Washington Wizards fall to the Chicago Bulls by 28

Unlike the previous two loses in which the Wizards played well and were able to take away some small moral victories, there would be none taken away from this game. The Wizards were over-matched in nearly every phase of the game and lost to the Bulls 105 – 77. Early in the game, the Bulls were unstoppable in the paint and finished the game with 48 points in the paint. The Bulls were also able to own the boards, pulling down 56 rebounds – 17 more than the Wizards. Following the game, Flip Saunders put it bluntly, “There bigs kicked our butt.” High percentage shots in the paint combined with their success on the backboards enabled Chicago to hit 48% from the field.

Andray Blatche finished the game with a double-double, he led the Wizards with 15 points and 11 rebounds. However those statistics, as they often are with him, are misleading. Andray is rarely in good rebounding position, often is slow getting back on defense and doesn’t appear to be focused when on defense. Those shortcomings can and were exploited by a team like the Bulls. Andray can put points on the scoreboard but they often come at the expense of good offensive flow.

It leads one to wonder if the team would be better served by having Blatche come off of the bench – rather than starting. In the last two games the team started Rashard Lewis and Josh Howard at the two Forward positions – while Andray Blatche was out with an injury. In those games, the team’s offense flowed a little more naturally and the team appeared to be more effective on the defensive end of the floor.

JaVale McGee also deserves a fair amount of criticism. McGee finished the game with 5 points and 8 rebounds, but he managed only 2 points and 3 rebounds until the game was largely out of reach. JaVale has a nasty tendency to come up very small against the more physical and talented front lines in the NBA. The issue is part physical and part “fundamentals.” JaVale needs to focus this off-season on getting stronger, which will likely add few pounds to his frame. JaVale when he has position is not strong enough to maintain it and is often pushed off his spot. On the other hand, JaVale is often out of position and would be well served by studying film on both his more successful contemporaries (such as Joakim Noah), as well as some of the greats that played the position. JaVale has the ability to make a major impact on this team, but he needs to get stronger and become a student of his position. Time will tell if he is willing to point in the requisite work to become an all-star caliber player in this league.

The Wizards are playing to develop their young players. Their focus is not on wins and losses but how well they are playing. In this game, too many things went wrong resulting in a 28 point beat-down.

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