Tonight, the Wizards looked a lot like the team we came to know and love in November and December. The Wizards forced turnovers, they dominated in transition and just looked like a team that could play with anyone in the NBA. As a fan, it was really fun to see the team have a nice win against an elite Western Conference team, but if we're being honest with ourselves, tonight's blowout didn't teach us much about the Wizards.
Of course, Memphis was playing without Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Tony Allen, which left the Grizzlies looking more like a lottery team than the championship contender they truly are this season. Especially without Conley and Allen, Memphis had no one who could stay in front of Wall on offense and no one who could keep Wall from being a ballhawk on defense.
Tonight, the Wizards just reminded us they're still capable of walloping teams they have a clear talent advantage against, just like they did earlier this season. Still, there were some positives from tonight's game, beyond the final result.
John Wall looks like John Wall again
Maybe getting some much-needed rest was the key, maybe it was because he was playing against a weakened opponent, or maybe it was the Bojangles, but whatever it was, John Wall looked like the player who ran away with the All Star voting lead thanks to his early season play.
Wizards continue to have success with Pierce as a small ball 4
Kris Humphries and Nene were both out for tonight's game, which meant it was inevitable that we would see Paul Pierce spend some time at power forward tonight. With Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol out, they had very little to lose going small, and a lot to gain by pushing the pace against Memphis, who was playing their fourth game in five nights.
To push the Grizzlies into overdrive, Wittman make a good choice trotting out Wall, Sessions, Porter, Pierce and Gortat in the second quarter to force the Grizzlies' reserves into a track meet. The lineup went on a 22-8 run, turning a six point second quarter deficit into a seven point lead that helped the Wizards take charge of the game after a slow start.