On Wednesday night, the Washington Wizards rolled into ORACLE Arena and did something not many teams can do — they defeated the Golden State Warriors, 88-85. For Warriors head coach Mark Jackson, it was somewhat of an ironic loss.
Before the game, Jackson told reporters that the Wizards have a good frontcourt. He also said that John Wall was unfairly left off the NBA All-Star roster. During the game, Bradley Beal and Wall proved that both of Jackson’s statements are true.
Beal finished with 20 points, shooting 4-of-7 from the behind the arc. Wall piled on 15 points including a clutch three with just a few minutes remaining. Wall also finished with eight rebounds and five assists. Marcin Gortat finished with a team-high 12 rebounds.
Defensively, John Wall stood up to the challenge that was Stephen Curry. Curry had just 23 points on 8-for-23 shooting, and most of his shots were contested. While Wall didn’t have his best game offensively either, he certainly played better than Curry all things considered.
All season long, the Wizards’ frontcourt has fueled this team to victory. Wall is the obvious leader of the team with Beal being his right-hand man. Wall averages 20 points per game while Beal averages 16.9. Wall averages 8.5 assists per game and Beal averages 3.2. Both are tops on the team in those two categories.
What’s better is that they only seem to be getting better. As Beal continues to heal from his leg injury and eventually work past his current 30-minute limit, his game will continue to improve. For Wall, he’s sound offensively, but now his defense is really starting to come along. He forced a key turnover late on Wednesday night and then made Curry shoot a contested three to try to tie the game as time expired.
The Wizards are a team that only continues to get better. Wall evolves his game more and more each night, and Beal doesn’t play like the young 20-year-old that he is. Are they consistent? No. However, when they are on, they’re on in a big way.
As Mark Jackson noted before Wednesday night’s contest, the rest of the NBA better take note of the dynamic duo forming in D.C. Bradley Beal and John Wall have the Washington Wizards running like a well-oiled machine.
Now, if only they can get them over that .500 hump. That would be an impressive feat.