Highlights: Wizards 98, Cavaliers 91
The mid-range jump shot isn't falling for Marcin Gortat as of late, but the Wizards are still winning with his other contributions heading into Friday's game at the Toronto Raptors (CSN+, 7 p.m. ET).
In Wednesday's 98-91 win at the Cleveland Cavaliers, Gortat only had eight points on 3-for-7 shooting, six rebounds and two blocks. But he did the little things well.
When the Wizards took their largest lead of the game at 73-46 in the third quarter, John Wall went coast-to-coast after a missed shot and threw down a powerful dunk. He screamed loudly. The Wizards (4-7) were feeling good and on their way to victory.
But Gortat had just as much to do with that sequence on both ends of the floor. First, he defended Andrew Bynum, contested his lane jump shot and forced it to come up short. Then Gortat, at 6-11, immediately ran down court to get ahead of Wall. At the top of the foul line, he stopped running, instinctively setting a screen on C.J. Miles who was unable to get across his wide body to cut off Wall in transition.
Gortat's three field goals all came in the first half and were at point-blank range. In the third quarter, he missed all three of his shot attempts. All were from mid-range. It has hurt his ability to get maximum efficiency in the pick-and-roll with John Wall.
"The bigger problem is now me making shots. For some reason,my offensive game is off -- totally off," Gortat said earlier in the week. "I'm here every day shooting those jump shots. Those jump shots are falling in practice but when game-time comes there's nothing going in."
In Tuesday's 104-100 win vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves, Gortat shot 7-for-10. But all three of his misses came on mid-range shots. Six of his seven conversions were layups or dunks.
"I got to continue to stay focused. My jump shot, got to work on it," he said. "If I continue to play the pick-and-roll with John its going to work. We're going to be better. I'm capable of hitting that 15-to-17 foot jump shot. We got to continue to do this."