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Takeaways from Wizards' Game 3 blowout loss to Atlanta Hawks

Takeaways from Wizards' Game 3 blowout loss to Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA – For the first two games of the series, the Wizards’ two best stars – John Wall and Bradley Beal – were better than those of the Atlanta Hawks. Paul Millsap and Dennis Schroder were able to flip that Saturday in a 116-98 win at Phillips Arena to rim the series to 2-1.

Schroder (27 points, nine assists) and Millsap (29 points, 14 rebounds) had high percentage looks early and cashed in. Taurean Prince (16 points) and Dwight Howard (five points, 11 rebounds) had smaller but significant roles that helped put them over the top.

Game 4 is Monday at Phillips Arena.

Nothing went right in a 38-20 first quarter for Washington, which found itself down 19-4 just five minutes in.

The Wizards were 1 of 6 on three-point shots while they allowed 5-for-9 from deep. The Hawks had an 18-6 edge in paint points in the first 12 minutes alone.

John Wall (29 points, seven assists) was brilliant offensively as he made 10 of 12 shots and went 8 of 10 from the foul line despite Atlanta doing its best to keep him from the rim.

Offensively, however, Wall didn’t get any support. Bradley Beal (12 points), Otto Porter (seven points) and Markieff Morris (nine points) combined to shoot 7-for-17. Marcin Gortat (two points) was held to one field goal.

[RELATED: Porter leaves Wizards-Hawks Game 3 with injury]

--The ball pressure that was present in Games 1 and 2 disappeared. The Hawks were able to catch the ball in their sweet spots and get up shots off lane penetration. Though they started hot, the Hawks’ three-point shooting cooled. They were 3-for-14 from the second quarter to midway point of the fourth. That was still better than the Wizards’ 7-for-29 shooting from three.

--Beal and Porter had clean looks that looked off the moment the shots left their hands. Beal airballed a 12-foot pull up in that went uncontested. Combined with Morris, they shot 8-for-29 in the first half, or 27.5%.

--As Game 2 showed, Jason Smith (two points, four rebounds) isn’t a good matchup with Millsap. Ten seconds after he entered, he had to foul because off the dribble he was beaten. He then picked up a charge. When Smith came back in late in the third, he bit a pump fake from Millsap and committed a Flagrant 1 foul. Smith had three fouls in his first two minutes played. Smith fouled out with 7:11 left in the game on Millsap. He played a total of eight minutes.

--Going in, Schroder wasn’t successful shooting when he had to launch from beyond 5 feet. He was 30.4%. But he lived at the rim in getting 21 of his points in the first half and that rhythm led to him making 3 of 5 threes.

--The open-door defense of Brandon Jennings (13 points) continued vs. Jose Calderon. While Atlanta’s backup only had two points from making his only shot of the first half, he got deep and forced helped. When Calderon moved the ball, it found open shooters which is how his team was 26 of 47 in the first half from the field, or 55.3%. They also were 6 of 13 on threes, or 46.2%. Jennings’ offensive numbers look better because he tallied most of them with the game out of reach late.

--The Wizards only had five first-half assists not because they were playing in isolation but because they weren’t making much. They shot 3 of 14 on threes, or 21.4%. Beal missed all four of his deep balls. Before the starters were pulled late in the third, the starters had just eight assists.

--Kelly Oubre never could get on track. He picked up two fouls in his first seven minutes, including a charging foul when he refused to change direction and plowed into Millsap. Before one minute elapsed to start the second quarter, he was pulled for Porter.

--Porter left with six minutes left in the third quarter after he was picked off by a screen on a layup by Prince. He didn’t return because of a “strained neck.” He collided with Tim Hardaway on a split action, went to the locker room and didn’t return to the bench.

--The Wizards pulled their starters and got the deficit down to 93-79 with 9:16 left in the fourth with Jennings, Tomas Satoransky, Bojan Bogdanovic, Oubre and Smith. A layup by Jennings forced a timeout by Atlanta which re-inserted starters Schroder, Millsap and Prince. The Wizards went back to theirs but the deficit quickly grew.

--Bojan Bogdanvoic (11 points) still isn't in form. He missed all of his looks from three-point range, going 0-for-4. 

[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 9 - Wiz-Hawks a fun 1st round series]

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Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

USA Today Sports Images

Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.

Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.

"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."


"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."

Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.


Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.

"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.

Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

Associated Press

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by Bullets/Wizards legend Phil Chenier ahead of his jersey retirement set for this upcoming weekend on March 23.

Chenier looked back on his playing and broadcasting career and told great stories. He also shared some memories of the 1978 championship as the franchise gets ready to honor its 40th anniversary.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!