Washington Wizards Three Takeaways: Bradley Beal, Bojan Bogdanovic Lead Wizards To Win Over Orlando Magic

Mar 5, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) steals the ball from Orlando Magic forward Terrence Ross (31) during the first half at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) steals the ball from Orlando Magic forward Terrence Ross (31) during the first half at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Washington Wizards struggled behind John Wall’s poor play, but Bradley Beal and Bojan Bogdanovic led the team to victory against the Orlando Magic.

Take a win anyway you can get it.

There’s really no better way to describe the Washington Wizards‘ 115-114 win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday afternoon.

The Magic were in control for three and a half quarters as the Wizards, once again, were missing in action defensively against a team that is one of two in the NBA to average below 100 points per game.

Orlando started the game hot and seemingly was in control.

They likely would have won were it not for Washington’s Bradley Beal and Bojan Bogdanovic combination.

On a night where the Boston Celtics lost to the Phoenix Suns on a remarkable end of game sequence, the Atlanta Hawks lost, and the Toronto Raptors lost a night ago at Milwaukee Bucks, the Wizards will gladly take this win and run.

Here are your takeaways from what was an exciting night at the Verizon Center.

The BBs made the difference

The combo of Beal and Bogey was special on Sunday.

The duo combined for 59 points on 63.7% shooting from the field and 73% shooting from distance.

Having left the game briefly after hurting his ankle, Beal returned to the game and led the team throughout.

Beal posted a +14, best among the starters, and routinely had the offense flow through him down the stretch on what was an up and down night from John Wall.

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The second half of BB2 was lighting the nets on fire at Verizon Center.

Bogdanovic was absolutely filthy shooting the ball, going 8-10 from the 3-point line, en route to his second 27-point night off the bench since joining the Washington Wizards.

He made big shot after big shot for the Wizards.

The Wizards, a team that almost exclusively relied on the starters prior to the All-Star break, now have a player who is capable of providing a boost on a night where several of the starters may not be on their game.

As Bogey’s production continues to soar since coming to Washington, the questions will soon become how to they keep BoBuckets.

Morris continues to struggle

After demanding better focus from himself and his teammates, Markieff Morris may need to look himself in mirror after what was an uninspiring, lethargic performance.

Morris did not have a single rebound in the first three quarters and did not grab his first rebound of the game until the 1:31 mark of the fourth quarter.  That is not good enough or an acceptable level of effort from Washington’s 6-foot-10 power forward.

Morris missed practice yesterday with a left thigh contusion, and it’s possible that impacted his play.

He’s missed two games this season due to various leg injuries and is averaging a career high 32 minutes per game this season.

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While it could be fatigue or injuries, Morris was on the floor tonight and we did not see a player who in any way resembled the Morris we witnessed versus Golden State just five days earlier.

When Morris is on, he can change a ballgame.  When Markieff plays without energy and forces bad shots, as he did tonight, he has a negative impact on the game and becomes a liability.

He’s too talented of a player for these types of efforts.

Where is Jason Smith?

The curious absence of Jason Smith may be the one criticism I have of Scott Brooks.

Brooks has been great as the Washington Wizards’ head coach but Smith’s inconspicuous absence from the rotation makes little sense.

I can understand the desire to work Washington’s $64 million offseason investment (Ian Mahinmi) into the lineup, but is the level of rim protection and defense Mahinmi provides enough to offset all of the positives Smith has brought to the table?

If Brooks doesn’t want to play Smith at the center position, he should be able to find a few minutes for him at the four, especially on a night like tonight where Morris was shooting poorly from the field and a non-factor on the glass.

Smith was Washington’s best bench player prior to the All-Star Break. On a night like tonight where for much of the game the Wizards lacked energy and defensive intensity, Smith’s high energy style of play and ability to stretch the floor against a shot blocker like Bismack Biyombo could have helped.

Next: Why Jennings Is a Better Option Than Burke

Washington will be in Phoenix on Tuesday to face the Suns.