The Washington Wizards continued their downward spiral last night in Boston, for the second time this season they were blown out in Boston. In yesterday’s preview, several keys to the game were shared and they all played major roles in the outcome of the game. The Wizards weren’t able to check the boxes on any of those keys to victory in their 111-78 loss to Boston. The three game slide has now pushed Washington down to the bottom of the division, they are now three games behind the division leading Miami Heat.
“You can’t play this game solely based on if you’re making or missing shots” – Randy Wittman, Wizards Head Coach
The turnovers continued, after keeping them relatively down against Charlotte, they spiked back up to 22 last night. The Celtics played good defense and took advantage of the extra possessions, using a 12-2 run early on to separate from the Wizards. Boston did a great job sharing the ball while the Wizards just flat out struggled to put together anything that resembled an offense. Bradley Beal had some success early on, but he was the only one that could get going from the starting unit.
As Wittman stated after the game and mentioned above, it’s a horrible habit for a team to have and Washington’s done that mostly all season. When the ball is going in, they’re fully engaged on both ends. Whenever it’s not, they just shrink or pack it in for the night. It’s abundantly clear in those areas of the game that require pure effort, such as defense and rebounding.
Yet again Washington would get out rebounded, Jared Sullinger destroyed them inside with 15 rebounds and 18 points on the night. He and Kelly Olynyk continued their strong play against Washington as they combined to shoot four-of-six from beyond the arc. Kelly went four-of-five from that distance as he was able to stretch the Wizards defense even further, that duo represents everything the Wizards don’t have at power forward. Humphries played 13 minutes last night, missing all five of his shot attempts.
The lone positive on the night for Washington was Jared Dudley, as he continues to regain his health, he’s showing everyone what a small-ball four (power forward) looks like. Jared scored 19 points on nine shots, including knocking down three of his four attempts from deep in addition to pulling down five rebounds.
This would be the second consecutive game in which the Wizards were held under 40% shooting, they have to figure things out on both sides of the ball. Again, Wall and Beal have to play at their highest levels every night or as close to it for this team to have a chance every night. The way the roster is constructed, especially the front court, there’s little room for error. Outside of Beal, there’s no player on that roster that can create for themselves which puts an unbelievable amount of pressure on the shoulders of Wall.
Washington will surely need the best out of their young backcourt if they wish to turn things around, especially against the Toronto Raptors tonight. While they’ll be missing Valanciunas, there will still be a rim protector in Bismack Biyombo. Kyle Lowry and DeMarr DeRozan are healthy and ready to go, the Raptors know all to well the type of tailspin that Washington is in right now. Earlier this season, they went through something similar and were able to turn it around. It started on the defensive end, that’s how they righted their ship. Can Washington do the same?