Marcin Gortat does not know exactly why he spent the last two days so ill. He assumes it was something he ate in Atlanta after his Washington Wizards lost Game 5 to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night. Whatever it was, left him feeble, vomiting, and unable to perform in the Wizards’ biggest game of the year.
Gortat arrived at Verizon Center for shootaround Friday morning, several hours before Washington’s must-win Game 6 against the Hawks, barely able to walk. He threw up his breakfast and was administered two IVs and other medication. The concoctions improved his condition enough to start Friday night, but he couldn’t provide an impact in the Wizards’ brutal 94-91 loss.
“I’m glad I was actually able to come out and win the tip off,” Gortat said.
The center wasn’t on the floor much after that. Gortat logged just 12 minutes, his fewest in 184 career playoff and regular season games with Washington. He posted two points, tied for the fewest in his Wizards career, and three rebounds. It was an unfortunate ending for a player who appeared in every preseason, regular season, and postseason game, 100 in all, this season.
“This morning I could barely walk pretty much. I didn’t feel right,” Gortat said. “Like I said, I came in here and I threw up in the locker room. I felt a little bit better after that. I took a couple shots, different IVs. I feel kind of better now but I ain’t going lie, the shots kind of numbed me out totally. I tried to just go out and do something. Coach gave me an opportunity the first few minutes and it didn’t work for me. He pulled me out and Kevin [Seraphin] replaced me and he did a great job so it is what it is.”
Coach Randy Wittman sensed Gortat’s difficulty and went to an unlikely option in the first quarter. Seraphin had logged 11 total minutes in the series and hadn’t played since Game 2, but he was elected and checked in with 3:51 remaining in the period.
Seraphin, an impending unrestricted free agent, provided a dose of energy and much-needed help on the boards after Washington got off to a dismal start on the boards. He finished with 13 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes in perhaps his final game in a Wizards uniform.
“He tried to do what he could do but he didn’t have the energy,” Wittman said of Gortat. “I appreciate him giving me the energy of trying.”