It’s always difficult to find positive takeaways from a losing effort, especially when it’s a loss to a team that shouldn’t beat you regardless of the circumstances. The Rockets had no business upsetting the Wizards on Monday night, yet here we are following a 115-97 Washington loss.
Yet again, this Wizards team plays with no consistency. In the first half they jumped out by as much as 23 points and they looked well on their way to winning and easily covering the spread. Things quickly changed.
When the fourth quarter rolled around, the Rockets flat-out dominated. Not only did they win the quarter 35-24, but Christian Wood alone also outscored the Wizards in the quarter, 15-14.
Despite the difficulty of it, we are going to find some positive things that fans can take away from the game. Wizards fans need it.
Wizards Positive: Potential Lottery Implications
With each game the Wizards drop, they increase their chances of a better draft pick. While they won too many games already to compete for the best odds in the NBA Draft lottery, they are still vying for potentially important positioning.
They sit right next to the New York Knicks in the standings, and a number of Western Conference teams could pass the Wizards in the league standings as well. Outright tanking isn’t something most fans can get behind. It’s hard to disagree with the thought.
Still, with this current group, each time they add another embarrassing loss to their record fans must embrace the fact that it might help them in the upcoming lottery.
Wizards Positive: Kristaps Porzingis Displays Unicorn Title
It’s been tough to fully and fairly evaluate Kristaps Porzingis so far with the Wizards. There have been glimpses of the player he was early in his career matched by spurts of play that makes one wonder if he can be the number two on this team if they plan on competing.
He hasn’t played with Bradley Beal yet and is surrounded by a new group that isn’t exactly brimming with high-end NBA talent. Against the Wizards, Porzingis showed off why he has been called a unicorn throughout his NBA career.
He finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds, a very nice stat line for any big man. He also added four assists and an eye-popping five blocked shots.
Porzingis put up those numbers despite struggling mightily in the second half. A lot of his work was done in the first half. While the second half could be argued as a point of concern, instead focus on the promise he displayed in the opening 24 minutes.
KP played in 15 of the games opening 24 minutes and led the Wizards to a 63 point half. He scored 16 points on 6-10 shooting, while also knocking down all four of his free throw attempts. Porzingis added seven rebounds and blocked an absurd five shots in those 15 minutes of action. His +/- in the half was +20.
The next step is obvious. Porzingis needs to expand on the length of time he can dominate on the court. Still, it was promising to get such a blatant reminder of the player he can be.