Magical Pixels, Wizards vs. Knicks: Tepid bench can't even lose a game properly

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

How bad is the Washington Wizards' bench? It can't even overcome John Wall's awesomeness and properly lose a game anymore.

Two days ago, the Washington Wizards couldn't overcome their horrific bench despite 37 points from John Wall in a 96-88 loss to the Toronto Raptors. One day later, the bench wasn't much better, scoring only six points as Randy Wittman played all of his starters for 35 minutes or more and only three reserves in a desperate attempt to defeat the New York Knicks at Verizon Center.

It worked. The Wiz won 98-89, thanks mostly to another sterling effort from Wall, who dropped in 31 points to go along with seven assists and a team-high plus-16. Marcin Gortat was also huge, with 16 points and 17 rebounds, and though Bradley Beal remained in a mini-shooting slump (1-for-7 from three), he still found a way to chip in 18 points, six assists and five boards. Oh, and Martell Webster had 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting from deep.

If you're good at math, that means you know the Wizards got 84 points from four starters. Nene scored eight, leaving Washington's reserves to make up the six-point difference. They tried their damndest, but the Wizards' reserves just couldn't give this game away, not when Wall & Co., were playing so well.

KEY LINKS

Home team recaps: BF StoryStream | Washington Post (gamersidebar) | CSN Washington (recaphighlights) | Wiz of AwesWizards.comMonumental Network

Road team recaps: Posting and ToastingNY Times | NY Daily News (gamersidebar) | NY PostESPN NYAPNewsdayNorthJersey.com

NBA.com highlightsWall highlights

Postgame interviews: Randy WittmanJohn WallBradley BealMarcin GortatMartell WebsterCarmelo Anthony

KEY STATS

19.8 - Scoring average of the Wizards' bench, dead last in the NBA.

13.1 - Average minutes played by Washington's reserves, also dead last in the NBA.

41.1 - Wall's season shooting percentage, up from 35.8 percent just two games ago. In his last two contests, Wall has shot 25-for-39, or 64.1 percent. Oh, and don't look now, but Wall is also shooting 34.1 percent from three this season, which would be a game changer if he can keep that up.

44.2 - Opponents' shooting percentage over the Wizards' last five contests. In their first eight games of the season, the Wiz allowed opposing teams to shoot 48.8 percent. It's a small sample size, but that's a big improvement, and hopefully indicative of progress on the defensive side of the ball.

TWEETS OF THE NIGHT

VIDEO/GIF OF THE NIGHT

(H/T @Truth_About_It)

GAMETHREAD COMMENT OF THE NIGHT

GAMETHREAD ROLLCALL

# Commenter # Comments
1 DCrez 53
2 souldrummer 47
3 Wall_Hopeful 41
4 elliotlevy2 30
5 richkam14 29
6 Baird15 28
7 Durant 24
8 LRJ 22
9 JimmyWall 21
10 wad0cash 17
11 Perm 15
12 dc_chilling 15
13 Young Wook Lee 14
14 Rice2012 12
15 Destino 11
16 Yeti60 11
17 FTT 11
18 DCnhokies 11
19 ATrueNigerian 10
20 DCPerspective 9
21 Horcasitas4 9
22 PAClark11 9
23 Kend3zy 8
24 Asdesas 8
25 ExcuseMeDearSir 6
26 qthaballa 6
27 Mandark 6
28 wanderwiz 6
29 Banode 6
30 thewiz06 5
31 Entr0py 5
32 johnwallposterizes 5
33 The Journalist 4
34 capital city banana smushers 3
35 The Hoops Guru 3
36 mdd1970 3
37 jobe 2
38 abdou77 2
39 Greenterp 2
40 dmatos2 2
41 no more kwame's in dc 1
42 K-Bro 1
43 rsilbe 1
44 Akbar264 1
45 rorad 1
46 KB5 1
47 DCSportsAllDay 1
48 krusheasy 1
49 John Wall Stan 1
50 Tony20110 1
51 The Dark Side of the Sun 1

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