Washington Wizards: Jazz Loss Shows Wizards’ Worst-Case Scenario

Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards have effectively surrendered on the defensive end, but what happens when they can’t get it going offensively?

Hard to imagine a game going worse for the Washington Wizards than Monday’s loss to the Utah Jazz. Hoping to round out a five-game home stand with a win and momentum as they continue to make their playoff push, the Wizards fell flat, 116-95.

Looking at the boxscore, one shouldn’t be surprised by the result. After back-to-back 40 point games for Bradley Beal, his All-NBA case took a hit with one of his worst outings of the season, finishing with 15 points on 4-for-12 shooting. His failed to make a three-point field goal, ending his streak of 47 straight games with a make from beyond the arc.

The balanced scoring of recent weeks was also lacking. Although Jabari Parker continued to fill it up off the bench with 19 points, only Bobby Portis and Trevor Ariza managed to finish in double figures with 11 and 12 points, respectively. (Jordan McRae had 10 points, but they all came in garbage time in the fourth quarter)

Monday’s loss exemplifies the downfall of the Washington’s game plan over the past couple weeks. Going into their matchup against the Jazz, the Wizards were leading the NBA in points per game since the trade deadline at 118.9. Scott Brooks and his staff have pretty much given up trying to put up much of a defensive effort as of late (117.9 opponent points per game over that span, which is sixth-worst), and has unleashed his offensive-minded personnel to try to outscore their opponents.

But what happens when the team has an off night offensively? Monday night happens, in which the Wizards still give up tons of points, but lack the offensive firepower to even have a chance. If Beal is struggling like he did against the Jazz, then it’s pretty much over.

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Although it can work for stretch here and there, this obviously isn’t a sustainable winning strategy. Monday’s defeat reminded fans of the team’s shortcomings, and illustrated the lack of imagination from the coaching staff when its sole approach isn’t working. Beal’s brilliance has masqueraded many of these flaws, but if he doesn’t shine, then it’s unlikely his team will either.