(sigh) Thankfully that’s over.
After leading by as much as 27 points, the Washington Wizards squandered the lead in the fourth quarter and hardly sneaked out a victory against the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. Here are some Bullet Points:
- Coming into the game, we all knew Cleveland was going to struggle offensively since they had one of the worst offensive ratings in the NBA. I honestly didn’t realize how bad the Cavaliers were up until tonight. Without Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers may be the worst basketball team in the NBA. Irving sported a +/- of -20 tonight and it wasn’t pretty. He really needs some help. His supporting cast might be just as bad as John Wall’s was circa 2010.
- Andrew Bynum is a shell of himself and that’s disappointing to see, given Cleveland’s expectations going into this season. He scored just 2 points in 13 minutes of action. Marcin Gortat did a good job defensively, but Bynum is really immobile at this point in his career.
- Martell Webster has been Washington’s unsung hero these past few games. I was worried that he wouldn’t be able to make up for Trevor Ariza’s production, but he’s looked much better than I expected. Webster 15 points to go along with 5 assists and has been a constant threat from beyond the three point arc. I wouldn’t be surprised if Randy Wittman opts to keep Webster in the starting lineup once Ariza returns from injury.
- I think it’s safe to say that Nene’s injury woes are behind him, at least for now. The Brazilian big man was matched up with fellow countrymen Anderson Varejao, but Nene got the best of him tonight. He scored 24 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and dished out 6 assists. Even though he’s gotten some flack this season, it’s evident that the Wizards are a much better team with him on the floor. Let’s hope this continues as the season progresses.
- Washington’s back court, particularly Bradley Beal, was absolutely spectacular tonight. Beal made 6 of his 7 three point tries, and finished the game with 26 points. His scoring ability has been on display all season long, but I love how he’s expanding his game more and more each game. Beal complimented his 26 points with 8 assists and 7 rebounds. Beal is playing at an All-Star level right now and needless to say, Dion Waiters or any of Cleveland’s guards for that matter had no chance of stopping Beal.
- John Wall struggled shooting from the field, but his did come up with 15 points and 9 assists (he was credited with 10 during the game, but they apparently took one away). His shot will inevitably fall, but he needs to continue focusing on getting his teammates involved and staying aggressive.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Wizards got the job done.
Aside from Jan Vesely who provided some energy, Washington’s bench was dreadful once again but they still managed to pick up the much needed ‘W’. The Wizards will be back at it on Friday night against the Raptors in Toronto.
Winning cures all and if the Wizards continue to perform at this level, I’m sure they’ll surprise a few teams down the road.