The Wizards put themselves in a hole right out of the gate, and despite their effort in the second half, they couldn’t complete the comeback against the new-look Detroit Pistons in the Motor City. Here are some quick Bullet Points from tonight’s loss:
- Once again, Washington’s back court looked great, starting with Bradley Beal’s scoring. John Wall fell in love with his jump shot early on, but as the game progressed he looked more aggressive. Beal contributed with 17 points on 7 for 14 shooting. Strangely enough, John Wall didn’t assist on any of Beal’s baskets, finishing without any assists on the night. John Wall looked a bit lethargic early on and that has to change. Washington can’t get into the habit of digging themselves a hole early on, especially since they’re more reliant on their perimeter defense than they were this past season. Overall, I thought the back court played exceptionally well tonight.
- Trevor Ariza continued to prove why he doesn’t deserve to be in the starting lineup tonight. He made just 2 of 9 shot attempts, but to make matters worse, virtually every shot he missed was uncontested. Webster didn’t look much better coming off the bench, but I’m sure that would change if he’d share the floor with John Wall and Co. I’m honestly not sure why Randy Wittman hasn’t stopped the Ariza experiment, but it doesn’t look like his starting lineup will change any time soon. Here’s hoping the Wizards coaching staff is just trying to increase his trade value.
- Despite their lack of size, the Wizards still managed to outrebound the lengthy Pistons tonight. Nene only grabbed 5 rebounds in 22 minutes of action, but he looked as explosive and quick as ever. It appears as if his offseason rest will really pay off this season, since he hasn’t looked this energized since he first came over from Denver. At this point, I’m not really sure if rebounding will necessarily be a key issue without Okafor, but the front court defensive will remain a concern until the Wizards find a solution. Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe did basically whatever they wanted against Washington’s bigs tonight, and they don’t have anyone on the roster who even came close to containing them. That could become a major issue once the regular season begins.
- After being down by over 20 points in the first half, I didn’t expect Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely to provide the spark that ultimately led to Washington’s comeback. Both bigs looked awful in the first half, but both ended on a high note. Seraphin finished the game with 14 points and 11 boards off the bench, and Vesely chipped in with 8 points and 4 rebounds. Most importantly, they energized Washington with plays on both sides of the floor. Seraphin suddenly started to block shots and knock down turnaround jumpers, Vesely stole the ball on multiple occasions, and before we knew it, the Wizards were back in the ball game. They’re definitely inconsistent, but I’m glad to see them step up when needed.
- Washington’s bench looked the best they’ve looked all preseason long tonight. Eric Maynor played like a competent point guard while stabilizing the second unit, scoring 8 points and dishing 5 dimes to lead the Wizards in assists. Glen Rice Jr. scored a quick 5 points in 7 minutes, and Garrett Temple chimed in with 7 points. It’s nice to see the bench players actually contribute when the starters are struggling. Hopefully we’ll more of a collective effort from both units.
- Full box score.
Washington has one preseason game remaining, which is against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cincinnati tomorrow afternoon. As of right now the game will not be televised, but we’ll still provide coverage.