NBA Playoffs: Everything went wrong for the Washington Wizards in game two

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong for the Washington Wizards in game two. The Wizards now trail the Philadelphia 76ers 0-2 after losing 120-95.

In game one, the Wizards were able to keep it close against the top-seeded 76ers. In game two, the 76ers jumped out to an 11-point first-quarter lead and never looked back as the lead eventually ballooned to as many as 27. Unfortunately, the Wizards were never really in this one even while Bradley Beal put on another impressive playoff performance.

For a second straight playoff game, Bradley Beal scored 33 points. He also added four rebounds, and three assists while shooting 50 percent from the field. The thing is, he got nothing from the other guys. Bertans had a historic foul out and finished the game with zero points, four missed three-point attempts, two rebounds, and six fouls in just 23 minutes. It’s the first time a player has fouled out in the playoffs with zero points since Aron Baynes did it in 2015. Raul Neto did next to nothing impactful. And while Daniel Gafford was solid offensively, he was food for Embiid on the other end. Literally, everybody that played more than four minutes finished with a negative plus/minus.

Beal didn’t even get help from Russell Westbrook, who may have had the worst night of them all. In the second half, Westbrook was hobbled, then rolled his ankle, then had popcorn dumped on him while heading to the locker room. It’s the second time in two seasons that Philadelphia fans have been less than welcoming to Wizards point guards and not the first time that Westbrook has had issues with fans in Philly. It was a pathetic and inexcusable act on the fan’s part.

Westbrook finished with 10 points, six rebounds, and 11 assists and was incredibly inefficient shooting the ball; 2/10 FG, 0/3 3PT, 6/10 FT. Hopefully, he can rest up and come back better in game three.

Nothing could go right for the Washington Wizards in game two, and it showed that they have a long way to go to reach the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.

In this series, the Wizards are the underdogs for a reason. They’re less talented, and this series is proving just how wide the gap is between the Wizards and the East’s contenders. Yes, they have Beal and Westbrook, but they need more. In game two, it was obvious.

After game one, two takeaways for the Wizards were to shoot more threes and get to the foul line more often. They did both of those things to varying degrees in game two. The Wizards shot two more three-pointers in game two than in game one, so a slight increase. Their foul shots doubled, jumping from 15 in game one to 30 in game two. Unfortunately, they couldn’t take advantage of either of those upticks. The Wizads were putrid from beyond the arc and made just two of their 22 attempts (nine percent). It’s the first time in over five years that a team has shot less than 10 percent from three in a playoff game, per StatMuse. They were equally unimpressive at the foul line, making 19 of their 30 free throws (63 percent). In game one, the Wizards shot 40 percent from three and 80 percent from the line. Better totals, but far worse averages.

Since March 1, the Wizards have played 44 games. The game two loss was only the third time in that span that the Wizards scored less than 100 points. The East’s top defense has seemingly already found a way to stifle what was a pretty powerful offensive unit in the regular season, even if the East’s leading scorer gets his buckets along the way. The Wizards need to make some adjustments and make them fast. Game three is Saturday, and this series dangerously close to ending in a sweep.

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