The Wizards defeated the Raptors 119-82 in their final game of the preseason. Washington got off to a hot start, punishing Toronto early from behind the arc. They went up by 16 going into the second quarter, but had the lead cut down to five before putting their starters back in and going into halftime up 65-56. Washington shot well over 50 percent from the field and from three in the first half.
As was the case in a few of the Wizards’ preseason games, they looked outstanding to open the second half. They started the third quarter on a 16-6 run, extended the lead to 19 and never looked back.
Washington led by 27 going into the fourth quarter and cruised to an eventual 37-point victory.
Here’s what we noticed in the blowout win:
The offense was outstanding
The offense was really good throughout the game, but it was nearly perfect the first 12 minutes. The Wizards led 39-23 after the first quarter and shot 14-19 from the field and 7-9 from deep. Wall had six assists, Beal and Porter combined for 17, Morris and Nicholson each hit a three, and the ball movement looked as good as it has this preseason.
Any chance we can go ahead and count this game towards the season? pic.twitter.com/saS3nezahL— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) October 21, 2016
If they can do this every quarter, all season, they’ll average over 150 points per game. Not bad.
What three-point shooting problems?
The Wizards have really struggled from behind the arc for most of the preseason. In their last two games coming into tonight, they were a combined 16-63.
Tonight, however, the Wizards really turned things around, going 10-18 from deep in the first half and 14-29 overall.
They also held their opponent under 30 percent from three for the second straight game. Three-point defense was a huge problem for Washington last season, so hopefully there performance over the past two games is a sign of things to come.
All of the starters looked great
Here are the respective stat-lines for the Wizards’ starters:
John Wall: 15 points, 11 assists, and 7 rebounds
Bradley Beal: 19 points and 9 assists
Otto Porter: 16 points and 9 rebounds
Markieff Morris: 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks
Marcin Gortat: 16 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks
These numbers are even more impressive when you consider the fact that only one of the five played more than 28 minutes (Morris played 30), and how efficient they were. The starters shot 69 percent from the field and 71 percent from three.
It was especially nice to see Markieff Morris get going. After shooting just 6-19 in his last two games, he turned in a strong performance and looked to be a legitimate three-point threat for the first time since the Wizards’ preseason opener. Morris went 3-3 from deep.
The rotation was unexpected
All of the starters logged significant minutes, and the only player on a non-guaranteed deal who got any time was Daniel Ochefu, who played just 5 minutes.
With the recent announcement that the Wizards would be making their final cuts before Monday’s deadline, you would think Scott Brooks would want to get another look at some of the players still looking to make the regular season roster, but that wasn’t the case.
Tweet of the night
Remember when the Wizards swept the Raptors?— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) October 21, 2016
Never gets old.
And now, bring on the regular season! The Wizards open things up on the road against the Hawks on October 27th.