Wizards

Quick Links

Takeaways from Wizards' lopsided loss to Golden State Warriors

Takeaways from Wizards' lopsided loss to Golden State Warriors

Although Stephen Curry won’t win the MVP for the third year in a row, he’s playing like one again. Sunday, he was the best player on the floor from start to finish as Golden State handed the Wizards their third consecutive loss to end a five-game road trip, 139-115 at Oracle Arena.

Curry (42 points, eight assists) seemingly made every shot regardless of difficulty as the Warriors (63-14) won their 11th game in a row.

The Wizards (46-31) finish the trip 2-3 and had trimmed the deficit to 55-53 with 2:11 left in the second quarter until a 12-4 run by Golden State put them up by double digits going into halftime.

John Wall (15 points, 11 assists) and Bradley Beal (20 points) led Washington but it couldn’t keep pace. Otto Porter (13 points, six rebounds), Markieff Morris (13 points) and Bojan Bogdanovic (20 points) also contributed.

Thompson (23 points) and Shaun Livingtson (17 points) helped Curry’s efforts, and Draymond Green (11 points, 13 assists, 12 rebounds) did everything else. Four other players scored at least eight points.

With five games left, the Wizards are now firmly planted as the No. 4 seed unless the Toronto Raptors (47-30), who own the tiebreaker as the No. 3 seed, trip up down the stretch.

--Wall had consecutive assists in the third quarter, one on a dunk for Porter and another on a spot-up three, to put him at 802. That moved him past Rod Strickland who had 801 in 1997-98.

--The second unit went on an 8-0 run to start the fourth, cutting what had been a 22-point deficit to 106-96 with 9:08 left. Tomas Satoransky, who hadn’t played in the previous three games, had a layup in transition to force the timeout by Warriors coach Steve Kerr.  The second unit finished the game as it had trimmed it to 116-107 and the starters stayed on the bench.

--Kelly Oubre blanketed Thompson, who wasn’t a factor after he made a three-pointer to spot the Warriors a 6-0 lead. Curry made 7 of 10 threes to start so Oubre took the assignment on him in the third quarter but the game had gotten away. Thompson eventually got free and hurt them, too. Oubre only shot 2-for-11 and couldn’t make the Warriors pay for hiding Curry on him defensively during stretches.

--Porter went scoreless in the first half in missing all three of his shots. He opened the third quarter by scoring the Wizards’ first six point with a three-pointer and converting a three-point play.

--Beal played in his 73rd game to equal his career-high from his sophomore season.  He has missed just four games because of a sprained ankle (one) and a thigh strain (three). Last season, the Wizards were one of the NBA’s most injured teams with Beal playing a career-low 55 games.

--Taking shots away from Curry and Thompson is a key to being able to beat Golden State. In other words, make other players do the job. Early on the Wizards got the right players to take the shots they wanted but Andre Igoudala made 3 of 4, JaVale McGee started 2-for-2, Livingston 5 of 7 in the first half when they scored 67 points.

--Marcin Gortat (seven points, three rebounds) continued to see his production dip as he only played 15 minutes and got up just five shots. Because Golden State plays so many small lineups, Ian Mahinmi (eight points, three assists) earned more time with 21 minutes. Daniel Ochefu played the final two minutes.

--Did Golden State try to run up the score? The Wizards didn't play any starters in the fourth quarter, and after they made a run and the Warriors were cruising ot a double-digit victory Curry remained. Green re-entered to get a basket for a triple-double. Angry at McGee for launching a three-pointer rather than running out the clock at the end, Brandon Jennings (nine points, seven rebounds) picked up a flagrant foul with a two-hand shove. 

[RELATED: Kevin Durant praises Kelly Oubre Jr.]

Quick Links

Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

bensimmons.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.

As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.

This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.

Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.

The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.

Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.

There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.

The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference. 

The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime?