Welcome back to the NBA.
Friday the Wizards opened up their two-game pre-season with a very uninspiring 103-78 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. It wasn’t even close at any point during the night.
The media was quick to paint the Wizards as the same ol’ team:
Photo by Patrick Pho
The last time the Sixers came into the Verizon Center the story was all about the top two picks in the 2010 draft facing head-to-head. Turner ended up playing 27 minutes off the bench while Wall started and scored 29 points the night.
Tonight the tables have turned, Turner ran out of the tunnel as a starter while Wall sat on the bench- active but still recovering from a left foot sprain. He entered the game in the first quarter to cheers but didn’t look like himself as he passed the ball around to shooters that put up bricks early in the game. The one thing that did stay the same for the Wizards this time around was the result: a Victory in overtime. Thanks to a game clinching shot by Nick Young and another strong performance from JaVale McGee, the Wiz eek out past the Sixers 116-114.
A view of the Verizon Center prior to the game. (photo by Patrick Pho)
The Wizards fans arrived to the Verizon Center for their home opener eager for a win. After starting the season with losses to Orlando and Atlanta, the crowd was ready for 2010′s first overall pick John Wall to go toe-to-toe with the second overall pick Evan Turner.
That didn’t exactly happen.
While The Wizards finally earned their first W in the home opener, they did so in a nail biting overtime thriller that tested the team’s depth and will to succeed. The evening’s storyline of Wall vs. Turner was soon replaced with Nick Young’s 23 points off the bench, Wall’s double-double that was one steal short of a triple-double, and Cartier Martin’s game tying buzzer-beater to send the game in overtime and allow the Wizards to close out a strong performance that suffered a fourth quarter meltdown.