Washington Wizards: 5 Takeaways from OT win against the Blazers

Washington Wizards John Wall (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards John Wall (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards
Portland Trail Blazers Jusuf Nurkic (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /

3. Wizards have trouble with athletic big men

This has been a trend thus far this season that is starting to be concerning. Howard’s return is becoming more anticipated than most assumed heading into the season.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we?

In the season opener against the Miami Heat, Hassan Whiteside and Kelly Olynyk combined for a total of 18 points and 14 rebounds. Doesn’t seem like much on the stat sheet, but both came up big when it mattered, especially Olynyk.

It only got worse against the Toronto Raptors. Jonas  Valanciunas dropped 16 points and 7 rebounds, Serge Ibaka had 16 points and 9 rebounds, and Pascal Siakam produced 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Back to last night’s game, Jusuf Nurkic dominated with 22 points and 18 rebounds. He was untouchable and did as he pleased down in the paint. The Wizards threw multiple people at him, but none of them succeeded in containing the skilled big man.

Do you see the trend here?

Washington’s guard play won’t be the problem down the stretch. Howard will be able to fill this gap once he returns, but for the time being the Wizards don’t know how to establish a defensive presence down low.

Morris and Green can only do so much when put at the 5 position defensively as both are more offensive weapons. And we all know that Jason Smith isn’t the answer. Brooks and the coaching staff need to come up with something before this gets out of hand.