The Washington Wizards starters looked capable of crushing the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight, outscoring them 35-23 in the first quarter. However, Head Coach Flip Saunders was having none of that, allowing John Wall, Andray Blatche and Mo Evans to play only 24 minutes in the team's final game. [Each sported a gaudy +12 court ratio.] Javale McGee played 19 minutes and Jamal Crawford was the only starter to play 30 minutes. That proved to be crucial, as the Wizards bench -- much of it on loan from the NBDL -- looked even worse than usual in the second and fourth quarters. The Cavs rallied from a 13-point deficit and took control late in the fourth quarter, en route to a 100-93 win. The Wizards fell to 23-59 while Cleveland improved to 19-63. The teams split the season series 2-2.
How bad was the Wizards bench? Yi Jianlian, Othyus Jeffers and Larry Owens each sported a -19 on/off court ratio and the bench as a whole hit only 15 of 43 shots [under 35%]. Kevin Seraphin had two rebounds and five fouls in over 18 minutes, while Mustafa Shakur looks like a point guard lucky to be in the NBDL, let alone the NBA.
Both teams shot poorly from the field [43% by the Wiz, 42% by the Cavs] so the game was essentially decided at the foul line and that's where the Cavs won it. The Wizards were whistled for 25 fouls, leading to 29 free throws for the Cavs. They converted 25 of them. By contrast, the Wizards took only 15 free throws on 13 fouls called against the Cavs. Washington's 11-15 conversion from the charity stripe wasn't nearly enough to keep pace.
The Wizards finish the season with the 4th-worst record in the NBA, giving them a decent chance at a top 3 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. The Wiz have a .119 percent chance at getting the first pick and a .119 percent chance at the second pick. They have a .126 chance at the third pick and a .133 chance at the fourth pick. The most likely pick is 6th, at .351 percent chance. All in all, the Wiz have a slightly less than 50% chance at a top four pick.