Kelly Olynyk is a name that has sat with the Washington Wizards for some time now before with the Boston Celtics and now with the Miami Heat. Olynyk ruined Washington’s home season opener with a late put back off an offensive rebound with 0.2 seconds remaining. A final score of 113-112 leaves Washington disgruntled and fans disappointed.
All-Star point guard John Wall proved why he’s still the face of the Wizards. Driving to the basket while freezing defenders with his speed kept the momentum intact. Wall had a team-high 26 points with nine assists, three blocks and one steal.
Dwight Howard was declared out before the game meaning Ian Mahinmi started. That also meant Jason Smith was the backup for Mahinmi. Wizards had to play small ball the entire game, which seemed to work out until it didn’t.
Wizards Game One Woes
Early foul trouble and lack of urgency from the bench unit in the first half allowed Miami to stay in the game although Washington led 59-58 at the half. Two key players who caught foul trouble early were Mahinmi and Bradley Beal who had three fouls in the first half along with Markieff Morris. Beal was forced to sit for some of the second quarter and even second half, finishing with five fouls total while only playing 27 minutes.
Otto Porter Jr. disappeared offensively as the Wizards didn’t get him going early from beyond the arc. Porter didn’t make a 3-point shot attempt the entire game. His defensive efforts were recognizable having three steals, three blocks and nine defensive rebounds.
Kelly Oubre Jr. really couldn’t get going either missing wide open three’s and even some dunks. The one dunk he did make ended with a technical foul due to him jaw-jacking at Hassan Whiteside. His shooting off the bench hasn’t really improved from last season shooting 2-for-8.
Bring Out the Positive(s)
Two big positives was the overall team defense and the leading scorer off the bench: Jeff Green. Key team totals that stood out for Washington was 15 blocks and seven steals. Wall and Porter tied for three blocks a piece, while Porter led his team with three steals. Building more on the defensive side of the ball can be added on their list of fixtures, but not necessarily a priority.
Welcome home Jeff Green. The Georgetown alum in a Wizards jersey is a sight that’s unforgettable playing in the arena where his college years were well spent. Green led the bench unit with 17 points, four rebounds, one steal and two blocks. Him and Tomas Satoransky were the only Wizards players perfect from the line.
This isn’t nothing new from Green as he pulled the same stats while with the Cleveland Cavaliers. All Washington needs is one or two more bench role players to step up and be consistent and the talk of a bench depth can continue.
Next Up: Wizards host the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night before going on a five-game road trip. Their last meeting was in the first round of the playoffs last season. Only difference is there’s no more DeMar DeRozan, instead Kawhi Leonard.
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