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Film study: How a disastrous first quarter doomed Wizards against Sixers

Film study: How a disastrous first quarter doomed Wizards against Sixers

PHILADELPHIA – The first half is where the game got away from the Wizards off the jump in a 109-102 loss to the Sixers.

They were held to 15 points in the first quarter, the fewest scored by an opponent in any stanza all season, and allowed the Sixers to shoot 50 percent, including 4-for-9 on three-pointers.

The result was a 29-15 hole that they played out of the entire game. And even though the Wizards bounced back in the second quarter to trim what had been a 24-point deficit to 11 by halftime, it proved insurmountable.

So what went wrong? Effort. Discipline. You name it. Gerald Henderson (14 points) is a mid-range pull up shooter who drives exclusively to his right. Jahlil Okafor (19 points in 20 minutes) has about two or low-post moves and that's it. 

Andrew Nicholson, who had to take Markieff Morris' spot 54 seconds into the game after two quick fouls, had a miserable night. Before the Wizards try to erase this memory with a game vs. the New York Knicks tonight at Verizon Center, let’s do a quick revisit of the first quarter when the game got away.


— 7:42 - 7:34: Watch Marcin Gortat in transition point out Ersan Ilyasova, who is a stretch shooter. Nicholson picks up Richaun Holmes in the post instead to prevent an easy throw-ahead for a layup. Gortat hesitates, probably fearing being beaten off the bounce, and doesn't close out Ilyasova strongly enough to contest the three-ball as Sergio Rodriguez makes the push to find his man stepping into his spot on the arc. Ilyasova's strength is on catch-and shoot and one-dribble pullups, not off multiple bounces.  

— 4:54 - 4:45: This is a 2 v. 4 pick-and-roll between Rodriguez and Dario Saric when the play begins. Focus on the clock at 4:47 when Saric makes the catch off his dive to the rim. He receives the bounce pass and is surrounded by five defenders. He should have nowhere to go with this ball. Somehow he gets an uncontested layup. No one thwarted the roll man's dive to the rim with a bump. When coach Scott Brooks complained of "no resistance," this is what he meant. 

Note: John Wall, who is playing on a minutes restriction, exits the game here with the Wizards trailing 16-12.

— 4:02 - 3:54: Nicholson drops down too deep on Saric's push as Otto Porter helps force him to pick up his dribble. The ball goes out to the trailer Hollis Thompson, who makes the correct read by reversing the ball to Saric as he pops to the top of the arc. Nicholson is still so deep in the lane he's just above the restricted circle. Nicholson is too late to contest the three that drops in. Like Ilyasova, Saric's strength is catch-and-shoot and via one-dribble pull ups. Make him put it on the floor when he's more prone to mistakes (four turnovers, 26 minutes). Saric doesn't change directions well. When he gets going in one direction, he can be an offensive foul waiting to happen. And his shot accuracy and willingness to shoot shrinks when his space is taken away.

— 3:27 - 3:15: Tomas Satoransky's throw-ahead to Marcus Thornton is stolen by T.J. McConnell who makes a quick read to get the ball to Nik Stauskas. Nicholson, who has support in the lane from Gortat, leaves Ilyasova and follows the ball into the lane a step too deep with Stauskas. He wisely swings the ball out to Ilyasova sinking into the short corner for a three. Nicholson, again, is too late to recover and contest. The shot is good.

— 2:57 - 2:50: Nicholson forces Thompson into a tough shot on the move, but Saric despite being bracketed with Gortat and Satoransky bullies his way for the 1 v. 2 offensive rebound putback.

— 2:11 - 2:05: Robert Covington misses his free throw and gets his own rebound as the Wizards left him unmarked. The burden falls to Kelly Oubre, who just checked in and is the closest to the shooter. Standard operating procedure in this situation is establishing who has the shooter, which clearly did not happen. Thompson fades to the short corner for a wide-open three though Nicholson tries in vain to contest.

This is just a small snapshot of how the game got away on a lot of IQ and hustle plays. 

Not superior talent plays.


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Swaggy Picasso's Sole Talk had the Wizards taking notice opening night

Swaggy Picasso's Sole Talk had the Wizards taking notice opening night

The connection between athletes and their fans is a powerful thing in sports. The NBA is one of the trendiest, fashion-forward leagues in the world. From shoe design to overall wardrobe to eccentric personalities...the Association has it all on display for fans across the globe to consume. 

Lloyd Ferguson, a fan himself and native of Silver Spring, Md., is bursting onto the customized sneakers scene as an up-and-coming artist. 

His Instagram (@SwaggyPicasso) serves as his personal laboratory and a platform to share his creations. 

Prior to the start of Thursday night's Wizards-Heat game, NBC Sports Washington invited Ferguson to Capital One Arena for what would become a memorable night for the 23-year-old. 

Chris Miller and Drew Gooden featured Swaggy Picasso on the pregame show for an interview and sneaker showcase.

"The inside of my body was jiggling and moving. I was like 'I gotta keep composed and stay cool. You're on national televison, Lloyd.'" 

You would have never known it. 

Ferguson, who was a basketball player himself locally, grew up a Wizards and D.C. sports fan all around. 

Little did he know several Wizards would take notice of his artwork. 

Kelly Oubre, Devin Robinson and John Wall - each known for their wardrobes and respective styles - stopped by to take a peek at Ferguson's kicks. 

"Their reactions to my art was all I needed, honestly. They see the potential and growth. It's very overwhelming." 

It was a groundbreaking night for a young talent with lofty dreams and aspirations. 

Swaggy Picasso has no plans of stopping anytime soon. 

"I've been busting out these shoes day and night. I don't sleep. My desire to paint shoes is ridiculous." 



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Wizards vs. Raptors: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Raptors: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards take to the court Saturday night looking for their first win of the season against the Toronto Raptors. 

In their first game of the season the Wizards laid an egg after the Miami Heat were missing three rotation players on the second end of a back-to-back. Similar problems emerged even with new offseason additions Jeff Green and Austin Rivers having stellar debuts. Dwight Howard did not play in the contest, still dealing with a butt injury. 

Now, the Wizards will go up against one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference, the Raptors. They also acquired a former All-Star in Kwahi Leonard this offseason, trading away DeMar DeRozan. Besides the switch, this is pretty much the same squad that knocked the Wizards out of the First Round of the playoffs last season.

On Saturday the Raptors will be coming off a back-to-back after hosting the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Once again, another big opportunity for the Wizards against an Eastern Conference foe early in the season.

The Wizards-Raptors will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:00 p.m. at Capital One Arena and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.


What: Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors, 2018 NBA regular season Game 2
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Raptors will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Raptors on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

6:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
6:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)
7:00 PM: Toronto Raptors @ Wizards (LIVE)
9:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)
10:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
10:30 PM: Redskins GameDay: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)


Wizards: Dwight Howard (questionable)
Raptors: Delon Wright (day-to-day), OG Anunoby (probable)


John Wall, Wizards: After speculation on if Wall would return to his peak form, he showed out on Thursday night. With 26 points, nine assists, and four blocks, the point guard was all around the court for the Wizards. 

Otto Porter Jr./ Jeff Green, Wizards: Covering Leonard is going to be a tall task. It is anticipated that the taller Otto Porter Jr. and Jeff Green to be the duo that will be covering the lengthy guard.  Neither guy are going to light-up the stat sheet on the offensive end, but after a nice showing by Green on Thursday look for them to split time defensively. 

Khawi Leonard: Leonard had 24 points and 12 rebounds in his debut with the Raptors, picking up right where he left off before his injury. Will a back-to-back affect the star that hasn't played consistently since 2016? 


Number of all-time Meetings: 95 games
Regular Season Record: Raptors lead 48-37
Postseason Record: Wizards lead 6-4
Last Meeting: Raptors won 102-92
Last 10: Raptors lead 6-4