Another Loss; More Confusion

The Wizards (0-9) lost to the Indiana Pacers 96-89 Monday night. Really, it was more of the same — get down big, come back, go down big again, and then come back for a ‘moral victory’. You know the deal.

So let’s get to some of the Bullets Points and discuss the quotes from post-game.

  • How bad was the Wizards’ first quarter? It was basically the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but I find myself saying that a lot when it comes to Wizards games. Indiana outscored the Wizards 28 to 13 after the first twelve minutes, and the Wizards were lucky to be down only fifteen at that point. They looked confused and hesitant offensively — they passed up shots to take worse shots as Randy Wittman said post-game — and they gave the Pacers’ struggling offense way too many good looks and way too many easy baskets.
  • Off-season additions, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, were both benched for the entirety of the second quarter and played only 22 minutes combined… Compared to Okafor’s nine minutes and minus-15 in that span, Earl Barron posted a plus-11 in 15 minutes. Just food for thought.
  • Kevin Seraphin started the second half at center in place of Emeka Okafor.
  • The only Wizards player to not play tonight was Cartier Martin. I guess that’s what happens when you shoot 1-for-8 in the previous game.
  • In the third quarter the Wizards got down by 20 for the second time in the game, but went on a 13-0 run to end the quarter, led by Shaun Livingston and Bradley Beal.
  • Kevin Seraphin, Earl Barron, and Trevor Booker all committed five fouls. Seraphin literally committed his first foul less than five seconds after checking into the game.
  • David West killed the Wizards frontcourt. He scored 30 points; killed Wizards runs; and made more shots from the field than the five Wizards starters combined. That happened.
  • A consistent problem has been the Wizards’ inability to rebound, especially in close games. The Wizards have been competitive late in eight of their nine losses, but have found ways to lose each of them. One of those ways is to not rebound. I know we all love Kevin Seraphin (I know I do), but he has to become a better rebounder. It’s not just him, but failing to box out is killing this team.
  • Chris Singleton provided a spark off the bench and was really efficient too. He finished with 9 points (4/5 FG), five rebounds, two steals, zero turnovers, and a plus-15 in his 20 minutes. He needs more playing time at the small forward or power forward spots, but this season, he’s been best at the four spot.
  • Here’s tonight’s box score

Now to the words of wisdom from Randy Wittman’s press conference. Before Wittman came in, I was talking to Bullets Forever’s Amin Vafa and wondering how Randy Wittman would be in the presser. Would he be angry or upset? I thought there was a good chance he would be. But, he wasn’t mad. He was just at a loss.

He mentioned how “this is kind of a broken record,” with the Wizards finding ways to lose and how we could just play his press conference in reverse after each game. Intentionally or not, Wittman brought some levity to his doom and gloom presser when he said, “I come in here every day thinking this is the night. I feel good. I might be dumb, but I do.” The entire room laughed, but it’s true. I think everyone in that locker room wants to win and they think they can win, but they’re not talented enough, and they keep finding ways to beat themselves down the stretch — which is the tell-tale sign of a bad team.

A seemingly hopeless Randy Wittman also harped on how inconsistent the Wizards have been. “We have no consistency in our group of play,” Wittman said at the start of the press conference. “We gotta figure out how to play a game, a full game.” So far this season, regardless of the line-up he puts on the floor, the Wizards have yet to get consistent production from any group, which led Wittman to say, “I don’t know who’s going to start or play.”

But cheer up, Wizards fans. . . The team is back in action on Wednesday night in Atlanta to face the Atlanta Hawks. Is that going to be win number one for the Wizards? Better tune in to find out.

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