interior, holding him to 7 and 11.
Emeka Okafor: Big Mek had a tough match-up against Marc Gasol on both ends. He played fairly well against Gasol, but there is only so much you can do to slow him down. He got into foul trouble early on but Wittman stuck with him. Okafor ended up with 8 points and 10 rebounds, but clearly lost the heads up battle with Gasol.
Marc Gasol: Gasol had a good all around game, finishing the night with 13 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and a steal. He played good defense inside and was solid on the boards, grabbing 5 of the offensive variety. One crazy stat that the Memphis broadcast showed was that Marc Gasol is shooting 93.8% from the free throw line at home this year (leading the NBA in home FT%). He went 3-3 from the line so he did nothing to hurt that percentage. In the battle of Okafor vs. Gasol, Gasol prevails.
I guess I will go with Nene’s passing tonight. He had six dimes with only one turnover. He was averaging 4.5 turnovers in the previous two games so it was nice to see him cut those down. Now if we can only get a healthy Bradley Beal back so when Nene is kicking it out to the corner he has more than one option than just Martell Webster.
How do you go into halftime with 0 free throw attempts?!? ZERO!! I was expecting a change in game plan after the first half that would have utilized more cutters, maybe some more pick and roll and try to get the ball into the paint in an effort to get to the line more. The jump shots were not falling at a high rate anyway. The Wiz finished the game 3-3 from the line. That just shows a lack of effort to me. When you finish the game with three attempts as a team, while the other team goes 14-17, they just wanted it more than you.
Also, Randy Wittman’s rotations. I may sound like a broken record, and I guess at this point I shouldn’t expect anything to change, but sometimes I wonder if NBA coaches know that when they take players out, they don’t have to leave them out for 6, 7, or 8 minutes of playing time. You are allowed to take someone out for a quick breather and sub them back in.
The Washington Wizards.