It wasn’t the prettiest win, but it’s a win nonetheless.
Washington and Toronto came out rather stagnant in the first half, making the game nearly unwatchable. Toronto turned the ball over nine times in the first quarter, but Washington couldn’t execute on the extra possessions. Instead of running in transition, the Wizards constantly passed the ball to Okafor in the post. Needless to say, the results weren’t pretty. Okafor has had his fair share of good post up plays this season, but he didn’t get it done down low tonight. He made just four of his fourteen shots from the field. Washington shot just over 25 percent from the field in the first half and kept the Raptors alive by putting them at the line. Better things came in the second half.
John Wall and Nene came alive late in the game when the Wizards needed all the points they could get. Toronto did a good job in clogging the paint and cutting Wall off on drives making him virtually useless in the scoring department. There were numerous occasions in which Wall could’ve attacked the basket in transition, possibly drawing contact from the defender, but he chose to pass the ball instead. Wall finished with 7 assists on just 1 turnover. In my opinion, Wall is becoming a bit too passive, kind of like Rajon Rondo. I like the fact that Wall is trying to get his teammates involved, and he is doing a good job at that, but he needs to learn when to shoot and when to pass. There were also times down the stretch where Wall settled for a jump shot, instead of getting to the basket at will. Wall finished with 10 points on 3 for 11 shooting, playing only 24 minutes in tonight’s match up. A.J. Price played just as many minutes off the bench as John Wall did. Thankfully, Price did a pretty good job tonight. He scored 12 points and hit some really big shots down the stretch. I would’ve liked to see Randy Wittman insert Wall into the game earlier in the fourth quarter, but it is what it is.
Now on to the best part. Bradley Beal.
We’re watching a star grow in front of our eyes. I’ve never seen a player develop so quickly, all because of his increased confidence. Beal truly is the real deal. He did it all tonight. When the Wizards needed a bucket, Beal gave them a bucket. When they needed someone to create a shot, Beal created a shot. He’s starting to hit the three ball with ease, shooting over 50 percent from beyond the arc in 2013. Beal scored a array of buckets, resulting into 20 points. Coming out of college, I didn’t think Beal was that great of an isolation player or play maker. Tonight, Beal hit shots off the dribble and his movement without the ball has been amazing. I hope you all tuned into the Bradley Beal show.
Washington will meet the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night at the Verizon Center. The Pistons have had Washington’s number all year, so I’ll be interested to see if the Wizards prevent a season sweep.