WASHINGTON -- WELP WELP WELP. Just when you think the Washington Wizards couldn't figure out a new way to blow a game, they give up an eight-point deficit with a minute left in the first overtime to lose, 115-113, to the Brooklyn Nets. Bradley Beal temporarily gave the Wizards hope with a game-tying three to extend the game, and he did again in the second overtime when he drew a foul and hit two free throws. In the end, though, Joe Johnson hit a jumper with 0.7 seconds left and that was all.
The loss is frustrating because the Wizards wasted such a good effort from so many key players. Beal, of course, was tremendous, but so was Nene, Martell Webster, Garrett Temple and, for most of the game, Jordan Crawford. They just couldn't finish, abandoning everything that got them a lead in that horrible final minute of the first overtime.
Tonight's game notes are long. More to come.
- When the Wizards double-team Brook Lopez, they have to be careful not to let Gerald Wallace cut down the lane on the weakside. Bradley Beal doubled the first time and Martell Webster rotated right to Deron Williams, but the next rotation from the corner wasn't made and the Wizards gave up a layup.
- Smart strategy to have Emeka Okafor slip the first ball screen on Lopez. Lopez is not quick laterally, and he couldn't adjust fast enough to get back to Okafor.
- Boy, Nene was en fuego early on. It's nice when your top post player can't miss on 15-foot jumpers in isolation situations.
- The Nets have the kind of frontcourt that you can get away with playing Nene and Okafor together. Neither Reggie Evans nor Lopez is going to beat you off the dribble, so their lack of foot speed is less of an issue. Lopez and Evans is also a bad defensive frontcourt, so you don't really lose much offensively either.
- Bradley Beal really worked hard against Joe Johnson. There was one time when Johnson overpowered him for a layup early, but Beal fought nicely through screens and fronted Johnson in the post to make life more difficult.
- Also ... BEAL TURNED THE CORNER ON A SIDE PICK AND ROLL!!!!!! Sure, it was against Brook Lopez, but this is progress! (He made the mid-range shot).
- Ah yes. That reaction to Andray Blatche's arrival went as I expected.
- Nene's speed was just too much for Lopez. Lopez is a tremendously gifted offensive center that has played extremely well this season, but he was a disaster in the first quarter. The Wizards correctly worked hard to take advantage of him.
- Come on, Kevin Seraphin. Finish.
- Seemed like the Wizards' big men elected to switch cross-screens whenever Lopez or Blatche came across the lane for a post up. When you have two big men in there at once, you can do this, but I'm never a fan of switching on principle.
- Seriously, when's the last time Nene looked this spry? His Nuggets days?
- Mirza Teletovic helped open up the game for the Nets. Not sure why that guy wasn't playing before tonight. What also helped - the Wizards switched some plays they shouldn't have, and Williams got matched up against bigger defenders.
- The 1-3 side pick and roll/split action involving Williams and Johnson really hurt the Wizards. Washington couldn't decide if they wanted to switch it or not, and that led to openings. One time, they did switch and Williams eventually crossed up Johnson for a three. Another time, Garrett Temple went to switch, but Webster didn't come out to cover Williams, and that led to an open three.
- Williams' third foul really saved the Wizards. With C.J. Watson not playing, Tyshawn Taylor had to step in. That's a hell of a drop-off.
- Jordan Crawford's spot-up game has continued to improve. Per MySynergySports.com, he's scored 1.07 points per possession this year on those plays, and they account for 17.1 percent of his used possessions. Last year, he was at 0.92 points per possession, and they accounted for 15.3 percent of his used possessions. He's really become a lot better at squaring his shoulders before he catches the ball instead of waiting to survey the floor.
- Jan Vesely definitely made an impact offensively with his movement. He's played better recently. Beal ruined a great diagonal pass with a missed wide-open three.
- lol steez
- Randy Wittman correctly got on Beal for not taking the first open shot and instead trying to drive and create a layup for Vesely that wasn't there.
- You can't let MarShon Brooks go coast to coast for that floater. Shelvin Mack has to sit on Brooks' right hand instead of just letting him get there. Force him back to the left.
- Beal's technique coming off screens is so much cleaner. He balances himself beautifully for those shots now when he didn't before.
- Williams really had a big start to the third quarter. Tough shots, nice cuts, etc. That's the player the Nets thought they were getting.
- Remember when I noted how the Wizards were rotating to Williams before Brook Lopez gave up the ball on a double team? That rotation forced Lopez to make a pass he didn't want and immediately led to a turnover.
- Great job by Beal to contest Joe Johnson's three, then leak out to get a layup in transition. This is a common trick a lot of guards do when contesting long shots, and given the Wizards' issues getting points in half-court situations, this is a good way to pick up something cheap.
- Another solid performance from Temple through three quarters, even though he flubbed a four-on-one fast break by only getting one free throw.
- Gotta admit that Blatche was a factor for the Nets in that third quarter. The way he cut off the ball opened up lots of offensive rebound opportunities. He's as bad as ever leading a fast break, though.
- Come on Kevin! Draw a foul! Don't run away from contact.
- Blatche continued to slither away from Wizards defenders on the baseline. It would behoove the Nets to keep him in.
- Vesely is now 6-25 from the free-throw line. How does that happen?
- Not liking what I saw from the Wizards' fourth-quarter offense. The spacing just didn't seem there like it was in the first half. Vesely made things worse when he had made things better in the first half. That's the balance you fight with him.
- Martell Webster and Jerry Stackhouse at power forward? Well then.
- OH WOW BRADLEY BEAL OH WOW.
- Seriously, though, that's how you attack a closeout.
- Why is Crawford trying to isolate instead of swinging the ball to a wide-open Beal in the corner? Wait. I know why.
- Come on Nene. Shoot the ball when you are driving and out of control. He failed to do it on one drive and threw the ball away. This is an ongoing problem with him and it's odd.
- The spacing. Oh god, the spacing.
- That take by Beal with a minute and a half was very smart. Love the aggression. Just not a good finish. But he needs to do stuff like that.
- That Crawford shot ... how did he make that?
- Nene had DERON WILLIAMS on him on a switch and didn't look to score. What is he doing? I know it was an odd spot to catch the ball, but you have to find a way to exploit that mismatch if you're Nene.
- WHAT IS MARTELL WEBSTER DOING DOUBLE-TEAMING JOE JOHNSON 30 FEET FROM THE BASKET? That was an unbelievable unaware defensive play right there. Randy Wittman was screaming at Webster, as he should. That forced the Wizards to scramble and allowed Brook Lopez to get a wide-open dunk.
- Really nice job by the Wizards executing that game-tying hoop for Nene. Everyone wondered why they didn't throw it to any of their guards, but it was because they were all decoys to get Nene the ball one-on-one against Lopez in the post. The Nets couldn't impede that inbounds pass and the Wizards ended up getting the matchup they wanted. Of course, they took about 4.99999 seconds to get the ball in, but it worked out in the end.
- The Wizards ran some really nice sets to get Nene the ball off a crossscreen from the left elbow. Nene's passing instincts kicked in and the got good open shots for guys.
- Beal did an excellent job fronting Johnson and disrupting a post ISO in overtime. Eventually led to a missed floater by Williams.
- The defense was excellent in overtime. Not a deep thought, but a necessary one.
- What an awful series of possessions to finish this thing off offensively for the Wizards. Just total four-corners-type clock clearing that was so unnecessary. It's like they took a lead and decided to play not to lose again. How can you justify running all those ISOs when it's cost them in past games? Unbelievable.
- Two missed free throws and a foul-out of your best player on the rebound. SO WIZARDS.
- Of course Crawford missed a wide-open Beal fading to the corner to take the shot he did. OF COURSE.
- DFHISDFOPJDSPFDSOFPDSFOHSDHDFIHDFIHDSIFHDSOIHFSDHIFDIOFHDSH BRADLEY BEAL OH MY GOD.
- I will need to watch that play again to see how Beal got open. I'm still stunned.
- Someone messed up a rotation if Gerald Wallace got a wide-open layup.
- Was kind of nice, honestly, to see Beal waive off Crawford to go rogue and create two free throws for Emeka Okafor, even if Okafor missed.
- ... and without Nene, there goes the offense.
- Once a while, it'd be nice if Crawford ran the plays.
- Nice set out of the timeout to eventually get Okafor a foul. It was an actual play, for one, with multiple actions. Also, nice series of rotations on the next two Nets possessions.
- The Wizards used decoy plays a lot tonight. One nice one allowed Temple to penetrate and find Seraphin for a layup. The play looked like Beal running off a baseline screen, but as the defense's attention was shifted, Temple got around Williams to draw Seraphin's defender and set up the play.
- Weird set by the Nets using Wallace as the mid-post passer instead of Johnson. Not sure I get that one. Wallace is not going to shoot it from there at this stage of the game.
- Beal got bailed out big-time on that game-tying foul, but once again, Wittman got the Wizards to run a play with multiple actions and decoys to occupy the defense's attention. As Beal was coming off that screen, Webster was running the baseline for another curl on the opposite side.
- Oh well. Great shot by Joe Johnson.