Washington Wizards: Wizards foiled by slow start, turnovers in loss to Celtics

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards clawed back into Friday’s game against the Boston Celtics, but fell short due to carelessness with the ball.

For the second time in as many games, the Washington Wizards struggled to get out of the gate. Against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, they were able to come back and win, but the Boston Celtics made sure to avoid the same fate on Friday.

It’s hard to imagine the Wizards getting off to a worse start: They missed their first 10 field goals and trailed 10-1 early in the game. Yet, somehow, through the resilience of Bradley Beal, the Wizards found themselves down just 1 point heading into the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately, the Wizards were done in not by their poor shooting (which they managed to get up to 40 percent by the end of the game) or the usual suspect of being outrebounded (the Wizards actually won the battle of the boards 53-46), but due to careless ball control that resulted in 18 turnovers.

This was especially deadly in the final quarter when they turned it over on four straight possessions, resulting in the Celtics extending their lead to 9 points. The Wizards were never able to get back into the game after that.

Trevor Ariza and Jabari Parker were the primary culprits with 5 and 4 turnovers, respectively. Parker, in fact, leads the team among active players on the roster with 3 per game since coming to Washington (John Wall have the highest average, but hasn’t played since December). With the team asking Parker to take on more of playmaking role, it’s expected that his turnovers numbers would go up, but he has to show better judgment and patience.

Among the areas the Wizards have to improve on, taking care of the ball is one of them. While they’re middle of the pack (12th) in turnovers per game at 14.3, the Wizards 9th-worst in opponent points off turnovers per game at 17.5. On Saturday, the Celtics scored 17 points off of turnovers.

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With Bradley Beal proving to be the only consistent scorer at the moment (29 points), the Wizards can’t afford to give away point and possessions, whether it’s at the beginning of the game where they have to dig out of a big hole, or throughout when they give the ball away. Saturday night showed why.