Wizards

Quick Links

Wizards hand Cavs first home loss 97-85: Five takeaways

usatsi_8966923.jpg

Wizards hand Cavs first home loss 97-85: Five takeaways

The streak is over, the season-high four consecutive losses for the Wizards and the perfect home record for the Cleveland Cavaliers as John Wall made good on his promise to play better Tuesday.

The result: A 97-85 victory as Wall had a season-high 35 points, 21 coming in the first half, 10 assists, five steals and four rebounds. It was his first double-digit assist game in seven tries. Cleveland is 9-1 at Quicken Loans Arena.

"This is one game I played well and you see how different our team is," Wall told CSNmidatlantic's Chris Miller after the game.

LeBron James was held to 24 points on 8 of 20 shooting and had nine of Cleveland's 19 turnovers. Kevin Love only had eight points on 2-for-10 shooting and Timofey Mozgov was held scoreless in the middle.

The Wizards (7-8) jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the game and never trailed. Their largest lead in the first half came after a three-pointer from Garrett Temple put the score at 50-38. It grew to as many as 22 on five consecutive points by Jared Dudley at 69-47.

Between the end of the second quarter and start of the third, the Wizards went on a 25-7 run to neutralize the Cavs, who shot just 28 of 83 for 33.7%.

Bradley Beal had 18 points, Marcin Gortat had 15 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, Dudley 12 points and Temple seven.

  • Wall lived in the paint as he used his speed to blow by Matthew Dellavedova and back him down into the mid-post to create passing angles. Wall also had four steals by halftime, an indication how he was engaged defensively to spark his offense. The pace stayed in the game and even though he took 24 shots -- he went 6 of 25 in an 84-82 loss to the Toronto Raptors over the weekend -- it wasn't at the expense of better shots for teammates. Wall made 14. The Wizards had 44 points in the paint to double up the Cavs.
  • Coach Randy Wittman went to a super-small lineup when the Wizards went on a 9-0 second-quarter run of Wall, Beal, Temple, Dudley and Otto Porter with James off the floor. And they did the job despite being dwarfed by Tristan Thompson and Love because of their ability to help and recover and use their active hands to disrupt Cleveland. When James re-entered, Gortat took Dudley's spot. The rotation was tightened to eight, except for Kelly Oubre playing the last 39 seconds of the first half. Said Wittman: "I had lineups there tonight I don't know if I would've dreamed of."
  • Gortat had his season-high in blocks (four) after the first quarter. He had a double-double midway through the third quarter. Forget the numbers, he forced James to flip up errant shots at the rim because of his contesting of shots. Love had Dudley posted, and Gortat's help forced him to miss a chip shot. With a chance to cut the lead to less than 10, twice, James missed on Gortat's contests late in the fourth. James had his eighth turnover early in the fourth when Gortat helped Temple with a double-team. The only area of Gortat's game that was worth criticizing is constantly being called for illegal screens. They landed him in foul trouble though it ended up not mattering.
  • Dudley started for the second game in a row. His stats are hardly eye-popping. He only had seven and four in the loss to Toronto, but if you think this inspired play on the defensive end is by accident, think again. It's not just his communication and rotation that assists his teammates in playing better defense. Dudley's three-pointer midway through the third quarter pushed the lead to 67-47. Then he looked like Andre Miller when he put the ball on the floor, made a ball fake to a shooter in the corner which got the defender to bite and Dudley an easy layup. When the Wizards were in a drought in the middle of the fourth, Dudley's mid-range shot pushed the score to 89-73. On both jumpers, he was uncovered and this is why he's going to be a better option than Kris Humphries, who needs more time to pull the trigger, in most situations. Humphries was 0-for-3 in nine minutes.
  • Beal only shot 6 of 19, including 1 of 10 on threes, so imagine how big of a blowout this would've been had he been. But Beal didn't lose his aggressive streak, getting to the foul line seven times and making five of them. That was one fewer attempt than James. Beal also had six assists, nine rebounds and a steal. As long as Beal plays this way and stays engaged, good things will eventually happen. It just was Wall's night on the offensive end.
  • When the Cavs tried to make their run late, the Wizards tightened up. They didn't close well even though they won by double digits. Turnovers were more plentiful (Dudley stepped on the sideline on the catch) and their shots were forced, including a contested jumper taken by Wall. Six of the Wizards' 13 giveaways came in the fourth. Being that this was the first game of a back-to-back, this is where closing strong allows Wittman to empty his bench to rest the starters for the L.A. Lakers on Wednesday at Verizon Center. Instead, Beal, Wall and Porter played 40-plus minutes.

MORE WIZARDS: Wall takes it straight at LeBron for the lay in

Quick Links

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Pre-draft workouts begin; Michigan's Moe Wagner goes 1-on-1

usatsi_10761432.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Pre-draft workouts begin; Michigan's Moe Wagner goes 1-on-1

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chris Miller caught up with Michigan star Moe Wagner after his workout with the Wizards.

Chris and Chase Hughes also gave their impressions of the first prospects to come in for pre-draft workouts, including which guys are most likely to be Wizards. One of those prospects is a point guard and a likely first round pick. Chase and Chris explain why that's not a crazy idea, even considering the presence of John Wall on their roster.

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!

Quick Links

Wizards' third pre-draft workout to feature local stars including GW's Yuta Watanabe

watanabe-gw-usatsi.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Wizards' third pre-draft workout to feature local stars including GW's Yuta Watanabe

The Wizards will hold their third pre-draft workout on Thursday at Capital One Arena, this time featuring four local standouts out of the six players attending. Highlighting that group is Yuta Watanabe of George Washington, the Atlantic-10 Defensive Player of the Year.

Here is the full list with notes on each player...

Phillip Carr, F, Morgan State (6-9, 205)

Carr averaged 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds this past season at Morgan State in Maryland. He shot 84.6 percent from the free throw line, excellent for a big man.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

James Daniel III, G, Tennessee (6-0, 172)

Originally from Hampton, Va., Daniel III played four years at Howard University in D.C. before transferring to Tennessee as a redshirt senior. He was the MEAC Player of the Year in his last healthy season at Howard. Daniel III averaged 5.6 points in 35 games for the Volunteers.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Marcus Derrickson, F, Georgetown (6-7, 250)

Derrickson hails from nearby Bowie, Md. He played three years with the Hoyas and averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and shot 46.5 percent from three this past season. 

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Junior Etou, F, Tulsa (6-8, 235)

Originally from the Republic of Congo, Etou went to high school at Bishop O'Connell in Arlington, Va. He is Serge Ibaka's cousin and didn't start playing basketball until he was 15. Etou averaged 15.0 points and 7.9 rebounds this past season.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Junior Robinson, G, Mount St. Mary's (5-5, 150)

The Northeast Conference Player of the Year, Robinson averaged 22.0 points and 4.8 assists this past season. He was a four-year starter at Mount St. Mary's.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Yuta Watanabe, F, George Washington (6-9, 205)

One of the best basketball players to ever come from Japan, Watanabe was a defensive standout for the Colonials who developed into a solid scorer by his senior year. This past season, he averaged 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He is known in Japan as 'The Chosen One' and both of his parents played basketball professionally. NBC Sports Washington first reported he would work out with the Wizards this week.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent; best chance for NBA is as defensive specialist

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!