A very good basketball team beat a not so good basketball team on Saturday night, as the Spurs took down the Wizards 112-100
Don’t let the final score fool you. This game didn’t follow the typical blueprint of a Wizards loss. The Spurs only made 3 more three pointers than the Wizards. They didn’t have a have a massive, game-defining run where they seized control. They just slowly, but surely, kept adding to their lead as they made tough shots inside the arc while the Wizards struggled to keep up.
The first half didn’t go as expected for either team. John Wall was held to 4 points and 3 assists even though he logged 20 minutes in the first half. On the other end, Kawhi Leonard only had 8 points on 2-8 shooting. The first half was mostly a two-on-two battle featuring Bradley Beal and Otto Porter against Tony Parker and LaMarcus Aldridge, all of whom took advantage of defenses daring them to make plays.
It looked like we were going to get more of the same in the second half, but things changed with 7:30 left in the third quarter when Markieff Morris was ejected after arguing a foul call. Wall and Leonard both took on more assertive roles on the offensive end, but it didn’t do much to turn the tide of the game. The Spurs held on to double-digit lead for most of the second half and rolled to a comfortable win.
Mahinmi’s quiet debut
Ian Mahinmi picked a great game to return, because you need all the quality big men you can get against the Spurs’ deep front line.
He got his first action late in the first quarter as both teams started subbing in players. In the early going, he didn’t make much of an impact on either end. He was understandably tentative on the offensive end and didn’t get a chance to make much of an impact on the defensive end because the Spurs were doing such a great job creating looks on the perimeter that kept Mahinmi from altering shots.
Though he didn’t make much of a dent on the stat sheet (1 point and 1 rebound in 14 minutes of action), his impact in other areas were promising. His screen-setting, spacing, and smart passing helped the Wizards’ bench run more smoothly than it has most of the season.
Satoransky’s struggles continue
We’re not here to be critical of Tomas Satoransky’s play. Even when he’s struggling, he’s been the Wizards’ best option off the bench all season long. That said, it’s worth at least noting his struggles over this back to back against the Magic and Spurs. He scored 0 points on 0-7 shooting from the field, and only had 3 assists over the two games. As a result, John Wall had to log more minutes than Scott Brooks probably wanted him to on this back-to-back.
Satoransky should snap out of it eventually, but he might have something to worry about in the short-term thanks to Trey Burke. After racking up a few DNP’s, Burke came through with 8 points in 9 minutes off the bench in the fourth quarter for the Wizards. We’ll see if his performance makes Scott Brooks consider shaking up the rotation any moving forward.