Washington Wizards: 3 Takeaways from 124-106 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Takeaway #2: Lack of depth is a PROBLEM

The Wizards were shorthanded once again in the matchup against the Pelicans. Russell Westbrook continued his trend of sitting out the 2nd half of back to backs to rest and Washington still has six players out due to health and safety protocols for the foreseeable future.

With three starters out and key rotational players missing, the Wizards had to rely on their newcomers. Jordan Bell, who was signed to a 10-day contract on January 23rd, was promoted to the starting four in only his 3rd game with the team. Bell played a whopping 31 minutes and finished with 4 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block but was a -22 in net rating. With only a few practices with the team, it’s clear Bell is still trying to figure out his role.

Washington also signed center Alex Len this past Saturday after the Toronto Raptors released him on January 19. In three games with the Wizards, Len is averaging 6.3 PPG and 3.7 RPG in 15.3 minutes per game. He provides Washington with another big body to help defend the paint and attack the glass until their full roster returns. With Russ sitting out for rest, there were only 10 players available to play against the Pelicans. The Wizards battled and cut the deficit to 8 in the fourth quarter but the lack of depth was too much to overcome in the end.

Beal and Robin Lopez were the only starters to score in double figures with 47 and 14 points, respectively. The rest of the starting unit (Bell, Bonga, and Neto) combined for 11 points. Garrison Mathews was the high scoring man off the bench. He scored 15 points in 28 minutes while going 3-9 from three. Jerome Robinson and Alex Len played decent off the bench as they both chipped in eight points of their own.

The Wizards need their full complement of players back ASAP! They were already struggling to stay afloat before the COVID outbreak (3-8 before the outbreak) but it’s even tougher now with so much of the roster missing. Hopefully, the players who are currently in health & safety protocols can get healthy soon because this team really needs ample bodies to try and make a run.