On a night when the scoreboard and shot clock didn't work, the Wizards couldn't getting their timing down all game long. The Wizards went into the All-Star break losing a very winnable game to the Detroit Pistons and looked as if they couldn't wait for the days off.
Tonight they came back from the break looking like they wanted another day or two off.
Other than Bradley Beal, no other Wizards player wowed tonight. Martell Webster finished with 16 points and eight rebounds and Emeka Okafor was a rebound shy of a double double. Decent games for both of them but it wasn't enough. The problem with winning is that fans get used to it and expect the same effort night in and night out. Tonight the Raptors didn't outplay the Wizards, they outworked and out hustled the Wizards. They beat them at their own game.
Once again, the MVP is the young whippersnapper Bradley Beal. On a night that began with him receiving his second consecutive Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award, Beal came out and dropped 25 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and 75 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Everyone thought that Damien Lillard had run away with the ROY race but as the season goes on, Lillard is starting to wear down, and the Bradley seems to keep getting better.
The only thing that seems to slow Beal down is Randy Wittman and his inexplicable rotations. After starting the game off going 2-for-3 in the first quarter - both from three point range - Wittman doesn’t put Beal back into the game until 3:23 left in the period. Beal continued to shoot well, scoring 11 points in the 3rd quarter. He finished the quarter with 20 points and looked like he was on his way to eclipsing his career high of 28 before Wittman struck again. Beal started the 4th quarter on the bench and didnt check in until there was 5:00 left on the clock.
Bradley Beal: Beal started the second half of the season like he finished the first, looking like a superstar in the making. He is quickly becoming a 20-point a night guy and tonight was no different, as he finished with 25 points on 19 shots including some desperation heaves at the end of the game. Even though the Wiz took an L tonight, Wizards fans can't help but be excited at the young guy's development, and to think WE almost traded him for...
Rudy Gay: There has been much debate regarding how good is Rudy Gay. There is one school of thought who thinks Gay is a legitimate superstar while the other school of thought thinks that he will never be the best player on a championship team. Bryan Collangelo believes the former, while the Memphis Grizzlies and myself think the latter. Tonight was Rudy Gay in a nutshell. He tied DeMar DeRozen for the team high in scoring with 24 points but DeRozen did it on 9-for-18 shooting, while Gay did it on 9-for-25 shooting. The Raptors pulled out the win tonight but every Wizards fan should be happy that Grunfeld didn't pull the trigger on the Beal-for-Gay trade.
The play of Bradley Beal. After years of draft day blunders, the Wizards seem to have finally gotten one right. Beal is the real deal ( I couldn't help myself). After struggling during the early part of the season, Beal has looked every bit worthy the 3rd overall pick. He is finally coming into his own and recently has looked like the best player on the team. Now if only the coach would just let him play.
The saga that has become Jordan Crawford's tenure with the Wizards. He sat, no he lounged on the bench all game as if he would rather be anywhere than here. He didn't get up to join huddles, he kept a towel over his head for the majority of the game, and he threw his jersey in the crowd at the end of the game. How symbolic. Remember when most Wizards fans thought he was the second best player on the team? Now that seems likd an eternity ago. The trade deadline is Thursday afternoon and it can't come soon enough.
John Wall's field goal percentage. John shot 1-for-12 from the field. Get your calculators out because we're dealing with the hundredth decimal place. His field goal percentage was .083...or 8.3 percent....or, just really sh*tty, depending on how you look at. However, the fact that we were in the game until the end while John shot so poorly is a testament to the depth of this team.