Washington was off the hardwood for much of the week during the All-Star Game break, which came at a good time for most teams. For Washington, the break gave the team a chance to reset and offered a national stage on which star guard John Wall could shine; the two time All-Star recorded 19 points and seven assists in his second appearance in the All-Star Game.
The break also gave the team time to rework the roster as aging veteran Andre Miller was sent to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for journeyman point guard Ramon Sessions. However, Washington’s return to action after the break was a bit concerning. The AFRO recaps the week that was for the Wizards.
Feb. 19: Wizards Pick Up Sessions at Deadline
The Wizards acquired Sessions at the waning moments of the league’s trade deadline on Feb. 19. Several teams made major moves to shake up the league, but Washington made a much-needed trade for a reserve point guard. Sessions won’t be a monster upgrade over Miller, but he does give the team a younger and more athletic option off the bench and in handling the ball. He’s put up a string of solid numbers over the last few seasons, including last season, when he averaged 12.3 points and close to four assists per game despite changing teams during the middle of the season. Sessions’ arrival comes at an opportune time, as it appeared Miller had simply run out of gas at age 38.
Feb. 20: Wizards Routed at Home by Cavs, 127-89
The All-Star break was supposed to revitalize the Washington Wizards. However, Wall and the Wizards returned to action on Feb. 20 at the Verizon Center only to get annihilated by the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, 127-89. With Bradley Beal still shelved by injuries (stress reaction, toe), sophomore forward Otto Porter got the start and struggled alongside his teammates. Cleveland scored 60-plus points in each half and handed the Wizards their worst loss of the year. Wall and Nene scored in double figures with 18 points each, while five players scored in double figures for the Cavs including LeBron James (28 points, six assists, five rebounds) and Kyrie Irving (25 points, seven assists). It was a harsh reminder of the talent difference between the two teams, as Cleveland improved to the fourth-best record in the East while the Wiz slid to fifth-best.
Washington’s week was short but electric. Trades always spark interest, but Sessions isn’t going to be a difference-maker. However, his addition does give the team a clear upgrade at the backup point guard position. The blowout at the hands of the Cavs revealed that Washington still has more work to do, but it may help them avoid becoming complacent after a completing a strong first half of the season.