Happy Saturday and last weekend before Halloween. Let’s get to some quick links to recap the last week.
The Wizards lose two straight on their road trip
After beginning their season 3-0, the Wizards headed out on an early West Coast road trip. Things started well with a 109-104 win over the Nuggets. However, they followed that up with consecutive losses to the Lakers last Wednesday on national television and the Warriors on Friday night.
The Lakers and Warriors losses were kind of the same mold: the team would start out hot and have control of the game until the fourth quarter. Then in the fourth quarter, the Wizards would give up the lead and ultimately lose the game. That said, Washington put forth a lackluster effort against the Lakers, who most expect to be a sub .500 team this season. The Warriors are of course, the defending champions who just had more depth than Washington.
Though the Wizards lost to the Lakers and Warriors, each game had their own subplots. So let’s get to them.
LaVar Ball bullies the Wizards and still gets to after Wednesday’s loss to the Lakers
I’ll go with the storylines in chronological order. As you are aware, LaVar Ball, Lonzo’s dad, is an outspoken guy. He’s proud of his son and thinks Lonzo is the next John Wall to the 10th power. He took a jab against the Wizards last Sunday which prompted a response from Marcin Gortat. Wall ultimately said that Lonzo was getting “no mercy” on Wednesday.
After the Wizards’ overtime loss, Ball had his well-deserved “Told you so moment,” while Stephen A. Smith of ESPN’s “First Take” had some harsh words for Wall. Ultimately, why are John Wall and the Wizards willing to engage with a team like the Lakers? They are expected to make a good playoff run, while the Lakers are probably getting a high draft pick.
At the end of the day, this loss hurt the most because LaVar has embraced his role as an NBA villain or bully. He taunted the Wizards who engaged with his words, and the Wizards couldn’t beat his son’s team. Sometimes, bad guys win battles, as Troy Machir of NBC Sports Washington notes. Hopefully, the Wizards can win the “war,” so to speak.
Bradley Beal, Kelly Oubre, Markieff Morris, and Carrick Felix face possible suspensions after 2nd quarter fight
Before halftime of the Warriors game on Friday, Beal and Draymond Green got into a scuffle. Both were ejected and there’s a good chance both will be suspended before their next games. In Beal’s case, it’s unlikely that he plays Sunday against the Kings.
But other Wizards players could be in trouble too. Kelly Oubre apparently got Klay Thompson in the face during the fracas, while Markieff Morris and Carrick Felix ran onto the court when it happened. NBA rules mandate at least a one game suspension if a player throws a punch or if a player on the bench runs onto the court during a fight.
The Wizards are 3-2 but could easily be 5-0 or 0-5
The Wizards haven’t played bad offensively and kept their turnovers in relative control for most of their games. However, their team defense has been quite poor since the start of the regular season. Ultimately, the Wizards began the season with three straight wins and lost two straight, so I’d say that their record is about right considering the way they’ve played.
If you’re an optimist, you can make the case that the Wizards could really be 5-0 if they didn’t give up late leads to the Lakers and Warriors. However, the Wizards also haven’t had a “blowout” win just yet, even against the Detroit Pistons, the weakest team on their schedule so far. The season is still young of course, but again, we’d like to see some more consistent play on the defensive end.
And more links from here and around the web
- The Wizards beat the Nuggets, but Scott Brooks got in some shenanigans with Nikola Jokic. Jake Whitacre has a take on their exchange that is so Jake Whitacre.
- Alan Jenkins writes that the Wizards must stay patient with Kelly Oubre’s development this season.
- Jake had a chance to speak with Elena Delle Donne on her upcoming wedding.
- Adam Rubin of Truth About It broke down the mistakes Washington made in the Lakers loss.
- Conor Dirks of Truth About It wrote about how the Wizards broke down in the fourth quarter against the Warriors.
- Candace Buckner of The Washington Post wrote about one of the key points during the Wizards-Warriors altercation. Kevin Durant broke John Wall away from the altercation soon after it started.
- And Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post writes that the Wizards’ “mean streak” or mentality may now be hurting them more than helping.
If you have another link you’d like to share, feel free to do so in the links or as a FanPost. Enjoy the rest of your weekends!