Washington Wizards (nee Bullets) Team Thread

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SirRoyTucker

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Did everything we could to lose to Philly, but Wall too cool from the line at the end. Two triple doubles in a row, the guy is a beast. Need's to cut down on the turnovers like nobody's business though... 8 and 9 in the last two games :/
 

FreoRicci

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Said it all before but Jesus what a frustrating season.

So ******* inconsistent.

After the break, go 8-2 or some sh*t. Looking really strong. A game off 7th.

Play Indiana and play sh*t house basketball lose by a point and then go on this road trip where we blow it at Portland and capitulate at Denver and Utah.

Ah well I say, least I can stop caring now.

Then they come out and wipe the two times we are trying to beat to stay with in touching distance.

Was probably our best team performance of the season against Detroit I thought. 7 guys in double figures. Shared the ball really well and everyone defended hard.

Then today Wall just goes into beast mode

Seriously

29-12-10. Something else.

Had 6 score 10 and up again and great to have Beal back.

Temple has had a really good season I feel. Just a shame he isn't shooting slightly better from distance.

I was quite upset with picking up Morris when we did but I actually think it's working quite well.

He seems happy. He is playing defence and he isn't taking shots like he was in Phoenix. 10 pts, 6 boards for him since he came to DC.

Shame to see Neal go. Whenever he got on the court this season he actually played really well.

Not a massive fan of Thornton but he gave us some solid minutes today.

I know Nene is going through a bit of a scoring high at the moment but I just don't understand why Randy loves him so much. Can't hit free throws. Incapable of defending. Makes bad decisions. Awful rebounder.,

Need Gortat back on the court for big minutes and healthy.

Atlanta beat Detroit today as well.

Probably will be irrelevant though as we seem unable to make the most of any kind of momentum.,
Add another triple double for Wall. But came off 4-17 FG (not even 25%).. Gortat has been immense this season too, another double/double. It shows that this team cannot look ahead at the possible playoff scenarios due to the fact nearly gave up a 24 point lead to only win 99-94 against Philly.

A game at a time (cliché I know) from this point on. Atlanta away will be a good example of where the team is at though. We have the depth and Beal possibly rested up over the week. These are the sort of games that, for some reason, Washington play their best. Have happened in Cleveland.

Otto has been erratic as much as the team's performance this season. He can go on a nice shooting run, hitting 3s then goes missing for a game or so. Lots of upside in him, still developing but definitely need more muscle.

Have to look at Morris from this way: we gave up a first round pick, but considering with the weak draft this season and next, we gain a 25 year old PF who can work both ways as well as his best is yet to come, if he puts the Phoenix years behind him. I'm happy with the trade, needed a contributor who isn't Nene.

Generally to make the playoffs in the East it's either .500 or just above (2 games). With the games remaining 42-40 seems possible, anything above that is a guarantee. Chicago, Detroit and Indiana are the three that is likely to drop off particularly Bulls with the injuries. Heat and Charlotte pretty much have 6th/7th seed. Even Toronto can snatch top seed, only 2 games behind Cavs. I'd fancy our chances against Toronto/Atlanta/Boston with a fit Wall/Beal.
 

FreoRicci

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Looking at Detroit's schedule, they have 9 straight home games! Already loss to Atlanta then beat Kings this morning. Definitely handy for them with the rest and home court advantage.
 

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FreoRicci

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So 34-35 with that win this morning. Wasn't pretty but a great third quarter getting the job done.
Got Atlanta on back to back games coming up. First one on the road Tuesday morning then the second at home on the Thursday morning. They are also on a winning streak (5 games) so would be a huge game to win on the road. Beal started but looks a bit rusty, really need him for the next two games.
 

FreoRicci

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And we win big on the road! Huge game from Otto and Beal today, particularly in the third.
Really did the defensive job on their perimeter shooters, Horford/Korver/Millsap pretty much limited- Korver only ended up with 1 3 pointer.
Wall was great yet again, 27 points, 14 assists but biggest thing was the whole team only had 9 turnovers. Normally average at least 14. Also Beal fully fit really helps the team- huge 25 points and 5/6 3pt. Just didn't miss. Was one of the rare games where Beal/Wall/Porter all dominated.
Having Morris really strengthens us in the front court- Dudley sucks big time in the post.

Frustrating though, is that all teams currently 5-9th seed in the East won today as well. Detroit won on a buzzer beater (thanks for the choke Milwaukee) and Bulls scrape through against Sacramento.

Just got to keep winning- Atlanta, Minnesota (home) then Lakers before playing Golden State next week- all three are winnable.
 

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Yep, huge win yesterday - we played really well against the in form team in the East.

Need to beat Atlanta again tomorrow.

Really need the Bulls and Detroit to start losing or we may lose hope, though. Be a shame if we've left it too late.

That 4 game run where we lost to Indiana, Denver and two others that escape me when we had looked to hit form might come back to haunt us.
 

FreoRicci

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Yep, huge win yesterday - we played really well against the in form team in the East.

Need to beat Atlanta again tomorrow.

Really need the Bulls and Detroit to start losing or we may lose hope, though. Be a shame if we've left it too late.

That 4 game run where we lost to Indiana, Denver and two others that escape me when we had looked to hit form might come back to haunt us.
The winning streak halted. Expected Atlanta to bounce back, but the team just didn't respond in the second half. Schroeder just went about doing his thing, frustrating how marginal guards like him tend to excel. Scored 101 points but defence really was down today.

Good thing is Chicago somehow blew their chance to go a game ahead with the loss against the Knicks. Hopefully Knicks back it up tomorrow and win again.
So now Washington 1.5 games behind Detroit in 8th. On Saturday morning Washington play Minnesota at home. Tough young team but surely have to beat them regardless. Detroit have a huge game against Charlotte. Then play Atlanta the next day. So we beat Wolves and Lakers, and Detroit hopefully lose those two- we go 8th, possibly tied with Chicago.
 

FreoRicci

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Minnesota win it in 2OT. Up by 5 pts in the first overtime and two stupid turnovers cost the lead. Detroit won. So safe to say, no playoffs this season.. What a waste of a season
 

FreoRicci

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Wow. Interesting day in the playoffs race. Chicago lose their 3rd straight, Atlanta got the desired result over Detroit and best of all Indiana lose to Brooklyn. Two unexpected results somehow still gives us a sniff in 8th seed. Washington play Lakers tomorrow, and Indiana host Houston. So anything can happen, strangely given this roller coaster ride of a season.
Then Atlanta play Chicago on Tuesday morning, and Detroit play OKC the day after. Those two games could very well keep us in the hunt.
 

FreoRicci

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So with the loss to Golden State (expected of course) Washington are now 36-38. So having played 72 games there's 10 to go.
This is the run home for three teams in the playoff race:
Detroit- 40/35 (7th)- vs Dallas (LOSS), @Chicago (Loss), @ Miami (Loss), orlando(Win), Washington (LOSS), Miami (WIN), Cleveland (Loss)
Predicted- 42/40 (9th)

Indiana- 39/35 (8th)- Phil (WIN), Cleveland (LOSS), @Toronto (Loss), Brooklyn (WIN), NY Knicks (WIN), @Milwaukee (WIN)
Predicted- 43/39 (7th)

Chicago- 37/37 (9th)- Houston(LOSS), Detroit (WIN), @Milwaukee (WIN), @ Memphis(LOSS), @ Miami (LOSS), Cleveland (LOSS), @New Orleans (WIN),
PHIL (win)
Predicted- 41/41 (10th)

Washington Run home: @Sacramento (WIN), @ PHOENIX (WIN), @LAC (LOSS), Brooklyn (WIN), @ Detroit (WIN), Charlotte (WIN), Brooklyn (WIN), @ Atlanta (LOSS)
Predicted: 42/40. (8th)

The game against Detroit is huge. Win that and the both are equal (hopefully) at the end, making Washington 8th with the tiebreaker. Need to some how win the games on the road vs LAC and/or Atlanta.
Chicago vs Detroit game is also pivotal, need the Bulls to also win. This season has been a crazy one thus far, so anything strange can and does happen. Detroit have the hardest run of the 4.
 

FreoRicci

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Hey guys.. I posted this on the 2016/17 NBA Season Preview thread. Thought would be apt to post it here too..

Washington Wizards 2016/17 NBA Season Preview



2015/16 Season Record: 41-41 (.500), (4th in South East Division, 10th in Eastern Conference.)

2015/16 Stats: Ranked 20th Offensively , Ranked 14th Defensively (Down from 5th Defensively in 2015/16)


2015/16 Leaders

Points: John Wall (19.9 PPG)

Assists: John Wall 10.2 (3rd OVERALL in NBA)

Rebounds: Marcin Gortat 9.9 PG


IN: SCOTT BROOKS, Ian Mahimi (INDIANA PACERS), Andrew Nicholson (ORLANDO MAGIC), Trey Burke (UTAH JAZZ) Tomas Satoranský (Acquired Draft Pick 32 in 2012 – Released from contract with FC Barcelona)


OUT: RANDY WITTMAN !!!, Ramon Sessions (To Charlotte Hornets), Jared Dudley (to Phoenix Suns), Garett Temple (Sacremento Kings), Nene ( Free Agent – Houston Rockets),

No Draft Pick Available in 2016 NBA Draft.


1 out of 2 Aint Bad..

With a frustrating roller coaster season for Washington, which didn’t hit .500 or higher for a few months (finally doing so after 82 games) towards the end of the season, there was no doubt what’s two biggest wishes every Wizards fans had as soon as the off season began: FIRE RANDY and of course #KD2DC. After finally heeding to its fans, Washington’s administration had enough, ending Randy Wittman’s often highly criticized tenure as coach. Randy made two straight semi-finals in the both 2014 and 2015 East playoffs, also having had about 5 seasons in charge with a 178-199 record. However, with John Wall’s career best season to date, the much-preferred ‘Small ball’ tactic imploded on the coach with a huge drop in overall defensive rating – given the team was top 5 in the league just the season before. It was clear the players didn’t either trust or believe in Wittman’s philosophy with reports that even Gortat did not speak to the coach during games. So that was one wish fulfilled, now on to the next – The return of ‘home town superstar’ Kevin Durant.


If Only..

The optimistic #KD2DC movement began a few seasons before, with even the front office organizing salary and its roster in preparation for the move. However, within weeks into the off season it fizzled out with a whimper. Washington fans, with years of mediocrity and failed drafting attempts, were hoping to finally to land a bright, young NBA superstar. Once that failed, questions were raised: Did John Wall’s brilliant season had all come to nothing? It could well have been, with even Wall himself trying, unsuccessfully time and time again, to lift the team into the playoffs quoted as saying ‘I Ain’t trying to waste a season for nothing’



The start of the season was optimistic enough, a win against San Antonio early as well as Bradley Beal (finally) looking like an All Star contender, however it unraveled quickly. As usual BB3 picked up his usual injury-prone self, first having a broken nose then reports of another mild stress reaction in his right fibula, forcing him to miss a large chunk of the season (as well as limited minutes towards the end of the season) around the All Streak break. From there, the team began to lose embarrassingly with stretches of 4 game losing streaks peppered throughout the season. Even with John Wall’s incredible season, close to averaging 20/10, it was clear the team did not have the talent nor depth to match the improved Eastern Conference teams such as Cavs, Heat, Atlanta and Toronto. Players such as Ramon Sessions, Garett Temple and Jared Dudley were required to perform above and beyond their capability (and their salaries).

So yet again another under-performing season for the franchise, with 1/2 of its offseason wish list ticked off (albeit a small one), just what is next for Washington in 2016/17?

New Season, New Coach, New Order?

As soon as Randy Wittman was fired, a new coach, Scott Brooks, was hired. Coach of the year in 2009-10, Brooks guided the talented young OKC to an NBA Finals berth and three conference finals in 4 seasons, finishing with a 338-207 record at the end of 2014/15 season.

The young Brooks inherits a team that needs a defensive tune up, particularly within the rebound area where Washington ranked an awful 26th overall – grabbing just 41.8 per game. An aging Gortat was left to withstand the under height gameplan, particularly with Kris Humphries leaving and Nene well by his use-by date. Not only that, but enabling the back court to flourish will be the priority, and Brooks is well placed having led KD and Westbrook in similar circumstances. The other is player development and management especially with Markieff Morris. Brooks is a proven post-season winner, that’s clear but with a franchise that rarely ever records 45 or more wins, the aim is merely to guide the team back into the playoffs which is desperately needed for John Wall to fulfill his potential. Brooks has stated that the position of Small Forward is up for grabs, with Kelly Oubre returning to training in impressive shape. Otto Porter still doesn’t seem like a ready made fit in that position, yet.


Possible Starting 5:

PG: John Wall (Trey Burke)


SG:
Bradley Beal (Tomas Satoransky)

SF: Otto Porter (Kelly Oubre)

PF: Markieff Morris (Nicholson)

C: Gortat (Mahimi)

6th Man: Kelly Oubre



The Back Court

There is no doubt that the best weapon that Washington has is the back court of superstar John Wall and Bradley Beal. Backing up an outstanding 2014/15 season with an even better 2015/16, scoring close to the magical 20/10 mark, Wall continues to go from strength to strength. The talented PG improved his much-maligned 3 pointer in order to facilitate for the Small ball game plan, shooting 35% from beyond the arc (his best in his career so far). The most common theme, however, is Wall having to play a significant part of Washington’s seasons missing just 5 games last season. Put simply he is left to shoulder the burden whenever Brad Beal or Otto Porter fails to deliver their potential. Having only played 63 games in 2014/15 season, Beal managed just 35 starts in 55 games played throughout 2015/16. However, such is Beal’s potential ceiling, he signed a max contract in the off season worth 128 million over 5 years, making him the highest paid player in the team. That’s all well and good, but BB3 simply needs to be on the court, and more often. He averaged 17.4 points (his highest to date) as well as increasing shots from beyond the arc from a 4.1 to close to 5 a game. It is clear that Beal relates closely to Klay Thompson as a 3 point SG, given Wall is the primary ball handler within the mid range.

In terms of depth, Trey Burke is a specialist 6th man, PG reservist which has shown to be particularly useful for a young Utah Jazz team. However, coming over to Washington Burke may be required to do beyond his needs in order to cover for injuries where possible. So the expectation for him will be to replicate what Ramon Sessions’ left the team with last season. Sessions played all 82 games averaging close to 10 points off the bench and was important in banking shots when Wall/Beal were resting, averaging 47.4% FGM. So the question remains in what can Burke offer that is just as good, whilst being on restricted minutes?

The most interesting depth cover for the back court is Tomas Satoransky. Highly regarded by the team during the media day, Satoransky is another young, raw upcomer who is destined for good things. He played Euroleague ball the past few seaons for FC Barcelona and is ready to make the switch to the Association. He is expected to be useful off the bench, however will be limited considering Burke is ahead in the queue. At the moment Tomas is a ‘watch this space’.

Bradley Beal... A little less of this..


And more of this..


The forward conundrum.. Continues

Another offseason, another forward leaves. Jared Dudley became the next seasoned veteran to leave the Washington front court, opting to join Phoenix. This is nothing new for the franchise, with Paul Pierce, Trevor Ariza other valuable forward options leaving after 1 or 2 seasons. Markieff Morris seems to be the long term back up in that position, preferable power forward, it means that either Morris or Nicholson must able to shoot at an efficiency beyond the arc close to what Dudley achieved last season – having shot 42% from the arc. While Brooks may slightly alter the game plan to suit the trio of Wall/Porter/Beal, forwards having a successful shooting range such as what Dudley achieved, greatly determines how games are won, given the emphasis on 3 ball in the current game. Otto Porter again needs to step up and improve upon his raw potential, which he has often shown many times throughout the past two seasons however with project KD2DC failing (hence leaving the SF position wide open) the pressure to perform will be on as soon as the season begins. Andrew Nicholson provides nice depth cover, particularly as a shooting forward, however may be limited in what he can achieve.


Heating Up : The player most likely to be under pressure
Well, given Beal has signed a ridiculous contract for playing for Washington part-time, the most under pressure goes to the third next in line: Otto Porter. While often being touted as ‘raw’ or ‘rising’ it’s clear that he’s the one most needed to fire and now. With Washingto unable to bag KD, it’s time for Otto to show his worth with regular starts and limited depth in the SF position (Kelly Oubre could be the one to be the next future star.). He’s still quite lean and easy to attack against, so will need to lift his defensive side majorly if Wizards are to make the playoffs. His numbers must improve to a standard of 15 pts / 8 rebounds such is what B grade SFs are required to do. Anything less and questions will be asked just exactly what is the point of blooding him for a few years for no gain?

Sigh...


Bang Bang – Is a gun

None other then John Wall. Capable of producing double/doubles (49 last season alone) consistently, as well as carry the team in nearly every game, it’s clear Wall Star is a superstar. Needs the team to stand up with him and go beyond the first round of the playoffs. If not, can see him to really seriously think about moving elsewhere for better success. Expect another season of close to, if not better, then 20/10. A 4th straight All Star awaits for him, hopefully to be alongside Brad Beal.


Notable Fact Of the Day

Can you name the top 4 longest tenured GMs in the league right now?

Pat Riley, R.C Buford, Danny Ainge- BUT to top it off ERNIE GRUNFELD.

To put that in perspective:

Riley’s Miami Heat: three titles and two other Finals appearances.
Buford’s San Antonio Spurs: four titles and one other Finals appearance.
Ainge’s Boston Celtics: one title, one other appearance.

Then there’s Grunfeld’s Washington Wizards: Since 2003, has won just 3 playoffs in 13 Seasons! The Wizards does not have ONE 50-win season in that time, as well as has won less then 40 % of their total games. Has to beg the question, WHY the heck is he still the GM of Washington given all that? Is mediocrity just so easily accepted within the city that there’s no pressure/emphasis to perform?

Good Case Scenario

Wall and Beal put aside their onfield ‘competitiveness’ and gel as a duo to take Washington to the promised land of 50 wins. Even more importantly is Beal stays healthy for at least 80% of the season AND finally become an All Star, which is what every Wizards fan expect. Markieff Morris puts aside his anger and finally proves his worth alongside an improved Otto Porter. The sky is the limit.




Worst Case Scenario
Beal continues to get injured, Wall doesn’t believe in Washington anymore as well miss the playoffs, yet again. Gortat suddenly shows his age and the team looks just like Washington of old. Sub 30 win season.

Prediction:

46-36 (56% winning record) - 5th in East Conference.

Teams such as Atlanta, Miami and Charlotte slide significantly. Bonus point is 50 wins.
Scott Brooks to hit the ground running.

John Wall returns better than ever from knee surgery, stays healthy and yet again All Star- joined by Beal. Kelly Oubre emerges as a genuine rookie star.
 

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FreoRicci

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First game of the season, on the road vs Atlanta. Loss 114-99

Sloppy game and not the start you would expect from Wallstar and Beal. Wall shot a horrible 3/15 FG - ending with 12 points.
Real positive was Markieff Morris with 22 points, 4 rebounds from 50% shooting

Hopefully just the start of getting used to Brooks' mentality. Beal has to be the max player we expect him to be and soon.
 

FreoRicci

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After a poor start at 7-13, this squad has definitely turned it around and are now 21-19. Massive turnaround. The guards are on fire, great to see BB3 finally getting consistency in. But John Wall is undoubtedly top 2-3 best PG in the East right now. Averaging 22.0 points a game with 10.2 assists. Having his best season thus far and finally this team is where it should be, currently 5th seed in the Eastern Conference.
 

SirRoyTucker

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To think that we are only 2 games behind 2nd seed in the East. John Wall having an MVP like season. If only it weren't for all the other guards having even more MVP like seasons. Otto Porter leading the NBA in 3P%, he has definitely hit his straps.
 

FreoRicci

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To think that we are only 2 games behind 2nd seed in the East. John Wall having an MVP like season. If only it weren't for all the other guards having even more MVP like seasons. Otto Porter leading the NBA in 3P%, he has definitely hit his straps.
15 straight at home.. Not sure what's the franchise record is, but would definitely be going back to 1975 era. Unheard of for this team, suddently winning games normally get trapped in and well. Have Lakers, New Orleans then Cleveland at home. With the form we're in, could end up with 17 straight at home and really push Cavaliers- if we're really serious, get the W and get as close as we can to 2nd seed by the All Star Weekend.

John Wall one of only 3 players averaging 20 pts and 10 assists in the league. Has 27 Double/Doubles, next most for a guard in the East? Batum with 12. Insane. But most of all Otto is reaching his potential, and Beal is conistently consistent (and injury-free.. touchwood). And Markieff Morris is such an asset to have in the post, has the offensive weapon plus hard to score against. Really clicking for the starters- just need better bench weapons, definitely among the worst in the league at the moment in that area.
 

FreoRicci

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17 straight now at home, 7 straight in a row (believe that's the best streak in about 12 years for the franchise), got Lakers and Pelicans out of the way, non-convincingly though.
Now it's the big one the fans and the players been waiting for - Cavs at home. Expecting a different intensity and will suit Wall/Beal.
 

jakefooty23

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Wow, this wizards team play such an exciting brand of basketball. Fast paced, constantly getting good looks from 3. There taking it up to the cavs at the moment and I can see this team going deep into the playoffs. Wall, Beal, Porter, my favourite 1,2,3 punch in the NBA.
 

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Get outta here Lebron! Not the ideal result but one that will make the players more hungry. Oubre getting good exposure too.
 

FreoRicci

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Devastated with that.. Took an unbelievable, god like shot from Le Bron literally with the last second. Beal is balling this season, consistenly too. Only 23.
Washington finally mean business, now need to back it up and go after a 45+ win season, even 50 isn't out of the equation. 17 straight at home though. Brilliant effort.

Onto Brooklyn Nets.
 

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We'll need to bring in another guard to shore up our 2nd unit. Mahinmi is back in training and should start getting minutes which will be good.
 

FreoRicci

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That's a nice way to come back from the All Star break rust.
Dominated from the first quarter, Golden State were always going to come back but obviously too much. Needed some consistency in the 2nd partcularly. Nut very happy for the starters to close out the game in the clutch. Otto massive 3 put Washington up by 2. He's shooting 46% from 3 pt range this season, highest among the starters in the league.

Wall with a massive 19 assists with 12 points and 6 rebounds. Chalk up another double/double
Beal was fire in the first quarter, shooting 16 points in the 12 minutes. Ended up with a respectable 25 pts- averaging 29 pts the last 3 games back from the ASG.
Got Toronto next up, so another big back to back. Would be huge to get this road win then beat Toronto back at home. No Lowry too, which will help the backcourt a lot.
 

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Great to get the B2B against GSW and Raptors, but disappointing to drop the Raptors game at home.

I'm looking forward to see how Jennings, Bogdanovic and Satoransky all gel in the 2nd unit.
 

FreoRicci

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Great to get the B2B against GSW and Raptors, but disappointing to drop the Raptors game at home.

I'm looking forward to see how Jennings, Bogdanovic and Satoransky all gel in the 2nd unit.
Bit of a downer losing that one, particularly after that great road win. But the bench is finally one that can challenge for large periods. Really need to rest Wall/Beal for longer especially before the playoffs.

Bogdan and Jennings will get used to the game style Brooks play, soon. Got very winnable games against Orlando at home then Phoenix on the road. ATM 4th seed is ours, wouldn't mind going hard for 2nd. But Boston have a favourable draw for the rest of the season. Washington really can't lose too many more from here.
 

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