Posted April 03, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Lately, the Washington Wizards bear little resemblance to the squad that got off to an abysmal 4-28 start. While it may be too late to play for anything meaningful, the Wizards haven't let that deter them from playing their best basketball.
On the other hand, the Toronto Raptors' struggles keep escalating.
Toronto will host the Wizards on Wednesday night, three days after losing 109-92 in Washington.
The Wizards (28-46) followed that victory with a 90-86 win over Chicago on Tuesday. It was their eighth victory in 12 games, a span in which they're averaging 100.3 points while shooting 42.3 percent from 3-point range. They're at 93.1 points per game and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc for the season.
With a goal of surpassing Philadelphia for ninth place in the Eastern Conference, Washington trails the 76ers by 2 1/2 games. Extremely unlikely chances of making the playoffs also remain as 7 1/2 games separate the Wizards from Milwaukee for eighth.
"We want to, but we know we probably gave, like, eight games away since I've been back," John Wall said of reaching the postseason. Washington is 23-18 since Wall made his season debut after being sidelined with a stress fracture in his right knee.
"If we had won those games, we would be right there (in the playoff picture)," he said. "We're still fighting - we're not going to give up on the season - but that's a very long shot."
Wall playing possibly the best basketball of his three-year career has been a big reason for the Wizards' recent success, averaging 24.8 points and 9.0 assists over the last 13 games. He finished with 27 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and three blocks Tuesday.
The Raptors (27-47) were officially eliminated from the playoff chase with Monday's 108-98 home loss to Detroit despite a season-high 34 points from Rudy Gay. Toronto has lost seven of eight.
"It hurts," coach Dwane Casey said. "Our goal was to knock on the door and get into the playoffs. A couple of weeks ago we saw that light but it faded when we could not take care of games against Washington, Cleveland and Milwaukee."
The first of those defeats - 90-84 at home to the Wizards on Feb. 25 - began the Raptors' current 4-14 slump.
Toronto has been devastated by poor 3-point shooting lately, hitting 26.9 percent over the last eight games.
Landry Fields is listed as day-to-day for Wednesday after missing Monday's game because of elbow pain.
While the Wizards are as healthy as they've been all season - Nene returned Tuesday for 10 points and seven rebounds after missing four games with a sore knee - there is still some concern with Bradley Beal.
Beal scored 24 in Sunday's win over the Raptors - his first game after missing five straight with a sprained left ankle - but followed with eight points on 3-of-11 shooting Tuesday. He said he still felt some pain.
"It was bothering me. It was hurting when I was warming up," said Beal, averaging 23.0 points on 53.3 percent shooting in three games against Toronto this season.
Washington has a 2-1 lead in the season series despite Toronto's DeMar DeRozan averaging 21.3 points. Gay totaled 18 points on 5-of-21 shooting in the Raptors' two losses.
BEST OF MAXIM
John Wall had jokes for President Obama on Monday at the White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll where the President shot 2-22 while playing basketball with the Wizards and kids in attendance.
According to the Washington Post:
“I told him ‘I’m on a hot stretch this month,’ ” Wall said. “I said you was shooting like I was shooting the first month I came back. He kept saying...
John Wall and the Wizards attended the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday morning. Joined by other athletes including the NFL MVP, Adrian Peterson and NASCAR’s Danica Patricks, the Wizards took part in “Eggtivity Zone” where they played basketball and other sports with kids. Joining them was President Obama, who maybe could have used some help from a Wizards shooting...
John Wall had 27 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, Emeka Okafor scored the go-ahead dunk in the final minute and the Washington Wizards won their eighth straight home game Tuesday night, beating the temperamental Chicago Bulls 90-86.
Wall was 8 for 17 from the field and 11 for 13 at the free throw line as the Wizards maintained pursuit of their goal of becoming the best team...
If the Washington Wizards were good and heading to the playoffs, John Wall's comments could have been construed as a competitor hoping his top competition remained off the court. However, the fact that the Wizards are horrible and Wall has nothing to gain by Rose being sidelined makes his comments fell more genuine. According to Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago, Wall believes...
The NBA regular season is coming to a close, and unless Bulls point guard Derrick Rose pulls his own version of the Willis Reed, and tries to rescue the Bulls during the playoffs, Derrick Rose likely will miss the whole season.
Wizards guard John Wall who missed sometime this season with a knee injury thinks Rose should indeed sit the season out according to ESPN.com.
wizards 109 raptors 92
3/31/2013 - Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Wizards vs Raptors Photos
NBA.com Game Highlights
This was John Wall's game from beginning to end. The Wizards young superstar continued his assault on the league in what Randy Wittman assesed as a better performance than his 30+ and 40+ games earlier this month.
Back on Monday, a video of United States president Barack Obama made the rounds on the Internet due to his poor shooting performance at the White House basketball court during the annual Easter Egg hunt.Washington Wizards guard John Wall was in attendance at the event and courtesy of the fine folks over at the Washington Post, Wall decided to rib the president's poor shooting...
4/3/2013 - Air Canada Center, Toronto, ON
ESPN Boxscore - NBA.com Game Highlights
Call it fatigue in the second game of a back-to-back. Or late-season apathy. Or just your opponent getting the best of you.
Whatever you do, don’t call it winning basketball.
Despite throttling Toronto at home this past Sunday, the Wizards put...
As the Wizards season once again approaches it's end before the month of May, fans have no other choice but to begin the recurring process of bracing for the future. Usually, this entails another summer of skepticsm and/or outrage over a consistently mislead franchise with no clear direction, however, that doesn't entirely seem to be the case this time around, thanks greatly...
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
7:00 PM ET
TV: Comcast SportsNet HD
Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier
Radio: 106.7 FM/1500 AM
Dave Johnson and Glenn Consor
Wizards Projected Starting Lineup