The Washington Wizards gained a 20+ lead, but the bench managed to squander it, forcing Randy Wittman to play his starters when the game looked to be over. The Philadelphia 76ers aren’t a very good team, but they are gritty, so I credit them for sneaking back into the game.
Michael Carter-Williams finished the game with 31 points, but it didn’t seem to affect the Wizards much. He’s obviously a terrific young player, but he doesn’t have the tools or ability to will the Sixers to victory with virtually no help. Philadelphia will get another high draft pick and I can’t wait to see what Carter-Williams does with another talented young player. Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes combined for 8 made shots on 23 attempts, and Carter-Williams didn’t get any help from his supporting cast. It’s tough to win with no help.
John Wall wasn’t spectacular tonight, scoring 14 points on 14 shot attempts to go along side 5 rebounds and 5 assists. He missed a few easy layups at the beginning of the game and it seemed like that affected his rhythm for the remainder of the contest. There was few sequences where he tried to do too much, possibly to please the crowd, which could’ve been avoided. Luckily for Wall, his backcourt teammate, Bradley Beal, had one of his best games of the season thus far tonight. He scored 22 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and dished out 8 assists. Unlike some of the other scoring guards that Washington’s had in the past, Beal has done a terrific job at getting his teammates involved when he gets in a rhythm. Beal knocked down 3 of his 4 three point shots, and it opened up the rest of his game. Philadelphia isn’t a good defensive team, and Beal benefited from it tonight. Let’s hope he carries the momentum over to next game.
Besides Beal, the only player that truly stood out for the Wizards was Marcin Gortat. The Polish Hammer scored 19 points to go along side 11 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Spencer Hawes had trouble containing Gortat down low, and the Wizards made sure to take advantage of the mismatch. Philadelphia doesn’t have much size, and Gortat got whatever he wanted in the post. He only played 23 minutes tonight, but it was enough to lock down the paint and stabilize the Wizards on the offensive side of the floor.
I was disappointed about how the Wizards closed the game, but I thought it was an overall good game from the home team. Kevin Seraphin chipped in with a solid 16 points and 7 rebounds off the bench, while Martell Webster and Jan Vesely combined with 14 points as well. Otto Porter and Chris Singleton almost lost Washington the game late in the fourth quarter, which was really discouraging. Porter played just 4 minutes, but missed both of his shot attempts and turned the ball over twice. His confidence is nonexistent right now and consistently getting DNP-CDs hasn’t helped either.
Washington will finish their homestand against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. They’ll have another shot at getting over the .500 mark.