The Washington Wizards got back into the win column by beating the Detroit Pistons last night, 109-91. They used a 17-0 run in the third quarter to create separation. Outscoring the Pistons 35-15 in the period, they did it by playing defense and just flat out playing hard. Detroit Head Coach Stan Van Gundy said the Wizards “played harder” than his team after the game. Bradley Beal scored just 10 points, yet the Wizards won by 18. Markieff Morris and Otto Porter Jr chipped in with 23 and 17 points respectively. Tobias Harris led the way for the Pistons, scoring 15 points, Avery Bradley scored 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Washington’s Tomas Satoransky had a coming out party, playing hard on both ends and bringing the bench even more firepower. Scoring 17 points, grabbing 4 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists without committing a turnover.
You know teams are going to go on runs, but when we play with that physicality and toughness throughout the game we’re tough to beat.” – Bradley Beal, Wizards Guard
The second unit for Washington carved out a 10 point lead late in the second quarter, only to see the lead evaporate once the starters returned. Detroit went on a run to close the half and lead 52-46 at the break.
Between the first and second quarters, the Wizards revealed the name of their new G-League Team. The Capital City Go-Go name and logo was shared with the crowd courtesy of a video on the scoreboard. There was a mini press conference during halftime where Ted Leonsis and a representative from Events DC addressed the media to provide some information on the new team and facility.
“They tried really, really hard and we didn’t try at all. I mean, we got out-worked [and] out-efforted. A really disappointing and embarrassing night for us. We just didn’t bring anything in the second half at either end. – Stan Van Gundy, Pistons Head Coach
The Pistons did make a run midway through the fourth quarter, definitely flashed back to the Portland game where they walked Washington down and completed the rally. That wouldn’t be the case as Tomas Satoransky’s career night included some very timely plays on both sides of the ball. He got a key offensive rebound when his team was flat, played tremendous defense and knocked down a huge three pointer in that stretch.
The Wizards were able to close things out, moving their record to 12-10 and giving the previous 14-6 Pistons their seventh loss of the season. Washington is now headed back onto the road for the next five games.
Satoransky. The Wizards guard did a great job last night, providing both a spark and a steadying hand at times. He scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, making key plays on both ends of the floor. This helps Washington in both the short term and long term, if he can continue to provide consistent production while John Wall is out, it lessens the blow for his team. Once Wall gets back, it becomes a good problem for Coach Brooks in the sense that Tomas and Tim Frazier will be competing for minutes. The other option is that Washington can play Tomas on the wing some via the Shaun Livingston role. Again, good problems for Washington and it’ll be important to see if he can keep this up on the road.
Rebounding. Washington dominated the glass against a team with one of the league’s best rebounders in Andre Drummond. He would finish with 17 rebounds, but was held off the glass during that big third quarter run by the Wizards. While he got his, nobody else on Detroit had more than 5 rebounds, Washington won that battle 49-32. Even more impressive was that Detroit was held to 4 offensive rebounds while Washington had 16, Marcin Gortat did a solid job on Drummond who lives off of lobs and put backs.
Effort. We’ve talked about this several times this season, especially on the defensive end of the floor. The Wizards really played hard and it paid off, moving their record to 9-1 when they hold opponents under 100 points. In the third quarter both the starters and second unit played with great energy, allowing them to break the game wide open. There were several multiple effort possessions on both ends by Washington. It will be nothing more than a memory if they can’t replicate it consistently.
Beal. With Wall’s out, he’s shouldered the load as the primary scorer and has done a good job creating for others. He struggled with his shot last night, but what stood out was that he didn’t let the poor shooting affect his defense. He hounded Avery Bradley and played a big role in him shooting just 5-of-13, one of the best plays is when Bradley beat him to the basket, but Beal recovered for the block. Brad’s struggling to find comfort with the new eye-wear, but he was still aggressive on both ends of the floor.
Defense. That third quarter run by Washington was fueled by the defense. Detroit shot 52.6% in the first half, but Washington held them to 26.3% in the third quarter. The Pistons didn’t turn the ball over in the period so this was all Washington getting stops and scoring on the other end. It’s all about consistency for Washington on this end of the floor, they have to start games with that type of energy and effort on that end of the floor. They’ll surely need to be locked in on this five game road trip.