That’s where the Wizards stand after dropping the season opener in Cleveland tonight. The Wizards were able to take the lead in the fourth quarter and make it interesting at the end, but faltered late.
So let’s get straight to the Bullets Points:
- Bradley Beal had his struggles in his NBA debut. It’s clear that his much-talked-about jump shot is for real. However, he struggled on the defensive end against the pick and roll and also struggled with his handle. Because of those turnovers, Beal found himself on the bench for long stretches of time in the first and second half. I get why he’d be benched, but Randy Wittman needs to go let the kid learn and let him respond to adversity. Hopefully we see that and a more assertive Bradley Beal going forward.
- Trevor Booker got the start in the place of Nene tonight, but he definitely didn’t get crunk. He played only seventeen minutes and picked up his fourth foul early in the fourth quarter. Booker finished 2/9 shooting and 1/5 in the first quarter. It just looked like ‘Cook Book’ was over-thinking and pressing too much.
- The Wizards MVP from tonight was. . . Earl Barron. Believe it or not, the Wizards began their run in the second half once Barron checked in the game. Coincidence or coorelation, you be the judge, but Barron did pull down eight rebounds in 16 minutes and made four of his six field goal attempts.
- Cartier Martin was the only active player not to get in the game.
- Trevor Ariza scored the first points of the Wizards’ season with a three-pointer on the team’s first possession.
- The Wizards are really going to struggle without John Wall in the line-up. Okay, we knew that, but without Wall, Jannero Pargo and A.J. Price were late getting the offense into their sets and they struggled with pressure from Alonzo Gee.
- Anderson Varejao recorded 23 rebounds in 37 minutes for the Cavaliers. With or without Nene and Kevin Seraphin — who are not excellent rebounders anyway — that is unacceptable. Oh yeah, and he also had 9 points and nine assists.
- In a close game, it was clear what the difference was between the Cavaliers and Wizards — Kyrie Irving. Washington also struggled late to protect the rim, as Tristan Thompson had three dunks to put the game on ice.
- Yeah, Jordan Crawford shot 4 of 13 from the field, but he did dish out five assists.
As a whole, this game wasn’t all that bad. The Wizards went on the road and lost by ten without John Wall, Nene, and Kevin Seraphin. They also were out-rebounded by 15 and only shot 35.6% from the field, compared to Cleveland’s 45.6% mark.
The Wizards get a chance to pick up their first win of the season in their home opener on Saturday night vs. the Boston Celtics.
See you then.