Wizards Can’t Close Out The Kings At Home

Jan 28, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards center Nene (42) looks to pass around Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) during the first half at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA Today Sports

After failing to convert several times down the stretch, the Washington Wizards were stopped yet again by the Sacramento Kings. Isaiah Thomas hit a game winning floater to beat the Wizards, 96-94. Here are tonight’s Bullet Points:

  • Washington started off the game very well, as they moved the ball which led to easy buckets in transition. John Wall was involved right off the bat and aggressively attacked the basket. That forced Sacramento’s terrible defense to collapse, leaving Martell Webster open out in the perimeter.
  • Wall’s ridiculous array of layups as well as his play making ability were on display early. This included a sequence in which Wall blazed passed his defender, put the ball around his back, and kicked it out to Beal who was wide open in the corner. Beal knocked it down, but shot just 2 for 6 from the field. It’s evident that his wrist is clearly bothering him. If I was Randy Wittman, I’d seriously consider resting Beal until his wrist is fully healed. With Jordan Crawford coming off the bench, Washington does have some guards which can possibly fill the void.
  • DeMarcus Cousins didn’t start the game off very well, but got going after he drove to the lane on a number of occasions. Once Cousins matures and learns how to consistently be productive, he’ll without a doubt become a top 5 center in the NBA. Until then, Cousins will remain a talented enigma.
  • Kevin Seraphin played a bit like his ‘old’ self tonight. He looked to play in the post early, and shook Chuck Hayes on a number of occasions. He eventually reverted and continued to settle for that awful jump shot. At one point, Seraphin thought it was a good idea to pull up from the free throw line, rather than to attack the open basket. What the heck is wrong with Seraphin nowadays? It’s mind boggling.
  • It certainly didn’t help that Nene struggles against bigger players such as Cousins. Nene was given the opportunity to win the game late in the fourth quarter but instead of looking for the shot, Nene hesitated and looked for cutting teammates. He consequently turned the ball over at a crucial point in the game.
  • You can’t have 20 turnovers and expect to win the game. ‘Nuff said.
  •  Isaiah Thomas was spectacular tonight. As Randy Wittman pointed out after the game, no one could stop him. Thomas, who is 5’9, got to the basket at will. His ability to hit the jump shot forced John Wall as well as the other defenders to over play on Thomas, which lead to simple floaters and layups down the lane. Wall, who I’ve credited with improved defense, was horrific on that side of the floor tonight.
  • Emeka Okafor was the only true bright spot in tonight’s game. He finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds, and has been worth every penny as of late. He didn’t hesitate under the basket and even mixed it up with a few 15 foot jump shots. When Okafor is on, he plays like an All-Star. His contributions in rebounding have been nothing short of spectacular.
  • Washington just didn’t come with that fire and unselfishness that we’ve come accustom to seeing. There were times where the Wizards played hero ball and chucked up a few ill advised shots which cost them the game down the stretch. Jordan Crawford, who is known for taking and hitting some difficult shots, was way too passive tonight. After pushing the ball in transition, Crawford decided to throw an alley oop to Ariza, which obviously resulted into another turnover.
  • Here is tonight’s box score.

Sacramento simply wanted it more than Washington tonight. The lack of effort on the defensive end of the floor was troubling to watch. There’s no reason why 5’9, Isaiah Thomas, should be getting to the basket at will. I realize that Thomas is an above average NBA player, but Washington’s bread and butter has been defense this season.

At 11-32, you can’t let the recent success get to your head.

Washington will meet the Sixers in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.