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Terps, Hoyas, and Wizards

So much for starting off on the right foot at home for the Washington Wizards. After a sluggish first quarter that saw the Washington Wizards manage only 12 points, the 16 point defecit the Celtics built up proved a tad too much for Kevin Seraphin and Co. In spite of going on torrid run in the second quarter that saw the Wizards score thirty points thanks in large part to a eight points from Kevin Seraphin (on jumpers, to boot), the Washington Wizards never led until late in the fourth quarter. With the game close and the Wizards able to win on a last second shot, poor execution damned them as Martell Webster forced up an ugly shot off the inbound. That was all she wrote after that.

Wizard(s) of the Game

Jordan Crawford (21 points, 4 rebounds, three assists) and Kevin Seraphin (19 points, 7 rebounds)

Were it not for Jordan Crawford and Kevin Seraphin, the Washington Wizards would have suffered an absolute blowout loss. Seraphin looked like he hadn’t missed a beat despite missing the season opener on Tuesday, showcasing a newly refined jumper as he connected on his first 5 shots of the game. His range made life difficult for a much older Garnett, and his floor spacing helped Jordan Crawford, our other player of the game, get to the basket consistently.

These two made all the difference tonight, and perhaps the more amazing part is that they did it off the bench. Crawford may have very well stolen Bradley Beal’s starting spot in the rotation with his play, but that remains a big question. He hurt his ankle late in the game going to the basket, and while he still played the remainder of the game, he did not look nearly as explosive throughout. I’m not sure if he’s going to miss any time, but the Wizards certainly can’t afford it if he does.

Goat(s) of the Game

Beal and Ariza

Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal went a combined 0-for-9 from the field tonight, and looked completely lost out there at times. Neither played with the type of aggression they were both brought in here to provide, and proved instead to be liabilities, leading to them getting yanked from the game for the majority of the second half. Beal had a very hard time getting around Courtney Lee, who followed him around the court relentlessly and never gave him much space. Outside of a singular drive to the basket for some free throws, the remainder of the game was marred by his bad habit of hanging around the three point line and not moving. He’s young, so I don’t expect him to get it right away, but he certainly made the Celtics look like world class defenders (the same Celtics who lost by 20 points in both their previous games).

As for Ariza, he is what he is, which is to say he is not really an offensive threat when his jumper isn’t falling. His stat line tells the story, and you’d be hard pressed to find a fan in the arena who even realized he was on the court. His minutes may go down if he isn’t providing offense, isn’t providing defense, and isn’t providing anything else beneficial. In the press conference, though, Wittman was persistent that there would not be any lineup changes in the future. It is still the second game of the season, so that may be the rational move.

What’s Next

Same team, different arena. The Wizards travel to Boston to complete their home-and-home against the Celtics and hopefully snap their two game losing streak and right the ship, so to speak. Seraphin will have another game under his belt, as will Beal, and hopefully the Wizards will come out with much more intensity than they did to start their home opener.

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