I think the Washington Wizards have established a pattern, wouldn't you say? It goes something like this: The game starts, and the Wizards either hang with the opponents' starters or build a lead. Then the Wizards' backups come in, and everything goes to hell. Then the starters come back in, and they pick up the bench's mess, either getting back into the game or building another lead. Eventually, John Wall & Co., appear like they might flat out collapse on the court, at which point Randy Wittman grits his teeth...
.............. pic.twitter.com/5M8AcUThIW— Danny (@recordsANDradio) November 21, 2013
And sends in the cavalry, except his cavalry is comprised of eight-year-olds wielding pool noodles, Bichon Frisés with hip dysplasia, and Eric Maynor. The Wizards followed this formula to a tee Friday, losing 96-88 to the Toronto Raptors while scoring 27 and 32 points in the first and third quarters, respectively, and 11 and 18 points in the second and fourth quarters, which is typically when Wittman says, "Holy crap I might literally kill Wall/Bradley Beal/Nene/Marcin Gortat if I don't sub them out."
To be fair, the bench should get better once Trevor Ariza and Al Harrington return from injury, if for no other reason than because it can't possibly get any worse. And hey, assuming he's still alive, Otto Porter could help, right? Right?? Ok ok, now I'm stretching.
Coming into last night's game, Wall was shooting less than 36 percent on the season. Friday. he went 15-for-21 and scored 37 points, and somehow the Wizards lost. Perhaps even more importantly, Wall only has two assists, as his normally-reliable outside shooters, Beal and Webster, shot a combined 3-for-13 from deep (10-for-29 overall).
Add up everyone's plus/minus from last night, and collectively, the Wizards' starters put up a plus-12, while the bench recorded a minus-52. Holy $#!%.
TWEETS OF THE NIGHT
Buckhantz: "Randy Wittman trying to get something out of the #Wizards bench." PROTIP: Stop trying.— Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks) November 23, 2013
@BulletsForever porter?— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) November 23, 2013
I would not say no to that.
VIDEO/GIF OF THE NIGHT
Is there any better representation of how this game felt to Wizards' fans? (H/T @ananth_pandian)?
More from Bullets Forever:
- Wizards vs. Raptors final score: Washington gets doomed by its bench, loses 96-88
- Wizards Wrap: Can we all agree Jan Vesely is better than Kevin Seraphin?
- Wizards vs. Raptors: Washington beaten by Toronto and its own bench
- Wizards vs. Raptors preview: Can Washington keep their momentum going?
- Wizards late game execution leaves a lot to be desired