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NBA 2K20 Wizards simulation: Bradley Beal’s huge game helps Washington survive overtime thriller in Philadelphia

NBA 2K20 Wizards simulation: Bradley Beal’s huge game helps Washington survive overtime thriller in Philadelphia

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. This also will allow us to see results of other games to determine how the final playoff picture could shake out.

There were several moments during Monday’s simulation against the Philadelphia 76ers where the final result didn’t seem so promising. First, there was the 17-point lead the Sixers were able to build in the first quarter. Then, after Washington was able to trim the deficit to 11 before the period ended, Philly pushed it back to 19 in the second quarter. Finally, after the Wizards came back to take the lead in the fourth, Tobias Harris hit a three with seven seconds left to force overtime.

The Sixers made four of the first five field goals by either team in the extra period, leading by as much as four points. But in the end, Bradley Beal’s huge night and the Wizards’ ability to get to the free throw line proved too much in a 137-129 win for the away team.

Beal finished with 45 points, his 11th game of the season with at least 40. He attempted, and made, 19 of the Wizards’ 48 free throw attempts. Washington is just the second team this season with as many attempts -- the Houston Rockets had 49 against the Utah Jazz on Jan. 27.

Philadelphia 76ers       34 25 27 33 10 [129]

Washington Wizards   23 26 34 36 18 [137]

Top Performers - Wizards

Bradley Beal: 45 Pts (12-29 FG), 6 Reb

Rui Hachimura: 17 Pts (5-9 FG), 8 Reb

Thomas Bryant: 17 Pts (7-12 FG), 21 Reb, 6 Blk

Shabazz Napier: 14 Pts (4-10 FG), 10 Ast


Top Performers - 76ers

Tobias Harris: 24 Pts, 9 Reb

Shake Milton: 21 Pts, 8 Ast

Al Horford: 19 Pts, 7 Reb

Joel Embiid: 18 Pts (8-12 FG), 27 Reb, 3 Stl, 5 Blk

Pace

The Wizards tried to play at their normal fast tempo to begin the game and they were being beat at it. Playing without the injured Ben Simmons, the 76ers hoisted 29 shot attempts -- a game-high for any quarter -- and made nearly half of them, including 3-of-5 three pointers. The Wizards made just 32% of their 25 attempts in the first quarter and none of their seven threes, so they attacked the basket more in the second quarter. Washington’s FG attempts dropped to 17 in the slower period, but they got to the free throw line for 18 attempts. Once back in the game, the Wizards sped up the pace again in the second half and had an easier time making shots. There was a reason for that... 

Foul Trouble

With the amount of free throw attempts the Wizards had, there was bound to be someone in foul trouble for the Sixers. Unfortunately for them, it was their best player. Joel Embiid had two fouls in the first quarter and four before the first half was over.

He was the best player on the floor when he was out there, but foul trouble limited him to 34 minutes (seven players had more minutes in the game). Lacking Ben Simmons’ defense on the perimeter made it difficult for the Sixers to keep the Wizards from penetrating. And once Embiid was in foul trouble, the Wizards kept attacking. They made 44 of the 48 free throw attempts. Embiid did a good job not to foul out until overtime, but those precious minutes throughout the game without him hurt Philadelphia. Tobias Harris also fouled out in overtime.


Resiliency

Fighting back from a nearly 20-point deficit isn’t anything new to these Wizards. We’ve seen them do it before this season, though not always in a win. This time they sealed the deal, and Beal was a big reason. Whenever the offense stalled and Washington needed a basket, the leader of the team was usually up to the challenge. He didn’t have the best game percentage-wise, but many of his shots came when they were most needed. Beal scored 35 of his 45 in the second half and OT, including 22 in the third quarter.

Next Game: The Wizards try for their first three-game winning streak of the season, against the Brooklyn Nets. This game is important for playoff seeding, as the Wizards can make up a full game on the Nets who are five games ahead of them for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

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The Basketball Tournament to host 24-team, fully quarantined event this summer

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The Basketball Tournament to host 24-team, fully quarantined event this summer

The Basketball Tournament has announced a plan to host their 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual summer competition featuring several prominent alumni teams of many colleges and universities will hold a condensed version this year. At a single location, 24 teams will be quarantined for a series of games spread across 10 days. 

“After reviewing all available science and data, working with experts, and receiving support from our partners, we’ve devised a plan we are confident protects the health and safety of our participants and staff to the greatest extent possible,” TBT founder and CEO Jon Mugar said. “At the forefront is our single-elimination format, ability to test and quarantine the field and keep teams separate at all times. We look forward to hosting an incredible group of teams and crowning a champion this summer.”

TBT has not announced a date on when the event will be held. It is subject to when it is safe for them to hold the event at whichever location is selected.

To ensure the safety of the participants, TBT has outlined several medical precautions that will be in place. 

-All participants will be tested once they arrive at the location for quarantine. A positive test removes the participant and their team.
-Teams will be kept separate at all times while quarantined and screened regularly
-All participants will be tested a second time after the quarantine period. Individuals will be screened for symptoms daily.
-Players will undergo an exit screening by local health officials. 

Over 114 teams have applied to enter the 2020 TBT, many before the coronavirus outbreak began. While none are guaranteed to be in the field, popular teams include last year's champion Carmen's Crew (Ohio State Alumni), the AfterShocks (Wichita State Alumni), Best Virginia (West Virginia Alumni), Boeheim’s Army (Syracuse Alumni) and Red Scare (Dayton Alumni).

The official 24-team field will be announced in June. 

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Ever Wonder: Why the name change from Bullets to Wizards?

Ever Wonder: Why the name change from Bullets to Wizards?

When you walk into Capital One Arena and look to the rafters you'll see banners of all-time Washington Bullets players and a banner that commemorates the franchise's only NBA Championship from the 1977-78 season. While you're admiring the greatness, you slowly start to think about the transition the organization took from Bullets to the Wizards.

Why was the name abruptly changed from one that carried an NBA World Championship to the Wizards? And why change the patriotic color scheme of red white and blue to white blue and bronze?

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On November 4, 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and close friend of then Wizards owner Abe Pollin, was assassinated at a Tel Aviv peace rally. Four days after his funeral, Pollin made the announcement that his team would no longer go by the name "Bullets," after 32 years of sporting the moniker. 

"My friend was shot in the back by bullets,” Pollin said. “The name ‘Bullets’ is no longer appropriate for a sports team.”

On top of the gun violence that took a close friend away from Pollin, Washington D.C. was in the midst of a terrible reign of drug abuse and gang-affiliated gun violence in the 1990s, marking it as one of the most dangerous, and deadly cities in the country. 

The process leading to the name "Wizards" wasn't as easy as some may think. In 1997 the team opened up 1-800 lines to the community and allowed them to vote on a number of possible names to replace Bullets.

The options included Sea Dogs, Dragons, Express, Stallions and Wizards. 

The fans made the right choice. 

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