Washington has done it again. This time in Milwaukee. Here are the Bullet Points:
- Larry Sanders, who leads the league in blocks, sat out of tonight’s game. Needless to say, the Milwaukee Bucks certainly missed him.
- Washington hasn’t won in the Bradley Center since 2009. They ended that tonight.
- Wall was aggressive early on, picking off a pass which lead to a transition dunk. Washington tends to struggle playing with consistency on the road, but they did a good job recovering tonight. It all started with John Wall’s ability to control the tempo of the game.
- Ersan Ilyasova grabbed two consecutive offensive rebounds in the first quarter. He got into a rhythm early, hitting uncontested jump shots and getting a few put backs. I would’ve liked to see Randy Wittman put Jan Vesely on Ilyasova since Vesely has had some prior success defending stretch four’s. Wittman opted to put Chris Singleton on him.
- Okafor, who finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, scored 8 of his 12 and grabbed 4 of his 10 rebounds in the first quarter.
- It seemed like Bucks fans were chanting “washed up” when Okafor was shooting free throws. That’s funny, especially since Okafor has been playing some of the best ball of his career in D.C.
- Beal scored 7 points in 5 minutes in the first quarter. That was just a sign of things to come.
- Ariza gambled on a few passes which lead to some steals and easy transition buckets. He found Beal in transition on multiple occasions. For a rookie, Beal really knows how to use his body to shield off the defender in transition.
- Ariza made a contested layup to tie the game up, 42-42 midway through the second quarter.
- Beal scored 16 points in 14 minutes. This included an array of buckets. Beal is a special player.
- John Wall did a great job in commanding the offense tonight. He finished with 14 points and 10 assists. Although he did commit 7 turnovers, Wall did do a good job in keeping the defense on it’s heels. He made 5 of his 6 shot attempts.
- The Bucks, who lead the league in blocks, didn’t record any in the first half.
- Milwaukee started the second half on a 9-2 run. Washington did a bad job switching off screens, which left guys wide open underneath the basket.
- Samuel Delembert just couldn’t handle Nene tonight. Nene put him in foul trouble early, forcing Ilyasova to pick up his assignment. Nene took advantage of his size early and completely overwhelmed the Bucks big men. Nene made 10 of his 13 shots, and finished the game with 21 points along side 13 rebounds. He’s back.
- Did I mention how awesome Bradley Beal was tonight? He scored a career high 28 points off the bench, and he did it with ease. Beal moves very well without the ball, which allows him to find easy shots on the perimeter. With Wall forcing defenses to collapse, Beal will always get open opportunities. As a result of Wall’s penetration and Beal’s awesomeness, Brad knocked down four of his five three point attempts. Did I mention how awesome Bradley Beal is? Because he’s awesome.
Washington is really starting to come into their own. Coming into the game, I didn’t think their great defense and hustle would carry over on the road. Well, I was wrong. Washington is continuously improving and it makes me giddy just thinking about it. This is the best Washington Wizards team we’ve seen in a while.
When was the last time we’ve seen a Wizards team dominate playoff bound teams? Even in the ‘big three’ era, the Wizards were never truly known for their defensive capabilities. With John Wall in the lineup, the Washington Wizards have been considered one of the best defensive teams in the league.
They’ll meet the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills this Wednesday night. Will Jordan Crawford finally get to see the floor, especially since he’s playing in front of his home town?