The start for the Washington Wizards wasn’t positive, but the team is showing signs of life as it gets healthy. Washington is slowly moving up the NBA Southeast Division standings after sitting dead last earlier in the year. The Wizards haven’t altered too many things, they continue to play horrid defense and the bench production remains nonexistent. However, the team’s backcourt is playing at an all-star level and getting healthier as the season progresses. John Wall and Bradley Beal have flirted with the label of NBA’s best backcourt before but haven’t made it official. While that label still remains elusive for the young duo, they’re playing incredible basketball in the month of the December and it carried over into the week. The AFRO recaps the week that was for the Washington Wizards.
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) goes to the basket against the Miami Heat in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Dec. 12: Miami Burns Wizards in 112-101 Defeat
Washington opened the week with a road trip in Miami on Dec. 12 to play a Heat team that had lost five straight games. But hot shooting from the home team offset a 59-point outing from Washington’s backcourt and dropped the Wizards to 0-2 against Miami this season in a 112-101 Miami win. Wall’s 30 points was a team-high as was his eight assists, but opposite point guard Goran Dragic who posted a game-high 34 points, the Heat closed out the Wizards 31-19 in the final quarter to secure victory. Beal added 29 points and four steals.
Dec. 14: Wall Makes Team History in 109-106 Victory over Hornets
The Wizards returned home to the Verizon Center on Dec. 14 to witness Wall make team history in a 109-106 win. Wall’s seven steals made him the team’s franchise leader with 762. The seven steals were impressive as it added to a solid line of 25 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Wall, again, was aided by a strong night from Beal who provided 20 points and nine assists. The Wizards were once again led by their backcourt who scored 19 points in a game-deciding third quarter as the home team outscored Charlotte 38-23. Washington used a 23-5 run in the quarter to create space, powered by Beal who scored 11 points in the quarter.
Washington Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) and guard John Wall, right, fights for the ball against Detroit Pistons center Aron Baynes, of Australia, center, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, in Washington. Also seen is Detroit Pistons guard Ish Smith (14). (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Dec. 17: Wizards Breeze Past Pistons in 122-108 Win
Still humming from their previous win, Washington breezed past a slower Detroit Pistons team on Dec. 17 with another home court win, 122-108. Wall had game highs in points and assists with 29 points and 11 assists, while Beal provided 25 points and four assists. Six players scored in double figures for Washington and the team connected on 12-of-25 from long range, including Wall’s 4-of-4 from deep. Beal and Wall were electric throughout, scoring at will and setting up opponents for easy baskets. Their improvement has been obvious as they continue to perform at a high caliber.
Washington currently sits 12-14 after their 117-110 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 18. The Wizards return to action on Dec. 21 when they visit the Chicago Bulls.