This game was a see-saw affair where one minute, it seemed like we were going to re-live the debacle of last Wednesday’s loss to the Hornets, and the next, it felt like Washington was going to run Detroit out of their own arena.
At one time, the Wizards were down by as many as 15 in the first quarter. But they picked up the pace against the Pistons with a small ball lineup to tie the game at halftime.
That set the stage for the third quarter when the Wizards shot 16 of 20 from the field and led by as many as 20 points, culminating in this slam dunk:
In that period, John Wall and Bradley Beal scored 23 of the Wizards’ 45 points in that period. The Pistons made their inevitable comeback in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to single digits as they shot 62.5 percent from the field in that period. But Oubre scored 10 points, nine of them coming off of threes to help close them out.
One of those threes even turned into a Martell Webster-esque four point play!
We’re likely going to see more small ball - Brooks made no changes to the starting lineup, but he changed the distribution of minutes among his frontcourt players. Marcin Gortat scored 10 points, but he only grabbed 2 rebounds and played 18 minutes. Ian Mahinmi didn’t even play eight.
The smaller lineups Washington had tonight worked very well tonight. So, there is a good chance that we’ll see more of this in future games. It’s clear that Gortat and Mahinmi can’t share the floor together, but we may even see that the Wizards may fare better without Gortat, who’s been an otherwise reliable option.
Otto Porter bounces back - Much has been made of Porter’s shooting slump or lack of aggression in recent games. Today, he played every minute in the second quarter when Washington went small ball with a lineup that didn’t include Marcin Gortat or Ian Mahinmi. End result? Porter led all scorers at halftime with 11 points, and he had 16 overall.
And to add to that his three point game was on point after being under the weather for basically the entire month. He made four of his five threes for the night.
Oubre didn’t just come through in the fourth. He even helped spark the Wizards’ comeback - The Wizards starters’ didn’t begin on the right foot. But I’ll give this sequence two thumbs up since it helped Washington start the second quarter on the right foot.
Oubre added to his highlight reel right before the first half here:
For more reading on Oubre and his improvement this season, check out Osman Baig’s column below:
Next up: The Wizards head to Dallas to take on the Mavericks on Monday at 8:30 p.m. ET.