Like many of Washington’s early scrimmages, the Wizards kept this game close for the most part. In fact they even had a lead for most of the game. Thomas Bryant continued to step up and scored 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting and grabbed 9 rebounds.
Johnathan Williams started in the season finale in place of Rui Hachimura where he grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds and scored 5 more points. Troy Brown Jr. added 17 points and 8 rebounds in his second game starting at point guard.
There were some notable DNP’s earlier today as well. Ian Mahinmi did not play a minute despite being healthy. This was likely the last time we’ll see him in a Washington uniform anyway. But rookie forward Admiral Schofield was also out, which is not a good sign to say the least.
For Boston, Javonte Green led with 23 points.
Washington was leading for most of the game, even fighting off Celtics runs when they were leading (although by no more than five points) at any time. Still, Washington was able to get a late 94-87 lead in the fourth quarter. which helped them fend off a late Boston attempt to steal the game.
There is no doubt that the Wizards were able to win this game, partly because of Boston’s injuries. Jayson Tatum (ankle), Daniel Theis (foot) and Kemba Walker (knee) all sat the game out, in part since they were guaranteed the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
The Wizards have a big opportunity to grab their first win in the bubble - the Celtics' 6 missing players make up 91% of their team's scoring!— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) August 13, 2020
Today's @ChasenBoscolo Injury Report: pic.twitter.com/h5R8OG8P9C
And thankfully, they took advantage of that.
As you might have expected for the Wizards in bubble play, they won, but weren’t particularly efficient either. They only shot 38.6 percent from the field and turned the ball over 18 times. Boston wasn’t shooting much better (39.8 percent shooting) and turned the ball over 18 times themselves. The difference maker for Washington was that they got to the free throw line more oftenand made enough shots (18-of-24) as opposed to Boston’s 12-of-14 performance.
At the end of the day, I’ll take this win, even if they played an opponent that sat down their best players. The Wizards approached bubble play with the goal of seeing what some of their younger players could do with extended minutes. And to a large extent, they succeeded.
Bryant regained his 2018-19 season form. Troy Brown finally got to play extended minutes at point guard and took a bigger role. Rui Hachimura also remained consistent in Orlando during his rookie season. Even Jarrod Uthoff scored 8 points in 24 minutes off the bench.
But some other players didn’t fare so well. Schofield was unable to find consistent time, and Moritz Wagner wasn’t shooting efficiently during any of the games in the season restart, sans his 12 point performance against the Thunder on Aug. 9.
And with all of that, the Wizards’ 2019-20 NBA season has now come to an end. We never expected that they would make a traditional 16-team playoff field with Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans, and they didn’t. And we certainly never expected a global pandemic to throw the season on its head. But in the end, when the NBA season finally restarted, the Wizards were able to keep playing, and I still think that the bubble experience will help their younger players in the long run.
In the coming days and weeks, we will FINALLY get to player evaluations, more draft prospect analysis and more. The 2019-20 Washington Wizards season was a long and windy road, but I think that the experience will help the team in the long run.
Thanks again for being part of the Bullets Forever community. The team and I are proud to have covered this long season, despite its struggles, with you all.