Washington Wizards: 5 Takeaways from OT win against the Blazers

Washington Wizards John Wall (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards John Wall (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards Jeff Green (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /

4. Small Ball Works

Ian Mahinmi left early in the game due to back spasms. This ended up being a blessing in disguise because the Wizards work so much better when they have a smaller lineup operating on the floor.

Jason Smith entered the game when Mahinmi left, but was a defensive liability. Scott Brooks knew he had to make a change, so he put in Jeff Green.

Green was able to maintain a defensive presence against the Portland big men and bring an offensive spark. He also provided a mismatch, which cause the Blazers coaching staff to make some adjustments.

Kelly Oubre Jr. started the second half and was outstanding in place of Mahinmi. Washington was out-rebounded, but Green, Porter, and Oubre made it seem like the margin wasn’t that wide.

Until Washington is able to get Dwight Howard back they need to play small ball. It might lead to them losing the rebound battle, but the rest of their game is more fluid. The offense runs smoother, the transition game is better, and they are quicker defensively which allows for the pace of the game to shift to their favor.

For a moment there was some excitement looming for Wizards fans because there was a possibility of Thomas Bryant making an appearance. But, that didn’t happen. Brooks stuck with his veterans and it paid off. Maybe if the team’s record was different Bryant would have made his debut, but for now we will have to wait to see the talented young big man.