In all likelihood, the Otto Porter trade signaled to fans the end of meaningful basketball in Washington for the rest of the season. On Wednesday night in Milwaukee, the Wizards seemed to realize it as well — and performed appropriately.
Milwaukee blew the doors off Washington, scoring a franchise-record 85 first-half points on their way to a 148-129 victory. Though Washington put up gaudy shooting numbers of their own, hovering around 50-50-90 shooting splits for most of the game, they simply could not muster up the defensive effort necessary to stop or even slow down the Bucks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ran wild on the Wizards, perhaps in search of yet another MVP moment on national TV. He accumulated 43 points, six rebounds and four assists in just 31 minutes of game time, including a couple of monstrous dunks and three pull-up 3-pointers. He shot 17-of-21 from the field and may not have broken a sweat. As a team, the Bucks had truly absurd shooting splits of 60-63-65.
For the Wizards, Bradley Beal led the squad with 30 points plus 8 rebounds and 7 assists, while Tomas Satoransky nearly tripled-doubled with 16, 7 and 10. Thomas Bryant even added 26 and 14 and a truly bewildering plus-one point differential for the game — a nice bounce-back game from a player who’d gone quiet over the last week.
Despite the abrupt pregame departure of Otto Porter, Washington started off the game looking solid on offense. The Wizards scored 35 points in the first quarter in Milwaukee, including 12 points from Beal and 9 from trade candidate Jeff Green.
Unfortunately for the Wizards, the only downside of that initial fast-paced period was that Milwaukee scored just a bit more — The Bucks dropped an incendiary 50-spot on the Wizards, just the second time since 1990 that such a high-scoring first quarter has occurred.
The second and third quarters continued apace, with Washington even scoring their highest quarterly total of the season after halftime (42 in the third), yet still hardly making up any ground.
Though Washington trailed by more than 20 points in the game, they managed to cut the lead to just seven early in the fourth quarter. The defense never really improved from the first quarter embarrassment, but Washington’s best players fought valiantly on the other end. The effort was however simply too little, too late, and Milwaukee pulled away again with the slightest exertion of bare-minimum effort.
Otto TransPorter (h/t Fred Katz of The Athletic)
Otto Porter is officially on his way to Chicago in exchange for Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis and a 2023 second-round pick. The deal came as a shock, with Adrian Wojnarowski tweeting just seconds before the deal went through that Washington had developed renewed interest in dealing Porter. Here is BF’s early breakdown of the trade by the great Mike D. Sykes — expect more analysis on Otto’s departure and the arrival of Jab-obby Por-ker in the coming days.
More Dominoes To Fall
With the trade of Porter, there are surely more heads on Washington’s chopping block. It would make absolutely no sense to hold on to Jeff Green or Trevor Ariza. If trade packages become available that don’t contain long-term salary, these players should go despite their welcome contributions this season.
In his final chance to show out before the trade deadline, Green continued his fantastic season with 22 points. Ariza added just five to the scoring column, but had eight assists and has stuffed the box score on a regular basis since arriving in D.C. Sending these two to desirable playoff contenders and helping the Wizards improve their first-round pick is a mutually beneficial arrangement — let’s just hope Ernie Grunfeld realizes that.
Your Unspectacular Moment of Zen
Next up: The new look Wizards will host the Cavaliers on Friday at 7pm Eastern Time.