The Washington Wizards have shown their growth this season, a few nights ago they lost to the abysmal Brooklyn Nets at home in Washington. A rather embarrassing loss for a team with lofty goals like the Wizards, just two days prior the Wizards went up to Chicago and beat the Bulls in the United Center. A matchup that pitted two of the top point guard and players in the league in Wall and Rose.
It’s not surprising that a team get ‘up’ for a game against one of the top teams in the conference but not bring it against a cellar dweller the following night. The difference between good teams and great teams is that they avoid that lull or ‘trap’ against the inferior opponent. In the past, that loss to the Nets would have spiraled into a two or three game slide for Washington. That is no longer the case, the Wizards went up to Brooklyn and beat the Nets on their home floor.
Today, Washington had every reason to look past their opponent, the Philadelphia 76ers. While the Sixers have a bevy of young talent, they are far from reaching their potential as a unit. They seem to be embracing their version of tanking yet again.
Instead of looking past Philadelphia and focusing on Wednesday’s matchup against Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Wizards were focused on the task at hand.
That task, destroying the Sixers hopes of winning the game very early on as they ended the first quarter on a 20-3 run. Instead of getting complacent and mailing it in, Washington continued to poor it on as they led 85-55 at one point during the second half.
Washington was a bit sloppy with the basketball with 22 turnovers but they shot extremely well from the field, going 55% from the floor and 50% from beyond the arc. They stifled the Sixers, holding them to just 32% shooting from the floor for the game. The Wizards dominated the glass with their size and length, winning the rebounding ‘battle’ 53-30.
Wall had another double-double with 11 points and 10 assists, Gortat finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds. With the game being out of hand, Otto Porter got some extended playing time, 26 minutes. Porter showed off his well rounded game with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks.
John Wall took a big step forward last season, this season he’s continued to thrive. He’s quickly becoming one of the better players in the league and one of the leagues few true floor generals. It’s easy to get wrapped up in his athletic prowess, but he’s much more than that. As of late, he’s been showing everyone how dynamic of a passer he is. He arguably be the most well rounded point guard in the league as he gets it done in every facet on both ends of the floor. Washington truly has something special, they will only go as far as he leads them.
The Wizards have a chance to show just how good they are with the remaining games on their schedule this month. After the Thunder visit on Wednesday, the Wizards will go out west. On that trip, they will face the Blazers, Nuggets, Lakers, and Suns before coming back to D.C. to host the Toronto Raptors.