It’s impossible to win when only one player shows up to play.
Bradley Beal, who scored a career-high 37 points in 37 minutes tonight, was essentially the only player that consistently brought the effort tonight. Without much help, Beal brought the Wizards back from a double-digit deficit, knocking down 5 of his 7 three-point shots. He continuously scored whenever the Wizards needed a bucket, but once the Grizzlies started trapping him it became pretty difficult for him to get open looks. Beal played the best game of his career tonight, often times looking like the best player on the floor. His perimeter shooting was terrific, but he also mixed it up offensively with a few nifty layups. He did miss a good look to tie the game up with just seconds remaining, but I’ll give him a pass since he single handedly dug Washington out of a hole.
John Wall, Beal’s back court teammate, played the worst game of his career tonight.
He finished the game with 5 points and 5 assists in 32 minutes of action. That’s bad. The worst past is, he allowed Nick Calathes, who averages less than 5 points per game, to score 18 points on 8-12 shooting. If his shot isn’t falling, he has to bring it defensively. Needless to say, Wall was absolutely terrible tonight. Memphis has one of the worst transition defenses in the league, so you’d think that Wall would take advantage, but he didn’t. Not only did he not take advantage, but he got outplayed by a backup point guard. With Mike Conley out with injury, Wall should’ve dominated tonight, but the complete opposite happened. Wall has let reserve point guards torch him this season and it continued tonight with Calathes. It’s honestly become something I’ve begun to expect, and that’s bad. Wall should not be getting outplayed this bad by Calathes, or any backup guard for that matter.
Nene did help the Wizards with 17 points, but other than that, no one else besides Beal really showed up to play. Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster only made 2 of their 10 combined three point attempts and got beat off the dribble by James Johnson multiple times. The bench didn’t provide much relief for the starters, that’s for sure.
Overall, tonight was an extremely disappointing game for the Wizards. Memphis was undermanned, but thoroughly outplayed a healthy Wizards team. The team’s effort was questionable, and it all starts with John Wall. He’s had two straight awful games, and he’s due for a breakout performance. Let’s hope that comes sooner than later.
Washington is back under .500 and will meet the Houston Rocket tomorrow night.