Wizards

Wizards

The Washington Wizards season, along with the rest of the NBA, has been put on hold for at least 30 days due to the spread of the coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find out what might’ve happened in postponed games.

In an effort to see how Wizards games could have played out, I started a season on the video game NBA 2K20 for the PlayStation 4 console. I started a season because I not only wanted to see Wizards results, but also the results of other games to determine how the final playoff picture would look.

Note: For whatever reason, 2K’s “Start Today” feature was unavailable when I began this experiment, so I used the standard “Season” mode. With updated rosters, I simulated up until the March 13 slate of games. And that’s where we’ll pick things up. I’ll continue with future simulations using the "Start Today" mode for an even more accurate depiction.

On Friday, the Wizards were scheduled to play the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. I watched the complete simulation of that game, and it got ugly fast. The Wizards struggled to find any consistent offense and were outscored by a combined 25 points in the second and third quarters. They lost to the Celtics, 117-93.

After a strong start that saw the away team go up by as much as five points before Boston pulled even to end the first quarter, the Wizards got lazy. Boston kicked up its energy to a level the Wizards were unable to match and went up by as much as 28 points before it was all said and done.

 

Washington Wizards   24 27 24 18 [93]

Boston Celtics             24 38 38 17 [117]

Related: NHL 20 Caps simulation: Penalty kill saves Washington in sloppy win over Detroit

Top Performers - Wizards

Bradley Beal: 26 Pts (10-22 FG)

Shabazz Napier: 20 Pts (7-14 FG), 5 Ast

Rui Hachimura: 15 Pts (3-11 FG), 5 Reb

Top Performers - Celtics

Kemba Walker: 26 Pts (10-16 FG), 5 Reb, 5 Ast

Jaylen Brown: 24 Pts (10-13 FG)

Marcus Smart: 17 Pts (8-15 FG), 5 Ast

Gordon Hayward: 16 Pts (6-10 FG), 5 Reb

Poor Shooting

It was an abysmal night shooting for the Wizards, as they finished the game just 38% (33-88) from the field and 31% (5-16) on three-pointers against Boston's stifling defense. Typically, a team with 14 more free throw attempts than its opponent stands a good chance at the end, but that wasn’t the case despite the Wizards going 22-of-26 from the stripe.

Transition

The Celtics shot much better than the Wizards but it helps that they were getting uncontested layups and dunks. Boston outscored Washington 28-6 on fast break points. Their bigs would grab rebounds and push the ball up to guards already up the court while the defense lollygagged. This is largely where Jaylen Brown made his mark. The Wizards were unable to push the ball in the same way. Boston also outscored the Wizards on points in the paint by a large margin, 70-46.

Davis Bertans

The Wizards’ second-leading scorer this season was mostly absent in this one, but at no fault of his own. You can blame virtual Scott Brooks for this one, as Bertans played just 14 minutes -- less than half his season average. Unexcusable. In limited time, Bertans scored just four points and hoisted just two three-pointers, knocking down one of them.

Next Game: The Wizards’ next virtual game is Sunday at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They have some things to clean up before going up against the savvy Chris Paul and his upstart Thunder squad.

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