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NBA Playoffs Numbers and Notes: Wizards Sweep Raptors

Wall and Beal

In light of the Wizards’ unexpected sweep over the surprisingly submissive Toronto Raptors, here’s a few notes and numbers from Washington’s four games in Round 1.

* Remember Otto Porter? After playing just six total minutes in last year’s playoffs, Porter logged 32 minutes per in the four games against the Toronto Drakes, averaging nearly 10 points and better than seven boards per game. He finished the series with a net rating of +29 (128/99), while shooting 55-percent from the floor and 50-percent from long range.

It’s probably a little too early to definitively claim Porter’s professional emergence, but there’s no arguing his immense role in the Wizards’ sweeping effort en route to the second round. It’s the game’s biggest path to the game’s biggest stage and Otto Porter chose just the right time (for both team and fans) to remind us he’s still around and only 21 years old.

Here’s some more about Otto, written by yours truly.

* John Wall was soooo Optimus Dime in this series, averaging better than 17 points and 12.5 assists per game. Yowza!

* Say whatever you want about Paul Pierce during the regular season; the way he played in this series (and hopefully throughout the rest of the playoffs) is the reason he’s here. His 15.5 points per game and 58-percent shooting from deep are awesome numbers, but they still don’t represent the timing in which he twisted the dagger in Toronto’s side. So, so brilliant. And that’s why they refer to these old guys as “savvy vets”, and why they refer to Pierce as The Truth.

* Speaking of The Truth, how about that new stretch-four position, huh? Fortunately for Wizards fans (the same fans who have screamed for more Pierce at power forward for the last few months), head coach Randy Wittman finally decided to take a gander at the comments section and realized, “HEY! That does sound like a great idea!”

No, Randy. Your excuse of well we wanted to save him for the playoffs doesn’t work.

* Playoff Bradley Beal is a bad man. Check out this piece by Brett Oswalt at numberFire.

* Yes, even Razor Ramon Sessions deserve praise. He averaged 14 points, four boards and three assists per 36 minutes throughout the series and hit close to 56 percent from downtown. Similar to the Pierce acquisition (but on a different relative scale, of course), this series alone proved Sessions’ valuea.

Razor Ramon Sessions

* Drew Gooden was called on to help the Wizards’ spacing and add a (possible) threat from the three-point line. It worked. Gooden averaged 3.5 shots from deep per game and connected on half of them. Thanks, Big Drizzle.

* And it’s impossible to forget Marcin Gortat, who went from a Polish Machine to a Double-Double Machine by way of great footwork, awesome PnR, and veteran angles. For the series, Gortat averaged 17 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks per game. This was the kind of line the Wizards FO envisioned when they forked over all that money last summer.

* Moving forward, all Wizards fans should take a rooting interest in the Brooklyn Nets. Somehow they’ve tied their series with Atlanta at two a piece and one could argue they even have some momentum after coming from behind two down. It’s not that either team is necessarily lethal right now, but it feels like the safer bet to draw the ghost of Deron Williams and Brook Lopez than to pray for Kyle Korver and Hotlanta to remain cold.

Happy Playoff Basketball!

  1. The Wiz traded away Andre Miller to Sacramento just before the trade deadline to acquire Sessions  (back)

Tyronn Lue Going for NBA Vine of the Year?

If we’re judging based off a specific scale, in which both facial expression and dialogue are considered, Cleveland assistant coach (and former Wizard!) Tyronn Lue is in the discussion for the NBA’s Non-Basketball-Move Vine of the Year.

For the record, Tyronn, that bearded guy with the man bun is none other than Luigi “GiGi” Datome, a 27-year-old rookie from Italy.

Contract Option or Not, RG3 Sets Out to Prove Himself in 2015

Robert Griffin III

In an interview with NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III talked about his offseason preparations, the way of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, and the looming deadline in which Washington will choose whether or not to pickup the fifth-year option of his rookie deal.

On if he’d be upset if the Redskins chose not to pickup his option; which would guarantee Griffin $16 million in 2016 regardless of injury:

I wouldn’t be bummed,” Griffin said. “Either way, we’re going out there to prove it this upcoming year — not next year. I just want to win. I want to win games and have fun doing it. The rest will take care of itself. They can pick up the option — or they can decide not to pick up the option. It’ll work out either way. I’m focused on this year.

Another good one from Griffin was after talking about Tom Brady and the efficient way in which the Patriots operate, he refers back to Brady and other great quarterbacks who he can study and learn from:

I’ll continue to watch tape on him and (Aaron) Rodgers and Peyton (Manning), and see how they go about the game. I’m not going to mimic their game — I just need to better my own. You can’t be somebody else. You need to accept who you are — and understand your style of play. Not everyone is going to play the game like I do. I’ve got to do it my way.

And that’s a bit ironic, considering former Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan was the guy (presumably) behind the idea that Griffin plays the game a different way and that the offense should cater to his talents (see: Griffin’s 2012 rookie season). But according to Mike Shanahan’s interview from a couple months ago, it was Griffin who demanded the offense be changed.

The draft needs to hurry up and be here now.

Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman Outwitted by Whiteboard

We would stop picking on Wizards head coach Randy Wittman, but he seems to like it this way.

Here he is, in a playoff game against the Raptors, falling victim to a very clever and sneaky whiteboard.

Bradley Beal’s reaction/face at the end is arguably the best part.

RG3 on Gruden: “Players are Going to Hold Him to His Commitment”

rg3 jay gruden

Nothing to see here. Just your typical plucking of frustrating/awkward comments from the latest sit-down with Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Most recently with Larry Michael [source].

When asked about his relationship with Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, Griffin said, “Jay came in here with the plan to help develop me as a quarterback, and help this team win. He wants me to go out there and be the quarterback he knows I can be, and I will be.”

He also added, “My job is not to characterize or judge him as a coach”.

And then (my favorite), “He’s going to hold me to my commitment to him, and the players are going to hold him to his commitment to us.”

We’re only in April.

Redskins Land S Dashon Goldson in Trade with Buccaneers

dashon goldson

General manager Scot McCloughan continued his mission to drastically improve the Redskins defense in 2015, trading for veteran safety Dashon Goldson on Friday.

Goldson is coming off a horrible 2014 season in Tampa Bay (Pro Football Focus rated him -14.5 for the year) and is already 30 years old. However, he’s a McCloughan guy, having been drafted in 2007 by the San Francisco 49ers, and the Redskins didn’t give up a ransom to land Goldson.

When it comes to money, Goldson isn’t exactly cheap (at least in terms of his recent production).

According to Pro Football Talk, “Goldson, who signed with the Buccaneers as a free agent in 2013, has a $7.5 million base salary for 2015. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, there wasn’t much of a market for Goldson — and he would have been cut by the Buccaneers but for the emergence of a trade partner in Washington. Which likely means that Goldson may be restructuring his deal in Washington.”

The Redskins will be on the hook for $4 million ($3.5M + $500k workout bonus) this season in exchange for Goldson’s services.

This move from McCloughan is unlike his others this offseason, as Goldson is an older player, somewhat pricey, and underperforming the past couple seasons. But the secondary in Washington needed more than a couple upgrades, or at least shots at improvement.

Signing Goldson shouldn’t bring too much excitement; but no reason to hate it either.

John Wall with a Sick Crossover and No-Look Pass

Last night was fun.

Despite playing against a pretty awful Philadelphia 76er’s team, the Wizards played well to pick up their 42nd win of the season, and John Wall (aka Optimus Dime) was spectacular, dishing out SEVEN assists in only the first quarter, and finishing the game with 13 points, 15 dimes, and four rebounds.

One of the best circus acts put on by Wall was this bad boy, in which he does a little dance, makes a little love, and then darts a no-look pass to a cutting Otto Porter.

(Unfortunately this beauty of a sequence didn’t go down as an assist. Porter was blocked at the rim.)

Thanks to @adammcginnis for the sweet clip.

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