Wizards Report December 20Posted on January 14, 2013 by DJ-WizardsRadio
By Dave Johnson
In an all too familiar scenario the Washington Wizards had the perseverance, but not the points. Down by 13 points in each half, the Wizards made the Orlando Magic squirm before missed opportunities in the fourth quarter led to a 90-83 loss.
Trailing 87-83 with 2:53 left in the game the Wizards had two opportunities to draw even closer. First Jordan Crawford committed a turnover. Then Nene drew a double team on a drive to the basket and found Emeka Okafor open in the lane. Okafor’s effort from four feet went off the rim.
To be sure it was frustrating to watch the Wizards challenge the Magic, only to have possessions fail late when they needed to work the most. In truth the Wizards downfall probably was sealed earlier when they only scored 13 points in the third quarter. The bad start to the second half muted the impact of the Wizards 15-4 run to close the second quarter.
“We lost the game in the third quarter. We came out in the third quarter and cared more about me than we. Who’s getting shots? I need shots. And I think we scored 13. Did we fight back and get back in it? Yes, but we’re not good enough to overcome those things. We’re not good enough. And we can’t play that way. That eight minute stretch in the third quarter was ridiculous. Very disappointing and it can’t happen.”
Here is today’s Wizards Report:
The Wizards had to change starting lineups for the eighth time this season. Bradley Beal was forced to the sideline with a sore lower back On Tuesday Beal landed hard after his shot was blocked in the third quarter by Josh Smith in the 100-95 overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Beal did return in the fourth quarter against the Hawks, but was unable to play in Orlando after going through pre-game warm-ups. Jordan Crawford and Shaun Livingston started at guards.
Regardless of Beal’s health, Wittman had planned to change the starting five. Earl Barron, who had 14 rebounds and 4 blocked shots against the Hawks, was rewarded with a starting nod against the Magic. Barron was saddled by foul trouble and only had two points on 1 of 6 shooting from the field to go with five rebounds.
Twice this season the Wizards only attempted seven free throws and against the Magic they were only 6 of 8 from the free throw line. Orlando was 14 of 17 on free throws. The plus eight advantage in free throws proved to be a decisive factor on a night when the Wizards had a better shooting percentage from the field (44 percent to the Magic’s 42 percent).
Extra points: Simply put the Wizards are better with Nene on the floor. In almost twenty five minutes against the Magic, Nene scored a season-high 20 points. In the first half Jordan Crawford scored 15 points with 4 assists and only two turnovers. Crawford struggled in the second half with only four points and five turnovers.
Final word from Martell Webster:
“We are not going to give up that is all I can say. I wear my heart on my sleeve. It hurts but the moral of the story is you can’t give up. You have to keep fighting and continue to get better. I am not looking to change anything. Everything is solid and the way I want it to be. You just have to finish games and continue to be resilient. I think if we continue to keep our heads up and stay confident in our system, then things will change.”
The Detroit Pistons proved it can be done. After losing their first eight games, the Pistons then went 7-7. The Washington Wizards would like to find similar consistency and will continue their quest tonight against the Pistons at the Palace at Auburn Hills.