After the Wizards were able to knock off both the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers last week, the wins have kept rolling in over the past seven days, with John Wall and company beating the Brooklyn Nets at home last Friday and taking to the road to beat the Bucks in Milwaukee on Monday. The new-look Pistons would then halt the Wiz’s four-game winning streak in Detroit just two nights ago, but it’s fair to say that this has been another successful week of DC basketball overall.
It all started with Andray Blatche and the Nets’ return to the Verizon Center Feb. 8 in the teams’ second meeting this season. While Brooklyn was able to squeeze out a 115-113 2OT win back on Jan. 4, the Wizards certainly responded in this one, holding the Nets to a measly 32.5 percent from the floor and taking home the victory, 89-74. Nene led the way for the ‘Zards, scoring 20 on 9-of-13 shooting, with Martell Webster and John Wall adding 16 and 15 points, respectively. After facing a 20-18 deficit late in the 1st quarter, the Wiz started hitting their stride and would lead the rest of the way, especially after bringing a 20-point lead into the locker room at halftime. In any case, Deron Williams was the high-point man for P.J. Carlesimo’s group, scoring 20 of his own on 3-of-6 from three-point range. In another despicable, “boo”-ful effort, the former Wizard Blatche would finish with five points on 2-of-9 shooting in the contest.
Following the win over Brooklyn and a 3-for-3 homestand, Washington jetted to Milwaukee and put together another solid effort in Bradley Beal’s second game back from a wrist injury. Beal would indeed be the star, dropping a career-high 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting and 4-of-5 three-pointers off the bench. Coupled with a 21 point, 13 rebound effort from Nene, the Wiz would get all they needed to beat the current No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 24 points in a whopping 43 minutes of playing time, but in the end, it wouldn’t be enough.
Finally, after riding in on their longest win streak of the 2012-2013 season, the Pistons would halt the Wizards in their tracks in the final game before the All-Star Break, defeating Randy Wittman’s squad by a final score of 96-85. Newly acquired point guard Jose Calderon scored a commendable 24 points for Detroit, and at times it seemed like he just couldn’t miss from downtown. Nevertheless, fans should proudly applaud the effort of this ever-improving DC squad, and even with a mediocre 15-36 record to date, the Wizards could really give teams trouble as we get set for the second half of this exciting NBA season.