Episode 7 – (Va Tech, Redskins, Caps, Wiz)

The Redskins beat the Cowboys 20-17 at FedEx Field this past Sunday which propelled them to sole possession of 1st Place in the NFC East! We’ll have our thoughts on that along with our “Notes with Nokes” segment previewing the Hokies game this Thursday against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Capitals & Wizards have gotten underway as we also discuss their starts.

Timestamps:

  • “Notes with Nokes” Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech – (1:40)
  • Redskins vs. Cowboys Reaction – (26:35)
  • Washington Capitals Talk – (42:40)
  • Washington Wizards Talk – (55:00)
  • “2 Point Conversion” – (1:07:40)
  • “Pine Pony Express” – (1:20:00)

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Game 1 Wizards Grades

Let’s go ahead and assign grades to the Wizards players on their loss last night. Why? Because we feel like it.

First up, the man himself, John Wall

Miami Heat v Washington Wizards

Grade: A

Stats: 26 pts (9-16 FG, 2-7 3PT, 7-10 FT), 9 Ast, 3 Reb, 3 Blk, 1 Stl, 3 TO’s. 

Give this man a full season without injury, these are the kind of numbers you expect. Wall went hard all 36 minutes, but clearly was a little gassed at the end. The Wiz are a missed Wall three-pointer away from being 1-0. Bad shot decision when he could have driven and drawn contact? Possibly.

Bradley Beal

Miami Heat v Washington Wizards

Grade: B-

Stats: 20 pts (7-16 FG, 2-7 3PT, 4-6 FT), 2 Ast, 1 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 TO)

Overall an okay night from Brad. Hit a couple three’s, but unfortunately not much else. The foul trouble plagued the ‘zards all night, Beal had 5 and only was able to play 27 min.

Otto Porter Jr. 

Miami Heat v Washington Wizards

Grade: D+

Stats: 9 pts (3-7 FG, 0 3PT, 3-4 FT), 0 Ast, 11 Reb, 3 Stl, 3 Blk

I know, a little strange for a guy to get a D+ when he almost gets a double-double. Otto Porter needs to do…more. Multiple guys off the bench get more shots up than he did (Jeff Green put in a great case to try and earn the starting SF spot), he didn’t tally a single assist, didn’t shoot a single three, this was not a great game from OP. Both Heat forwards outplayed him.

Markieff Morris

Grade: C+

Stats: 11 pts (3-8 FG, 2-3 3PT, 3-4 FT), 2 Ast, 5 Reb, 2 Blk, 3 TO’s

Kieff is always going to be a hit-or-miss player. Some nights he’ll be on, some he’ll be way off. Tonight he was pretty good. He is out there to be a bruiser, hit a few threes, but definitely needs to put up higher rebound numbers. The Wiz were DESTROYED on the boards last night (55 to 40). Including allowing 22 offensive rebounds to Miami. That can’t happen.

Ian Mahinmi

Grade: D

Stats: 3 pts (1-2 FG, 3-4 FT), 1 Reb, 1 Stl, 2 Blk’s

Well, with Gortat gone, and Dwight hurt, here is a look at what Mahinmi does with a starting opportunity. Not good. Brooks only gave him 12 min as well. Mahinmi is definitely more fashioned to provide energy and physicality off the bench. He is not a starting center in this league.

 

The Bench

Jeff Green: 17 pts (6-12 FG, 2-4 3PT, 3-3FT), 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 STL, 2 Blk’s

Grade: A

Great Debut for Green, this bench is definitely better than last year.

Jason Smith: 4 pts (2-3 FG), 6 Reb

Grade: C

Foul trouble, another guy that couldn’t stay on the floor tonight.

Kelly Oubre Jr: 9 pts (2-8 FG, 0-3 3PT, 5-6 FT), 6 Reb, 1 Blk

Grade: B-

The mental side of the game still plagues Oubre. Picked up a stupid tech for taunting.

Austin Rivers: 9 pts (4-7 FG, 0-3 3PT, 1-2 FT), 2 Ast, 1 Blk

Grade: B

Not a bad debut, would have liked to see those assist numbers be higher.

Tomas Satoransky: 4 pts (1-2 FG, 2-2 FT), 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk

Grade: B

Oh look, Tomas outrebounded the Wizard’s starting center.

Jordan McRae: Did not register a minute

Troy Brown Jr: DNP

Thomas Bryant: DNP

 

 

In case you missed it…Wiz lose heartbreaker to Heat 113-112

Capture

What a crappy way to start the season. Getting outscored 28-23 in the 4th, including an absolute backbreaker by the anti-christ Kelly Olynyk

This looks very much like the Wizards of old, possibly helped by the fact that Dwight Howard didn’t play. Love to have your brand new Center be injured right off the bat.

Wall looked great, doing things like this

He was feisty John tonight, getting into a few scraps along the way. It seems that Wall is taking NO S*** this season

That’s cool and all, but you HAVE to close out games.

Wall finished with 26 pts and 9 assists (with 3 blocks as well)

Beal added 20 pts, and was 2-7 from deep.

Wiz fans seem to be over Otto at this point, okay night from him with 9 pts and 11 rebounds. But only took 7 shots all night in 33 minutes. There HAS to be more production from him.

Rivers with 9 pts in his Wiz debut, Jeff Green looked like a beast with 17 and 4.

That was a winnable game, and the Wiz blew it.

Next Game: Saturday vs. Toronto (1-0) 7PM ET

Otto #42, Beal #27, Wall #24 in SI 50-11 List

SI revealed their top 50-11 NBA Players of 2019. The rest will be released later

You can see the article here: https://www.si.com/nba/2018/09/10/top-100-nba-players-2019-lebron-james-stephen-curry-dirk-nowitzki

Wizards within 50-11

Otto Porter

#42: Otto Porter

Porter (14.7 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.0 APG) isn’t one to amaze—only to steady his team with quiet capability. The vast majority of his shots are created for him, though Porter adds value the moment the ball touches his hands. If open on the perimeter, Porter (who finished third in three-point percentage last season) is a lights-out shooter with a high release point. Should the defense give his shot the respect it deserves, Porter can drive in response without veering out of control. Restraint is the through line of his game. One can always trust in Porter to play within himself, gifting his coaches and teammates a certain peace of mind. Porter is the player you never have to worry about.

These are virtues best appreciated in contrast. If a team were composed entirely of players with Porter’s disposition, the offense might seesaw into eternity one non-committal pick-and-roll at a time. Yet in any more typical ecosystem, Porter would be welcome for his range, his patience, and his defense. Two-way, low-maintenance players are championship mortar. What Porter needs are the right bricks.

If an opponent really wanted to scheme away Porter’s offense, they could. There’s nothing particularly intricate going on in how he gets his points. But attaching a defender to deny Porter shots will still serve his intended purpose, making life that much easier on the creators around him. Reducing the game to 4-on-4 will favor any competent offense. Porter, meanwhile, can still assume critical defensive responsibilities and facilitate his team’s best lineups by flexing between positions. Nothing is wasted with Porter, even when he assumes a background role. 

beal

#27: Bradley Beal

This was a stretch season for Beal (22.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 4.5 APG), who not only played all 82 games for the first time in his career but went half that time without John Wall. The experience was illuminating. We saw Beal run even more pick-and-roll than usual, approaching each with a new disposition. Taking over the responsibility for an offense can’t help but change a player. Even though Beal will always see the game as a scorer first, he was more patient when it came to reading the floor and letting his options develop. The lesson, contrary to the extreme reaction at the time, was not that the Wizards are better off without Wall. It was that the Wizards are better off without Wall dominating the offense, which Beal could do more to help orchestrate.

Every year, Beal’s handle gets a little tighter. His crossovers these days aren’t quite so unruly, which allows him to work in straighter lines. The more direct Beal’s game is, the better; he’s so good at slamming on the brakes—only to pull-up for a jumper or pivot into one—that any momentum he generates works to his advantage. Beal’s touch is natural, but his moves are earned. You can see the patterns in his footwork that would only materialize through repetition, as he sorts out how to attack out of any situation and at any angle. Maybe the most underrated part of Beal’s game is the sheer accessibility of his scoring. No matter where he’s positioned, there’s always a way through.

wall

#24: John Wall

As always, Wall (19.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 9.6 APG) has paid careful attention to the perception of his standing relative to his peers, noting in an August interview with NBA Sports Washington that “a lot of guys don’t talk about me being a top-five point guard.” Although SI.com ranked Wall as the fifth-best point guard and 13th overall player at this time last year, it’s impossible to argue that he lived up to that billing. The five-time All-Star missed half the season due to injury, ranked outside the top 45 by PER, Win Shares, Real Plus-Minus and WARP, and was quickly bounced in the first round of the playoffs. At 28, Wall has never led a 50-win team, he’s led just one top-10 offense, and he’s won just three total playoff series during his eight-year career. That body of work doesn’t compare—at all—to the likes of Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.

If Wall returns to full health and 20/10 production, he belongs in the mix for a top-five spot with the next tier of point guards: Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving and Kyle Lowry. But regaining his footing in that conversation requires more than just flashing his incredible athleticism, maintaining his improved three-point percentage, and recommitting himself on the defensive end. Wall spent a good portion of last year sniping with Marcin Gortat, and his ball-dominant approach briefly led critics to wonder if Washington was better off without him when he was injured. If Wall can make meaningful strides as an inclusive and empowering leader both on and off the court, the Wizards are far more likely to reach their playoff ceiling. When that happens, he won’t need to waste his time and energy fighting for respect. He’ll get his due. 

SI’s Top 100-51 Players of 2019 List

dwight

SI revealed their top 50-100 NBA Players of 2019. The rest will be released later

You can see the article here: https://www.si.com/nba/2018/09/10/top-100-nba-players-2019-lebron-james-stephen-curry-dirk-nowitzki

Only one Wizard falls within 100-50:

#69-Dwight Howard

Like a July 4th cookout or a family trip to the waterpark, a change of address for Howard (16.6 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 1.6 BPG) has become a rite of summer. The eight-time All-Star center has landed in Washington via Charlotte and Brooklyn, continuing a cycle of new GMs dumping him as quickly as possible and desperate GMs talking themselves into a gamble that will almost certainly backfire.

The 32-year-old Howard is far removed from his prime years and probably leads the league in worn-out welcomes, but his reputation shouldn’t completely eclipse his performance. Last season, he missed just one game, he made Charlotte better both offensively and defensively when he was on the court, and he was one of only five NBA players to average 12 points and 12 rebounds. While Howard’s defensive impact, mobility and effort have atrophied—thereby limiting his utility in the postseason—he still ranked among the league’s most productive rebounders and finished 70% of his shots in the basket area. It’s too late for the former No. 1 pick to become the player and teammate everyone has hoped for, but he remains a worthy option as a starting center. 

Gotta think Beal and Wall will be in the top 50 when that comes out.

 

Markieff Morris: Asset Or Liability?

This is my question for the Wizards. Is Markieff Morris producing more energy than he is taking? It seems as though sometimes he puts minimal effort out there on the floor. It’s in the little things. I have witnessed him drop or roll the ball to teammates rather than passing to  them. I have witnessed him avoid high fives. We need a good teammate.

Image result for markieff morris

We need Markieff to produce like his twin brother Marcus is doing on the Celtics. I personally believe that Keef is capable of doing this. He just needs to get running more. Sometimes his athleticism seems lacking. This is obviously not the case considering he is in the NBA.

He has a pretty decent shot, but we need him to be multi-faceted. We need rebounds from the 28-year-old. The 6’10 forward only averages 5.6 rebounds in his career. This is the same amount of rebounds that he averaged last season. We need double-digit rebound games if he is going to be a starting forward in the NBA.

I like Keef, but his attitude and effort on the floor make it hard to do so. We need Keef to be chippy. We need him to fire up other players. If we wanna make the playoffs then we need more. The way he has been playing is just not cutting it. Hopefully he has been working this offseason and will come out next season ready to actually play like a winner. The Wizards are slowly putting the pieces together. My expectations are that Markieff can give us what we need. If this does not happen then he is wasting the Wizards’ time and money.