The Washington Wizards took on the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night. Washington beat the Pelicans earlier this year, 102-96. This was the second and last matchup between both franchises for the 2013-14 season.
The story at the beginning of the night was the debut of recently acquired PG Andre Miller. Though, throughout the game, it was the Wizards’ frontcourt players, Marcin Gortat and Nene Hilario, who stole the headlines.
Washington’s frontcourt was extremely productive on both ends of the court. Gortat had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Nene had 30 points and 7 rebounds.
The performance put on by Gortat and Nene is a great sign for the Wizards as the playoffs get closer. On Saturday, John Wall and Bradley Beal played less than average. Together they had 21 points, 7 rebounds and 16 assists. Nene tied his career high of 30 points, which helped prove that Washington’s frontcourt can be just as good and as important to the team’s success as their backcourt has been this whole season.
Gortat and Nene have grown to play very well with each other. Together, they helped Washington out rebound the Pelicans 42-38, holding New Orleans to five rebounds less than their game average. A huge statics in a game won by one point and one possession.
Washington’s interior defense has looked great this season. Nene and Gortat are able to pressure and compete with some of the best big men in the league. In their most recent win against the Pelicans, the two big men combined for four steals and three blocks.
The frontcourt is looking very solid in Washington and now it is time others start to take notice. Their frontcourt will be a big key to success come playoff time.