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Game TWENTY FOUR, Wizards @ Raptors, 6 PM EST

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  • The Great One
    replied
    Good game.

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  • Bendit
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    GOLDBLUM wrote: View Post

    paywall...

    Any particular passages you'd care to relay?
    By Kareem Copeland
    Yesterday at 8:49 p.m. EST|Updated yesterday at 9:42 p.m. EST


    TORONTO — The buzz coming from the stands inside Scotiabank Arena ramped up each time Pascal Siakam got the ball in isolation. Fadeaway, layup, pull-up jumper, baseline spin — the Washington Wizards had no answer for any of it, and the crowd was ready to erupt after each bucket.

    The Toronto Raptors forward didn’t play the first time these teams met this season; Siakam was still recovering from left shoulder surgery. He made up for lost time Sunday.

    The Wizards lost their second straight and for the third time in four games by taking a 102-90 defeat against the Raptors. They followed one of their worst games of the season — Friday’s 116-101 home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers — with an ugly first half that put them in a hole too deep to climb out of.

    Siakam put up 31 points, falling one shy of his season high, while adding six rebounds and three assists. He had 17 points on 7-for-7 shooting in the second quarter alone as Toronto went into halftime with a 63-42 lead.

    The Wizards scored just 12 points in the first quarter, their fewest in a quarter this season. The offense picked up in the second, but the Raptors scored 40 points to erase any advantage. Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope decried a “lazy mentality” for the slow starts.

    “[Siakam is] a really good player,” Coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “Second half we tried to minimize switching on certain guys. The bottom line, 12-point first quarter, puts you in a hole for us offensively. Second quarter, they got going. Scored 40 points. ... From those two quarters alone, there’s the game.”

    Kyle Kuzma was roasted for his pink oversized sweater. He and his stylist have no regrets.

    Unseld said the Wizards need to limit empty possessions; he believes pressure seems to mount on his players when shots aren’t falling and, in turn, they start to press.

    Chris Boucher finished with 14 points off the bench for Toronto, and Precious Achiuwa had 10 points and 14 rebounds.

    Caldwell-Pope was the lone bright spot for the Wizards: He had 26 points on 8-for-9 shooting (including 4 for 4 from three-point range) after getting hot in the second half. Bradley Beal was Washington’s only other player in double figures with 14.

    “Just taking my shots,” Caldwell-Pope said. “Being comfortable. Taking what the defense is giving me. Just playing within the flow of the game. Just wanted to go out tonight and just play basketball. Last game I had a lot going on with the refs. I know that takes me out of my game, and it hurts my team. So tonight I tried to just really focus on myself and get the job done.”

    Here is what to know about Sunday’s game:

    Centers struggle again

    Consistency continues to be an issue for centers Daniel Gafford and Montrezl Harrell. Gafford was held to his second-fewest points of the season Friday and matched that output with four Sunday. He had more fouls (five) than shot attempts (four). Harrell failed to score in double figures for just the second time Friday and matched a season low with six points Sunday.

    “It’s not for lack of effort,” Unseld said before the game. “They’re trying to get us going at times, but it’s plays aren’t going their way [or] they’re not going to the line. Whatever it may be, I don’t think it’s an effort issue, which I can live with. The ball just doesn’t go in. It is what it is, but I think they’re just continuing to try to find ways to impact the game for us.”

    Beal remains off-target

    Beal’s shot continues to be off; he finished 4 for 12 from the field. He has failed to shoot better than 40 percent in each of his past four games.

    The NBA’s second-leading scorer last season was held to 19 points or fewer in each of those games, and his 14 points Sunday matched a season low — which he set in Friday’s loss. The Raptors blitzed Beal with traps and sent extra defenders at every opportunity, but Washington wasn’t able to take advantage when he passed out of them.

    Sticking with the plan

    Wizards point guard Spencer Dinwiddie has not played in the second game of back-to-backs as part of a plan to be careful with his surgically repaired right knee. Washington was set to fly to Indianapolis after Sunday night’s game, with a 7 p.m. tip-off slated for Monday against the Indiana Pacers. Unseld said the Wizards have talked about Dinwiddie sometimes taking off the first half of back-to-backs, but they’re comfortable with the way they have decided to do things.

    Dinwiddie continued his recent offensive struggles with nine points on 3-for-11 shooting Sunday.

    “We’ve got guys who can score,” Unseld said. “He, I think, takes the mind-set of, ‘I got to set the table for everybody.’ A lot of times we’ve seen him get going late in the second half and all through the fourth quarter. The challenge is finding that balance where you pick your spots and be aggressive. There are times where, I’m not saying he’s turning down shots, but I think he’s looking to keep others involved instead of attacking a matchup that we like. Play downhill — that plays to his strength.

    “So maybe it’s me just having a couple more plays specifically for him, and maybe that helps get him going.”

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  • GOLDBLUM
    replied
    Bendit wrote: View Post
    A view from Washington...


    paywall...

    Any particular passages you'd care to relay?

    Leave a comment:


  • Bendit
    replied
    A view from Washington...

    Leave a comment:


  • MixxAOR
    replied


    Nurse and coaching stuff being careful with Yuta

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  • MixxAOR
    replied
    TrueTorontoFan wrote: View Post

    It is always easier to dial back vs dialing up.
    They always talked about making "hard" mistakes instead of making passive mistakes

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  • TrueTorontoFan
    replied
    DanH wrote: View Post

    I wonder how much of that was intentional, overdo it in the early part of the season to get the help instincts and scoring attitude ingrained in the less experienced players, then slowly dial it back (especially as we get other guys back in the lineup).

    Could also just be guys learning - Precious in particular got sent to the bench for a while after being completely out of control early in the season and seems to have tightened up on both ends as a result.
    It is always easier to dial back vs dialing up.

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  • Puffer
    replied
    DanH wrote: View Post
    ...Precious in particular got sent to the bench for a while after being completely out of control early in the season and seems to have tightened up on both ends as a result.
    I have heard or read transcripts of both Precious and Boucher acknowledging that watching game tape helped them understand better the things they need to to and the things they needed to avoid. Obviously watching with guidance from assistant coaches. But seeing yourself making a mistake and understanding alternative actions must be a big stepping stone towards improved performance. It takes time to change habits. I think they are both getting there.

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  • MixxAOR
    replied
    Their execution is getting better. They work on defense every day according to Boucher. So they are starting to get Nurses' schemes. Takes a while but they get it eventually.

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  • golden
    replied
    DanH wrote: View Post

    I wonder how much of that was intentional, overdo it in the early part of the season to get the help instincts and scoring attitude ingrained in the less experienced players, then slowly dial it back (especially as we get other guys back in the lineup).

    Could also just be guys learning - Precious in particular got sent to the bench for a while after being completely out of control early in the season and seems to have tightened up on both ends as a result.
    For sure guys are always learning, especially a relatively young team. But it does feel like Nurse is/was consciously pushing the envelope early to see what guys can actually do and who he can count on. That also builds trust with his players, like: "See...I gave you guys the opportunities to show your stuff." I mean, in the playoffs it's not uncommon to see Nurse dial it way back the other way... to a 6-7 man rotation. Method behind the madness.

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  • DanH
    replied
    golden wrote: View Post

    We were closing out under control and not the wild aggression we have seen in the past, which kept guys mostly in front of their man. Let our elite defenders slide their feet and disrupt with their length. And we just did basic switching off screens and stayed man-to-man, especially the all 6'9 lineup. Wizards were definitely shook.

    The other thing is that, on offense, Boucher isn't dribbling the ball up the floor anymore. He's immediately handing it off to an established ball-handler in the backcourt. And Precious isn't trying to score the ball every possession and he's also handing off more often. These 2 guys have acknowledged their limitations.

    Nurse is dialing down the aggression/freedom on both ends, which has been shooting ourselves in the foot. That's what a lot of us have been hoping for.
    I wonder how much of that was intentional, overdo it in the early part of the season to get the help instincts and scoring attitude ingrained in the less experienced players, then slowly dial it back (especially as we get other guys back in the lineup).

    Could also just be guys learning - Precious in particular got sent to the bench for a while after being completely out of control early in the season and seems to have tightened up on both ends as a result.

    Leave a comment:


  • golden
    replied
    MixxAOR wrote: View Post
    Once Khem and OG come back this defense will probably go back to Top 10.
    We were closing out under control and not the wild aggression we have seen in the past, which kept guys mostly in front of their man. Let our elite defenders slide their feet and disrupt with their length. And we just did basic switching off screens and stayed man-to-man, especially the all 6'9 lineup. Wizards were definitely shook.

    The other thing is that, on offense, Boucher isn't dribbling the ball up the floor anymore. He's immediately handing it off to an established ball-handler in the backcourt. And Precious isn't trying to score the ball every possession and he's also handing off more often. These 2 guys have acknowledged their limitations.

    Nurse is dialing down the aggression/freedom on both ends, which has been shooting ourselves in the foot. That's what a lot of us have been hoping for.

    Leave a comment:


  • DanH
    replied
    Well that was a fun game!

    The defence! How I have missed it! Early on (less so later as we let up a bit with the lead), guys were on a string in a way we haven't quite seen all year. If we're getting something close to that moving forward, that would be very, very good.

    Basically everybody played pretty well, I was very happy with that performance. And so many fun little highlights - starting with Fred setting the tone with some Globetrotter stuff early in the game. Precious burst to the rim for a dunk after an OREB on the perimeter. Lots of fun Dalano and Barnes combinations. Trent had a few nice little plays including a beauty of a tip pass in the air from under the rim. And Pascal was just unguardable, only settled a little bit late but the whole team was just counting down the clock at that point (which Nick was smart to recognize and sub in the deep bench even with only an 11 point lead and over a minute left).

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  • saints91
    replied
    Great game last night. We have a good chance to win the next three. Gotta take care of business.

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  • Dvdvideo
    replied
    I'll take any win happily with all our current injuries.

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