What happened to the defensive stops that the Wizards displayed in their surprise victory over Boston? After following that up with a high scoring loss against the New York Knicks, the Wizards return to the Verizon Center with another high scoring shoot-out defeat against the Denver Nuggets.
The Wizards, who typically shoot 44% from the floor, drained 51% of their shots in the 120-109 loss. Per usual Nick Young led the night with 26 points and Andray Blatche had a great game with 25 points, 15 of them in the first quarter alone. John Wall facilitated the offense with 13 assists.
Sounds like a great night offensively for the Wizards- where did we go wrong?
Denver had a better night.
“[Denver] got things going so early,” Coach Flip Saunders said after the game, “They built so much confidence that they carried that through the entire game.”
Long range shooting was a problem for the Wizards’ offense. Outside the 3-point line the Wiz shot 2-13 including a 0-5 effort from Young. The team failed to sink a single 3-pointer in the first half, as a result the team resorted to pounding the paint and taking more mid-range jumpers.
Denver on the other hand were able to out pace the Wizards with 12 3-pointers, half of them coming from Nuggets bench weapon Al Harrington (21 points total). The offense was spread out among the Nuggets, with Caremlo Anthony (23), Nene (21), and Harrington all scoring over 20 points.
“They double-teamed a lot on our pick and rolls,” Mustafa Shakur told me after the game, “we just had to get a few more stops.”
The Wizards also had a problem with committing fouls, in the first half the Nuggets took 21 shots at the line, compared to the Wizards’ 10. John Wall sat for a bit of the final quarter after accruing five personal fouls.
Without any defense, Washington didn’t stand a chance against the league’s highest scoring offense. As they prepare for a long road trip there’s even more questions come back into play for the team, who is still 0-21 on the road.
The Wizards are done talking about it however.
“Can’t talk about it. It’s not gonna change till we win,” Coach Saunders said after his loss to the Knicks Monday night.
- JaVale McGee has a penchant for earning fouls early in games. The story was the same as Kevin Seraphin was quickly called after two McGee fouls.
- Talking about Seraphin, I had a chance to talk to him after the game to find out more of rotation use. He’s been one of the first called off the bench the past few games. He mentioned that he’s lost a good 15 pounds in the past few weeks- a sign that he’s finally in playing shape.
- Carmelo quieted my concerns of a slow first quarter (and thoughts he was mailing it in) with a 23 points night. However he still only shot 8-20 in the field.