It’s tough to win when only one player shows up to play.
Besides John Wall and Martell Webster, absolutely everyone that stepped on the court was atrocious for the Wizards tonight. Washington had a chance to get over .500, but they let a lowly Detroit Pistons team come back from a double-digit deficit, eventually going on to win the game. Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza have both played well against Detroit this season, but the two combined for 3 made shots on 21 attempts tonight. That’s really, really bad. Beal hasn’t been particularly good this season when his shot isn’t falling, and that needs to change. If his jump shot isn’t going in or if he’s struggling offensively, he has to find a way to contribute in other ways. It’s as simple as that.
Marcin Gortat played an OK game, scoring 10 points to go along side 12 rebounds, but Detroit’s big men still outrebounded the Wizards by a large margin. Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe grabbed a combined 23 rebounds tonight and Nene’s effort didn’t help either. Nene turned the ball over 4 times and made just 4 of his 10 free throw attempts. Again, that’s really bad. He’s never been a great at rebounding the ball and losing Trevor Booker with a sprained ankle early on definitely hurt Washington on the glass. Nene’s seen better days.
There aren’t many times where a player scores 30+ points in a losing effort, especially if the team has beaten it’s opponent twice this season already. John Wall played another terrific game, scoring 34 points in 37 minutes of action. Wall was the only player keeping the Wizards in the game at times, which was definitely frustrating to witness. He scored the ball at will, knocking down shot after shot just to keep the Wizards within a short distance. Wall mixed it up well offensively, hitting the majority of his perimeter shots as well as getting to the basket in the half-court. He was the only one giving 100% of effort each and every play. Martell Webster also added 15 points off the bench. I thought he did enough to get more playing time in the fourth quarter, but I guess Randy Wittman thought Trevor Ariza or Bradley Beal would eventually knock down a shot, so I can’t really blame him.
It’s frustrating to see the team lose on the verge of getting over the .500 hump, especially to a team as bad as Detroit. Josh Smith was making some absurd jump shots in the second half, which I’m sure the Wizards could live with, but the poor effort is inexcusable. Washington had beaten the Pistons twice prior to tonight’s game, so there’s no reason for them to drop a 10+ lead against them at home, especially since they had won 3 straight games. The Wizards made just 55% of their free throw attempts, which is obviously also part of a recipe for a loss.
Washington will have a chance to redeem themselves on Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. Let’s hope the entire team shows up, not just John Wall.