The Wizards continue to amaze me. And not for any of the right reasons.
Washington outscored the Kings 78-46 in the first and third quarters combined. Nick Young had 43 points. JaVale McGee, Rashard Lewis, and Andray Blatche had double-doubles. John Wall was one assist and four rebounds away from a triple-double. In total, the Wizards scored 136 points. And yet, they only won by three, in overtime.
Surprising, isn’t it? That’s until you factor in just how inconsistent the Wizards were. The Wiz were outscored 80-48 in the second and fourth quarters combined. Francisco Garcia, who, for whatever reason always plays well against Washington, completed a four-point play to bring the Kings back and was fouled on another three-pointer in overtime. Pooh Jeter blew right past John Wall (who had no help defense behind him, by the way) at the end of regulation and scored a layup to send the game to overtime. Compounding it all were injuries to John Wall and Andray Blatche.
So what to make of this game? For one, that the Kings and Wizards both stink. Neither team played well. It was an offensive onslaught that Wizards assistant coach Sam Cassell could have easily scored double-figures in.
Secondly, and more importantly, the Wizards simply don’t know how to hold a lead. We already knew that from the Miami Heat collapse, but this game reaffirmed it. The amount of boneheaded mistakes were astounding–Rashard Lewis’s errant inbounds pass, Garcia’s four-point play, Hinrich’s turnover, Nick Young’s missed free throw and Al Thornton’s missed free throw. It honestly felt like the Wiz were trying to lose.
This team shows spurts of putting it together. Halfway through the first quarter, they were firing on all cylinders. The game looked like it would end in a thirty-point blowout. Guys were playing tough defense, diving for loose balls, and playing great transition basketball. And then it all just fell apart.
To be honest, I don’t know who to put the blame on. But I do know the Wizards won’t win on the road until they can add some consistency AND play at least half-decent defense. And as far as I’m concerned, there’s no guarantee we’ll see either of those problems solved anytime soon.