That wasn't pretty, but I'll take it.
It started off a lot like last night. Hell, they even closed the gap like last night. But something else was different: they actually took the lead! And kept it! It was magical!
Bradley Beal sunk a 3 at the end of the 3rd quarter. That put the Wizards up 73-72, and they never looked back.
Things happened for Washington that didn't happen in the first half: they played with some obvious effort, and their outside shots were falling. It also helped that the Cavaliers' primary ballhandler for the game--Jarrett Jack--didn't play in the second half, and their three best players (Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, and Anderson Varejao) didn't play at all in the 4th quarter.
But still! No Martell Webster and no Emeka Okafor... their absences were noticeable. The Cavs were having their way with the Wiz in the paint. And they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn without 'Tell's shooting.
But there they were, chipping away at the Cavs' double-digit lead and eventually taking over the game.
Bradley Beal's, Al Harrington's, and Trevor Ariza's offense: 57 points from this trio. And thank Shammgod they were playing tonight. Otherwise... yuck.
It's not a great sign that the Wizards could only really get back into it after Jack, Irving, Varejao, and Thompson were shelved for the evening. The team was pretty listless from the get-go, and frankly, I'm surprised they were able to turn up the heat when their toughest opponents were on the bench. Oh, and wherefore art thou, John Wall?
Oh boy. The Wizards need some interior defense. Like, right now. Kevin Seraphin, Nene, Trevor Booker, and a late-showing from Jan Vesely... it just wasn't cutting it. I don't know if they need to make a trade or scour the D-League, but something needs to be done now. For the first 8+ minutes of the game, the Cavs outscored the Wizards in the paint 12-0. The Wizards wound up winning that battle, but still. That's when both of those teams were fully-staffed. And the Wizards got creamed. That's not sustainable, and if this team rolls into opening night against Monroe, Drummond, and Smith again without any way to prevent them from scoring, we can pretty much chalk up a loss for Game 1.
Anyway, I don't want to totally poo-poo a win, so let's take this preseason as a learning experience. We learned we need some interior D. Now.