Wizards Report December 21Posted on December 21, 2012
By Dave Johnson
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.
Here is today’s Wizards Report:
Radio–Coverage of the Wizards and Pistons starts tonight at 7:15 PM on the Washington Wizards Radio Network
The Pistons have stumbled again since their stretch of .500 basketball and have dropped their last six games. The Wizards opened the month with an impressive home win over Miami and was part of a stretch where the Wizards won three of five games. Now the Wizards are dealing with a slide again in the form of a five-game losing streak.
The Wizards losing streak, like the entire season, has been marked by competitive games. Only last Saturday’s loss in Miami slipped away from the Wizards early. The other four losses for the Wizards have been by a combined 21 points. In short the Wizards have struggled to make critical plays late in games.
The Wizards have little margin for error. Only once in those four close losses, Tuesday against the Hawks, did the Wizards have a lead in the fourth quarter. The Wizards resilience has been consistent. In three of those four losses the Wizards had to deal with double-digit deficits, but still put themselves in a position to win in the fourth quarter.
To the line:
The Wizards shot 44 percent from the field Wednesday against the Magic, but only made it to the free throw line eight times. It was the third time this season the Wizards attempted fewer than 10 free throws in game. Amazingly enough, the Wizards were close in all three games. In a four-point loss to Indiana in November the Wizards were only 5 of 7 from the free throw line. In a six-point overtime loss to the Celtics in Boston, the Wizards were 6 of 7 from the free throw line.
Nene has played 24 minutes in each of the last two games. Against the Magic Nene scored a season-high 20 points, a night after scoring 18 points against the Hawks. In scoring 38 points in two games, Nene was incredibly efficient going 13 of 17 from the field.
The four spot:
In a search for more activity at power forward, head coach Randy Wittman rewarded Earl Barron with a start against the Magic. Barron impressed off the bench against the Hawks with 14 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. In addition Barron took two charges on defense. Against the Hawks Barron was bothered by foul trouble and had two points and 5 rebounds. Barron struggled to finish in both games and was 3 of 16 from the field.
The Pistons know what the Wizards are going through. At 7-21 it has been a difficult season for the Pistons and after starting the season 0-8 are now dealing with six-game losing streak. Four of those six losses have been by fewer than seven points. Sound familiar?
In a 97-91 loss to Toronto on Wednesday, former Georgetown star Greg Monroe had a season- high 35 points. Monroe leads the Pistons in points (15.7 per-game), rebounds (9.1 per-game) and steals (1.5 per-game). In two home games against the Wizards last season Monroe presented a challenge and scored 45 points.
Like the Wizards the Pistons are competitive on defense, but struggle to score. On average the Pistons only score 93 points per-game, but can score quickly in transition.