Washington blew a 15-point first-half lead and went to overtime for the second time in the last eight days. After a relatively solid four quarters, the Wizards offense fell apart in OT, with John Wall and Bradley Beal settling for bad shots from the perimeter and the bigs failing to get anything going around the basket. Wall appeared tired toward of the end of the game, too, and he would have likely had more success guarding Kyrie Irving than Martell Webster. The final was 103-96.
This was a winnable game, although Washington should have a few more decent shots at ending their losing streak over the next week. The Timberwolves will be here Monday and that should be a tough matchup, but after that, the schedule lightens up. New York, Toronto, the Lakers and the Cavaliers are all beatable teams. Washington is 2-7 on the year now. If they're not closer to 7-10 by the end of the month, someone's probably going to be on the hot seat.
- Wall and Gortat had a lot of success running pick and rolls early on, leading to a Beal three, a Webster three, a Wall floater and a Gortat dunk. Bynum's lack of mobility was very evident and he looks heavy.
- Vesely had a great steal and alley oop from Rice to end the first quarter. He also looked a bit more aggressive around the rim and had a couple of nice defensive plays where he used his length to pick up steals and deflections. Hopefully someone lit a fire under him.
- Beal had 16 points on 6-9 shooting at halftime and finished with 28 for the night. He's continuing to do a great job of knocking down jumpers, both off the dribble and the catch. His ability to shoot out of the pick and roll in the half court is very valuable.
- Wall and the Washington bigs deserve credit for keeping Irving away from the basket. He definitely got his, finishing the night with 41 points, but most of them came off of jumpers and step backs as opposed to free throws, layups or open three pointers. There's only so much you can do against a player like Irving. It's telling, too, that he was able to get to the line late in the game when Webster had been switched onto him.
- The Vesely-Gortat big man duo was interesting to watch. They seem to play well off of each other and their lateral quickness and length seemed to disrupt Cleveland's offense. Can we start referring to them as The Eastern Block?
- Washington went to Nene time and time again tonight with mostly good results. He's lost a step since his Denver heydey but still gets shots off around the basket due to superior footwork and coordination.
- The starters noticeably slowed down late in the game. Washington's lack of depth was the real culprit tonight, as the team defense was far more effective early in the game than it was during the fourth quarter and overtime. Wall in particular looked slow in the extra period.