The Washington Wizards went through a pretty rough stretch that is finally starting to wind down. After a commanding 105-97 victory over the very tough Portland Trail Blazers last night, the Wizards have now won five out of the last seven games and are just a half-game behind the No. 4 seed and one game behind the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
Washington displayed an impressive performance last night against the team with the fourth best record in the league, holding the lead the entire game. They went up by as much as 25, and took a 20-point lead into halftime. After nearly relinquishing that lead and letting the Blazers pull within as little as three points, they were able to pull away and grab a big victory at home.
Bradley Beal came through in this one, leading all Wizards in scoring with 23. John Wall came dangerously close to a triple-double, as he recorded 22 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds. The fifth-year point guard out of Kentucky has just been making some absolutely incredible players, on both sides of the floor.
I have officially concluded that Wall is the most gifted athlete in all of the NBA. When it comes to pure speed, Russell Westbrook might very well have him beat in that department, but no one in the league is faster than Wall with the ball in their hands.
LaMarcus Aldridge lead the way for Portland, scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. This guy has only gotten better this season, which is scary considering how great of a career he has had. In my mind, Aldridge is one of, if not the most underrated player in the NBA.
The guy can do it all from faking you out with his post moves to knocking down shots from long-range. He is a top 10 player in the league, and it’s pretty easy for me.
All five starters for Washington scored in the double-digits. The Wizards also rested four players in this game due to a coaches decision. Otto Porter Jr. and the newly acquired Toure’ Murry were two of the four players not to participate in this one.
Marcin Gortat received 38 minutes in last nights game and scored 16 points, while grabbing nine boards. His minutes have gone up and it is no coincidence that the Wizards have started winning in the process. Getting the Polish Hammer out there on the floor is vital to the Wizards success. A 6-foot-11 body like that can be hard to guard, so head coach Randy Wittman has to figure out a way to get him out there as often as he can.
Next up the on the schedule, the Wizards will head West and take on four Western Conference opponents over the next week. Challenges await for Washington as we approach the final stretch of the 2015 regular season.