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The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

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February 22, 2024

Wizards Weekly: 10/25-11/1

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@WashWizards

Washington’s first week of NBA action is in the books. Across four games, the Wizards finished with a disappointing 13 record due to a lackluster defense and insufficient offensive support for star players. Kyle Kuzma stood out amongst the rest of the team, finishing the week with an average of 23 points per game. Here’s what happened this week in Wizards basketball:

 

Pacers

The Wizards opened their 2023-2024 campaign on Oct. 23 in Indianapolis for a match against the Indiana Pacers (2–2). Washington’s defense was able to contain the Pacers’ high-flying offense as they maintained the lead throughout the first quarter and into the second. Tyus Jones led the Wizards offense through the leading period with 21 minutes played and 14 points. Washington’s defensive success ended in the second half as the Pacers got their fast-paced offense in motion. The Wizards were unable to get a hold of the lead in the second half as the Pacers ran away with the game, leading by as much as 25 points, with the final score being a 143120 blowout win. Kuzma was Washington’s best performer with 25 points on 918 shooting, and Jordan Poole put up 18 points in his Wizard’s regular season debut with a poor 718 shooting.

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Grizzlies

The team fared better during the home opener on Oct. 28 against the Memphis Grizzlies (0–5). Washington dominated the game after the middle of the first quarter and maintained a solid lead for the remainder, ultimately achieving a 113106 victory. Washington’s most significant lead was 25 points, heavily aided by Corey Kispert, Poole and Kuzma, who all had over 20 points that night. Kispert played exceptionally well, with a shooting percentage of over 50%. The defense also stepped up, only allowing one Grizzly, shooting guard Desmond Bane, to eclipse 20 points.

 

Celtics

The second game of Washington’s homestand was against Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, former Wizard Kristaps Porzingis and the Boston Celtics (4–0). The game immediately got out of hand for Washington, who found themselves down 4219 at the end of the first quarter. They were unable to gain the lead at any point during the game, ultimately suffering a 126-107 loss. The Wizards’ offense was lackluster, as only Kuzma surpassed 15 points. On the defensive side, Washington was just as poor, with Brown and Tatum finishing with over 30 points on the night. Porzingis also had a solid performance against Washington’s defense, getting 15 points of his own.

 

Hawks

Washington returned to the road on Nov. 1 to face Trae Young, Dejounte Murray and the Atlanta Hawks (3-2). The Wizards’ performance again followed that of the Pacers game. The offense started well, maintaining a solid lead throughout the first two quarters. Then, the Wizards’ disappointing defense reared its ugly head as the Hawks took control of the second half, after which they never surrendered the lead. Kuzma kept up his consistency with another 20+ point game, ending with 25. Deni Adjia joined him as the only other Wizard with over 20 points, ending with 22 points himself. Both shot well, with shooting percentages over 50%. Despite a poor showing overall, the defense was able to slow down Young, Murray and De’Andre Hunter as they were the scoring leaders for the Hawks with 23, 23 and 24 points respectively.

 

Week Two Preview

The second week of Wizards basketball will feature the first ever in-season tournament game in franchise history as they take on Jimmy Butler and the reigning Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat (1–4). Their next contest will be against the Philadelphia 76ers (3–1), who recently traded away former MVP guard James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers. Washington’s second week of NBA action ends with another road game against LaMelo Ball, rookie Brandon Miller and the Charlotte Hornets (1–3), who defeated the Atlanta Hawks in their season opener 116–110. The Wizards are in for another tough week as they face two frontrunners, the Heat and 76ers, for the Eastern Conference title in 2023-2024.

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William English, Sports Writer
Grade 12 Why did you join the Black and White? Because Sports Journalism is my passion What is your favorite song of all time? Rich Spirit - Kendrick Lamar

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