NBA Wizards 

Wizards look to build off of Phoenix victory

13 games into the season the Wizards find themselves at 4-9, the worst record in the Southeast division. This season is starting off slow for them, they haven’t beaten anybody on the road and at home they’ve split their eight games. Washington needs to improve on the road, there’s been a few games they’ve let teams come back from double digit deficits and ultimately ended up losing a few of those games.

It hasn’t been the same specific area each game in which they’ve struggled, some games they come out slow and others they come out hot, but lose the energy in the second half. Right now they aren’t consistent, the third and fourth quarter are two big quarters where it seems like they struggle both offensively and defensively. Their bench also needs to step up, in the win against the Suns the bench shot 7 for 21 which is  just33%. They need better production from the bench to help them when the starters come out to rest. If they’re able to maintain the lead or at least stay within striking distance when the starters come back in they won’t have to over come a huge deficit. Going into the fourth quarter with some momentum or even having a sizable lead when there isn’t much time left in regulation could help them hold off their opponents. In most of their close losses, it just seems like they run out of gas and go cold from the field.

Three-point shooting has also been plagued them, they’ve struggled from three a lot as well as defending the three-point line on defense. They’ve been slow on closing out to shooters. They have been fairly solid on the glass and when it comes to making their free throws. In the games they’ve won, they usually shot around 80% from the line, with the exception to their win against the Suns where they shot 64.7%, but made sevem more free throws than the Suns attempted.

They have had some big games from Bradley Beal, John Wall, and Otto Porter Jr, all with at least one 30-point game so far this season. In the win against the Suns, Beal went for a career high 42 points, shooting better than 60% from the field and going 5 for 10 from behind the arc. Wall also recorded 15 assists in that game and tacked on 18 points. Beal and Wall have been a nightmare for defenders when it comes to attacking the basket on the fast break and in the half-court offense too. Otto Porter Jr. is averaging close to 15 points a game and nearly pulling in nine rebounds, he also active on the defensive side and so far averages almost two steals a game.

Beal has missed three games so far this season with a hamstring injury and John Wall has been getting rest when the Wizards play in back-to-backs. In the loss to the Miami Heat, big man Markieff Morris exited the game with an ankle sprain, which is a big blow for the Wizards because he brings physicality offensively and defensively. Gortat has been giving them solid minutes, Keef is averaging about 11.5 points and 12.5 rebounds. With Morris out, other big men will have to step up to help out Gortat and try to match the physicality that Morris brought every night.

Washington’s next five games coming up after Thanksgiving won’t be easy, they have three games away where they face the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the San Antonio Spurs. They have two home games where they host the Sacramento Kings and Spurs. Hopefully with the win against the Suns they’ve found some type of rhythm to go to Orlando and collect their first road victory. They lost to the Magic by two in Orlando on November 5th, they get a chance to get it right and leave with a win.

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