Tonight the Washington Wizards went up against another struggling team on the road – the Detroit Pistons. And eerily similar to many of their previous road games they looked as if they were disinterested, in a malaise or completely disoriented.
And I can already imagine the explanation:
In fact, shortly after the game began, Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier of CSN commented on how the team did not make it to its hotel until 3 AM Sunday morning. And while that was not the on-air team’s intention, it felt as if the Wizards had a built in excuse for a lackluster performance. They were tired.
As in many Wizards performances this season, there were a few faint bright spots, such as JaVale McGee’s block on Greg Monroe as the shot clock nearly expired. However, this team is not yet capable of stringing together enough positive plays to allow it to consistently beat teams (even bad teams) on the road. What is often more perplexing is the lapses in energy and effort.
A night after going up against the best rebounding team in the league, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and holding their own (MIN 48 – WAS 44). The Wizards were pounded on the glass by the Detroit Pistons (DET 45 – WAS 29). On the surface it appeared that Andray turned in a respectable night on the glass finishing with a team high 9 rebounds – he and JaVale McGee much too frequently give up good rebounding position, take bad angles or (more frustratingly) leak out before the rebound is secured. However, he did finish with the team high – an accomplishment that would make him the tallest garden gnome. Who were the second and third leading rebounders on this night, you ask? John Wall (5 rebounds) and Nick Young (4 rebounds). Clearly that type of effort on the boards did not on this night – nor on many others – get it done.
However, rebounding wasn’t the only problem. The Wizards gave up 113 points to a Pistons team that was averaging about 96 PPG. And while the Wizards couldn’t string together stops when they needed them, they didn’t appear able to stop anyone. Seven out of the ten players who saw action for the Pistons finished with 10 or more points.
And when you lack energy, get man-handled on the boards and can’t defend anyone, then tonight’s result is the expected outcome. Expecting anything else should be the definition of insanity.