After the Washington Wizards’ embarrassing Game 2 loss to the Toronto Raptors, many were ready to write off the No. 8 seed and contemplated their need to blow up the team by moving John Wall or Bradley Beal. Rumblings of dysfunction from media that does not closely cover the team made things seem as if the Wizards were on the verge of a total breakdown. A simple image that ran during the NBA TV telecast is to blame for all of such commotion.
To the average watcher, it does look like Wall and Gortat may be in a heated argument, but everyone is taught that it is incorrect to assume. Having covered the team for four seasons now, I know that this is something that happens frequently between the two. Not frequent arguments, but frequent discussions that can be animated because they care. In this particular situation, they were simply trying to get on the same page on how to approach a defensive coverage. Here so for yourself from Thursday’s practice.
Marcin Gortat rebounded in Game 3 to the tune of 16 points on 8-for-10 shooting in part thanks to six dimes from John Wall as the former described as their actual chemistry instead of what others may perceive.
Wall was appreciative of Gortat’s performance after Friday night’s win.
“Marc sets the tone for getting me and Brad open through a lot of screens and rolling for us,” Wall complimented. “He’s the back line of our defense and protecting the basket. … He’s a key to our team. He has to be there for us, to block shots, rebound, and set screens. He gets me and Brad to be aggressive coming off pick-and-rolls and [which allows us to] get our teammates involved. Tonight he got it going and made some easy shots. I always try to find him and tell him to be ready to look for my passes because a lot of teams collapse on me.”
All of this blown out of proportion non-drama stems from the ‘Everybody Eats’ talk and good “team” victory tweet, but both Beal and Gortat maintain this was never supposed to be a slight at Wall, the five-time All-Star.
Head coach Scott Brooks has said in the past that it is expected and actually a good thing when teammates get into exchanges with one another because it shows a desire to improve instead of settling for mediocrity. As a result, this will not be the first or last time you see Wall and Gortat having a discussion, but do not jump to wild conclusions that are fueled by people who do not interact regularly with either. Paul Pierce is a guy that knows both well from his time in D.C.