- The Washington Times
Friday, November 17, 2017

Among the oddities of the Internet is a debate about what the monkey emojis are predicated on. The one with his hands over his eyes is known as the “see-no-evil monkey” and may be a visual extension of the proverb, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” The main point is that the monkey is able to hide his eyes in times of strife.

He is the emoji to identify with Friday night’s first half. The Wizards scored 29 points, shot 28.6 percent and allowed 19 fastbreak points. It was enough to inspire anyone watching to follow the emoji’s lead, shrouding their eyes from seeing such an event.

Washington rallied, as is wont to happen in the NBA, all the way to the point that Bradley Beal had a clean midrange shot to tie the game and send it to overtime. He missed with two seconds to play. Washington lost, 91-88, to snap a four-game winning streak.

Three points from the evening:

So, that first half … Wizards coach Scott Brooks called four timeouts in the first half. He changed lineups, from all starters to all bench players, yelled, watched, stood, sat, paced. After the Wizards scored 17 points in the first quarter, they scored 12 in the second. John Wall did not score. Beal scored four points. It was a bad result prompted by a lax defensive effort that again, according to the coach, stems from shots not going in. “We didn’t make shots, we got down on ourselves,” Brooks said. “When we got down on ourselves, we put our heads down instead of running back and making up for it on the other end. The stats basically tell you that. They had 19 fast-break points in the first half. We made shots in the second half and they only had two fast break points. It comes down to…You can’t let the game, offensively…You can’t let the game change how you play, and it did. We were missing shots. We got down. We missed, I think, 13 threes, all pretty good looks. Doesn’t matter if you miss, you still have to go back and make them miss. I thought in the second half we did that. Came up short, but great effort. It’s a lesson that we have to learn, and internalize it, and stay with it, and believe in it, and we will.”

John Wall has a knee problem. Wall said after the game —one in which he went 3-for-12 from the field and did not score until there was 5:25 to play in the fourth quarter — that he has fluid in his left knee which made it sore and rigid. Earlier in the week, Wall received two IVs to help him recover from a sickness. Some of the fluid moved down to his knee and bothered him when the week started. But, the irritation subsided and Wall felt better in the middle of week, able to get loose in the warmth of Miami’s arena. Friday, in much cooler Capital One Arena, Wall said he had problems getting his knee loose, which caused him to play poorly in the game.

“I was looking like some butt out there,” Wall said.

He’s not sure what is going to happen next to alleviate the problem.

“I have no idea, to be honest,” Wall said. “It just came up out of nowhere. It was feeling good, then it just popped up and I trust our training staff and those guys. The doctors will do what’s best for me, they’ll tell me if I need to sit and get it back right. I’ve been preparing myself and doing all the exercises and corrective works they want me to do, so, I am just going to stick with the plan I’ve been doing.”

The Wizards have their first set of back-to-back games coming up Sunday. They are at Toronto, then at Milwaukee. Not that there is one, but this in particular is not a good time for Wall to have a knee problem.

Yet another jolt from Jason Smith.Brooks has said over and over that he needed to find time for Smith. Of the nine games in November, he has played Smith just 38 minutes. Ten of those came Friday when the Wizards were again in a dire situation. Similar to when Washington was being taken apart by the Dallas Mavericks, Brooks turned to Smith to give the Wizards a boost. Smith, again, did just that. Smith also, again, took Ian Mahimni’s minutes in the second half of a game. Mahinmi played 8:24 Friday. Smith played 9:51. Brooks opted for this choice even when enormous Miami center Hassan Whiteside was on the floor. Whiteside (22 points, 16 rebounds on just 12 shots) was dominant against Marcin Gortat and Mahinmi anyway, so playing Smith at least gave Washington a more mobile option and one that could space the floor against Whiteside. For now, Smith appears to be that emergency option sitting behind glass. The question is if that will continue when Brooks reviews how Mahinmi is playing.

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