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:
"We knew there would be growing pains in the rebuild." "We have young guys" RT @980nba: i'm excited to see how teds take excuses this one.
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.
Certain loses are easier to take than others and the Wizards eight point loss to the Heat is one of those loses. When you consider the way the Wizards played in their recent games against Orlando, Indiana and Philadelphia, that they were without Andray Blatche and Al Thornton who were nursing injuries, and that they were adding three new players into the mix (Mike Bibby, Maurice Evans and Jordan Crawford) – a beat down against the Miami Heat would have been expected. However, the Wizards elected to play with a little passion. And while they ultimately lost the game, it was a competitive and entertaining game throughout.
The Heat secured the win with an good game by Bosh (15 pts & 8 reb), great game by LeBron James (25 pts, 9 reb & 7 ast) and an incredible scoring performance by Dwyane Wade (41 points). They also received a little help by the officiating crew as the Heat shot 45 free throws versus 23 by the Wizards. (In fact, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (28 FTs) attempted more foul shots that the entire Wizards team (23).)
Good NBA teams hover around .500 on the road and the best teams have winning road records, but few teams (and none so far this season) have better records on the road versus at home. So, given this it goes without saying that the Wizards will generally get their opponents best effort – since their opponent will be at home where they play their best ball.
In this article, we explore whether the blame solely rests on the team’s defensive effort or whether there are other contributing factors.
Many DC celebrities attended the Wizards-Lakers game
This was the type of game that you expected the Wizards to lose. They began the game without John Wall and Andray Blatche, then lost Yi Jianlian to a knee injury early in the first quarter. This Wizards team was over-matched from the opening tip. And when you combine that with a cold shooting night and the team is lucky to have only lost by 14 points.
John Wall (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images)
While there were plenty to celebrate in the Wizards 116 – 114 win over the 76ers, there were also some troubling signs as well. Most namely the Wizards inability to stop the 76ers forwards from scoring in the paint. Ultimately, the Wizards win resulted from heroic efforts from nearly every member of the team.