Even if the players usually have their heads in the holidays to come with the All-Star Break, this duel turned out to be a good battle, between two teams in urgent search of victory before the final stretch of the regular season. After three tight first quarters, the Wizards and the Nets are on the starting blocks at the start of the final period (78-78). Rui Hachimura capitalizes on his speed advantage over LaMarcus Aldridge to stick a few easy points by knocking the inside veteran out of his paint. Corey Kispert and Hachimura redo the “Gonzaga connection” and find themselves with their eyes closed.
Ish Smith is perfect at the stick, and Wes Unseld’s players apply the systems to near perfection. Well licked game, rapid circulation of the ball and the too slow defense of the Nets is already sticking out its tongue (95-83). Steve Nash tries to revive his training by playing “small ball”, but it does not work. Cam Thomas forces his shots a little too much, and the locals seem tired of the superb comeback the day before at Madison Square Garden in the derby against the Knicks.
The defense of the capital is doing an excellent job and the attack is unfolding (39 points scored in this quarter). The Wizards win at Barclays Center, with the feeling of the work done before the All-Star Weekend break (117-103).
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
Mills, the fastest sniper in the East! Before participating in the All-Star Game 3-point contest, Patty Mills warmed her wrist in the first period: 17 points, including 4 long-range converted shots on 5 attempts. The Boomer has always sought space, and made Raul Neto and the entire back line of the capital dizzy.
Kispert-Hachimura, “back to Gonzaga”. The duo passed by the Zags made the powder speak during the second period essentially, by looking for each other, and finding each other, with their eyes closed. Rui Hachimura, in a hybrid role of pivot in a small ball sauce “Wes Unseld”, shines with his game full of fundamentals, and Corey Kispert punishes from afar, without mercy. The Benino-Japanese finished with 20 units off the bench, and Kispert with 16 points, including a very nice 4/6 from three points.
39. Like the number of points scored in the last quarter by the men of Wes Unseld Jr! Hachimura and company kicked into high gear at the best time, and wore the Nets blunt from their derby the night before. Steve Nash’s men took a flurry of fire from a Washington team determined to hit the Big Apple.
✅ Rui Hachimura. After several difficult months and some time spent off the court, the talented Japanese made everyone agree: 20 points, 8/15 on shots, but above all excellent choices in the last quarter, playing for the others and freeing up spaces for the shooters on his team. With the departures of Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans, and the injury of Bradley Beal, Hachimura has a very good card to play in attack and leadership.
✅ Patty mills. The Boomer showed up in the absence of the home stars, and he caught fire in the first period with 17 units. His experience does a world of good for a team that can play “heads down” from time to time, and Mills brightens up the game with his science of placement and his precise passing game. While waiting for the upcoming return of Kevin Durant and the long-awaited first steps of his compatriot Ben Simmons, Mills fulfills his role as a duty player to perfection.
⛔ Kessler Edwards. Propelled into the five majors, the former Pepperdine player spent a very, very complicated evening. With zero points in attack (0/5 on shots), the slender winger only made bad choices and was very frustrated by the refereeing decisions, which is very unusual for him. The rookie completely missed his match, when he had the opportunity to show himself before the All Star Break.
Brooklyn (31-28) : After the All-Star Break, reception of the Celtics next Thursday.
Washington (27-31) : Back at home to face the Spurs next Friday.