Washington has had a history of playing without all-star point guard John Wall—that history hasn’t been pretty. With Wall on the shelf for the next few weeks while he nurses a bum knee, Wall’s running mate Bradley Beal and an unheralded bench unit had to step up and provide some punch for the wounded Wizards. The team continues to hover around .500 but this past week wasn’t a total disaster. The AFRO recaps the week that was for the Washington Wizards.
November 28: Wizards Triumph over Timberwolves, 92-89
Washington has been masquerading as a middling team since the season started but they unveiled a new persona in a 92-89 win over the surprising Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 28. Otto Porter Jr. paced the team with 22 points and eight rebounds as three reserves scored in double figures. Porter’s jumper with 25 seconds left in the game gave Washington the go ahead lead at 91-89 and Beal added another free throw to ice the game. Washington came out with a gritty attitude and they scraped their way to a much-needed and unexpected win.
November 30: Wizards Fall to 76ers, 118-113
It was just a few years ago that the Wizards were flirting with the title as the new upcoming team in the Eastern Conference but that moniker is now clearly trademarked by the new young and exciting Philadelphia 76ers. Washington visited the 76ers on Nov. 30 and received an up close and personal look at Rookie of the Year candidate Ben Simmons in an 118-113 defeat. The sophomore guard attempted a team record 24 free throws in the fourth quarter as Washington resorted to fouling Simmons to climb back in the game after falling behind by 24 points. The Sixers looked quicker, faster and a lot younger than Washington and fully appeared ready for the title of the next biggest thing in the NBA.
December 1: Washington Trounces Detroit, 109-91
After a sour defeat to Philadelphia, Washington bounced back with a 109-91 trouncing over the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 1. Markieff Morris led the team with 23 points and seven rebounds and reserve guard Tomas Satoransky added 17 points, four rebounds and four assists in his best game of the season. Washington played a complete game against one of the better teams in the East and came away the victor. Any win without Wall is a milestone for the Wizards as they continue to look lost offensively without their lead guard, but Satoransky’s big game helped ease the burden for their second win in the past three games.