Washington Wizards Avoid Disaster In Philadelphia, 99-94

Washington Wizards Avoid Disaster In Philadelphia

After beating the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls – both teams that are competing for final spots in the NBA Playoffs – the Washington Wizards headed to Philadelphia to take on the horrendous 76ers. For some reason, the Wizards have struggled to put away bad teams this season.

Washington gained a 20+ point lead against the Sixers and it looked like their newfound sense of urgency would continue in the City of Brotherly Love. John Wall dished out 12 assists in the first half and Washington got a big lift from Marcus Thornton off the bench. Everything seemed to be going Randy Wittman‘s way.

But, then of course, the Wizards happened.

The Wizards turned the ball over 11 times in the third quarter and the Sixers surged back to within single digits. On the other end, the Wizards struggled to get into their sets. They hoisted up bad shots and basically prayed they would sneak out with a win. Luckily, the Sixers are bad enough to avoid wins.

Thursday night’s victory against the Sixers wasn’t pretty.

Wall recorded his second straight triple-double.

He scored 16 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out 14 assists. Sadly, it was probably the ugliest triple-double I’ve seen next to JaVale McGee‘s against the Chicago Bulls years ago. Wall padded his stats. I love him – I really do, but I’ll call it like I see it.

Wall began gunning for points to record the triple-double and put up some horrific looking jumpers. He turned the ball over nine times, too. It was very Rajon Rondo-esque. Against a team like the Sixers, it’s tough not to pad stats, but it was unfortunate to see Wall go that route. He did, however, make a handful of clutch free throws to lock the win up.

Marcin Gortat was effective in the first half, but the team kind of went away from him.

When the team beat both Detroit and Chicago, they looked good defensively and their chemistry was tight.

On Thursday, Washington failed to continue playing within the flow of their offense and definitely didn’t commit defensively.

Nerlens Noel lit Gortat up in the first quarter and Markieff Morris got ejected after intentionally beheading Isaiah Canaan.

This is whom Morris is.

He’s a very solid player both on and off the court by most accounts, but he’s somewhat of a knucklehead. He carries that baggage for a reason and tonight wasn’t any different.

It also would have been nice to see Wall and Gortat continue running the pick-and-roll together, but the entire offense disappeared. The Polish big man scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Otto Porter scored 12 points and made five of his eight attempts from the field. He’s finally starting to become more comfortable with shooting the ball from the perimeter. When he’s hitting shots from deep, Porter is capable of being Washington’s third offensive option.

Thornton added 18 points off the bench in 22 minutes of action. He helped carry Washington’s stagnant offense when they needed a spark the most.

As I wrote in the past, this is who Thornton is as well. He’s going to have nights where he could carry Washington’s offense and he’s also going to have nights where you will pull your hair out while screaming Kelly Oubre‘s name. Tonight was the former.

Washington will have Friday off and they’ll take on the New York Knicks on Saturday night. Right now, they are only two games below .500 and hold tiebreakers against the Pistons and Bulls. They avoided complete disaster on Thursday in Philadelphia. It was a win, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider it progress.