The Wizards ended their five-game road trip with a big 129-104 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Bradley Beal showed his all around game by scoring 18 points and dishing five assists, but he wasn’t the guy who “led” the team statistically. I’ll just say that this was one of those games where everyone came to work.
Washington played so well to the point where Beal didn’t play in the fourth quarter. Markieff Morris led all scorers with 23 points and six Washington players scored in double figures.
In the first half, the Wizards took advantage of strong three point shooting as they made 10 of 17 from long range. But their overall shooting percentage hit another level in the third quarter as they shot 61.1 percent from the field, and they almost short 70 percent from the field overall in the last quarter!
John Wall sat out tonight’s game due to soreness in his left knee, and we’re not sure what’s in store. But the good news was that the Wizards rallied despite his absence and played sound basketball. They made 10 of 17 three pointers in the first half.
It felt a bit like the “Ewing Theory,” named after the Georgetown Hoyas head coach back when he was a star for the New York Knicks when a team without its top star tends to play selflessly and still manages to win its fair share of games.
Of course, no one’s gonna say that the Wizards are better off without Wall. But I’m pleased to see that the wheels didn’t fall off tonight. Here are some takeaways from this game.
Ball movement was MONEY!
John Wall is a very strong assister. You’re not going to replace his production. Though Tomas Satoransky is a good ball distributor in his own right, there’s more urgency for the Wizards to share the basketball. Out of 49 made field goals, 40 were assisted. In the first half, the ball movement was even better as the Wizards dished 19 assists out of 22 made field goals. I’m really happy with what I saw.
I was really happy with Tim Frazier’s performance tonight as he dished 14 assists after playing sporadically for much of the season. If Wall is out for a significant period of time, it’s good to see that Frazier can take some of the load. That said, Satoransky played well himself as he scored 11 points and dished 7 assists of his own.
Markieff Morris started very strong
Morris led all scorers with 23 points as mentioned above. He also scored 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting in the first half.
It’s a nice followup to his 20 point and 9 rebound performance in the Thunder loss last Thursday. Hopefully we’ll see some more performances like this from him for the rest of the regular season since he played like he did back in January and February 2017 when he averaged over 17 points a game.
Mike Scott was strong for the reserves
There were times this regular season when I was wondering out loud why Scott wasn’t starting over Morris. I’ll say this though. When Morris is playing strong and Scott is there to back him up, the Wizards look real good out there. Scott scored 19 points, 13 in the first half on 5 of 8 shooting.
Kelly Oubre showed off his hops
Can this continue?
The Wizards have been consistent at being inconsistent. This was Washington’s best game of the season, but it’s not going to matter much if they can’t play with the kind of urgency they did.