Wizards' Defense is Causing Trouble!
WASHINGTON-- With less than 15.8 seconds on the clock, the Wizards had a chance to tie the game with a contested three point shot and possibly head into overtime.
Bradley Beal, Washington’s guard, had a perfect opportunity to give his team a fighting chance which quickly ended as Beal inbounded a bad pass that allowed Minnesota’s, Jeff Teague, to intercept it and bring it home defeating the Wizards 116 -111.
Beal was confused on the call as he watched his opponent and the ball race to the other end of the court.
“He pushed me out of bounds. That was kind of a crazy pass for me to make,” Beal stated. “He was forcing me out, so I had to get rid of it.”
Although Coach Scott Brooks agreed with Beal’s confusion, the unfair call of that play wasn’t his main priority.
“But that didn’t lose the game. We lost the game because we couldn’t stop them from scoring in the paint.” Brooks said.
Which is a true testament to tonight’s game
Coming from an ugly defeat in Miami, this is the Washington Wizards’ (38-29) second straight loss, a game that was needed as playoff season creeps its way around the corner.
A crucial problem was found in the team’s defense making this the fourth game where Washington has given up 60 plus points in the paint.
“We have to get stops,” Brooks stated in the post-game conference. “We got to stop worrying about scoring.”
4 March 2013, 21:29 by Chrishmt0423.
Markieff Morris season high 27- point game wasn’t enough to hold off Minnesota’s strong defense and stronger offense. Although Washington’s night was filled with highlight reel dunks and impressive ball movement, the team could not pull through defensively.
Beautiful assist and slams by the Wizards’ team kept the hope alive as the second quarter clock winded down to zero. Washington was able to stay close to the Timberwolves, eventually taking the lead with a score of 59-53 going into the half.
The rhythm of the Wizard’s offensive was consistent. Washington held on to their lead the entire third quarter which included 10 out of the 26 assists the team had by the end of the night.
Entering the fourth, Washington was able to hold their own and continue the lead until Timberwolves' Nemanja Bjelica three-point shot tied the game.
Once Minnesota found their flow, it was downhill for Washington.
The Wizards continuously made mistakes allowing the Timberwolves offense to get into the paint quickly and efficiently. With Washington unable to close out, all five of Minnesota’s starters ended the game in double figures.
Including their biggest problem, Karl-Anthony Towns.
Not even a shoulder to the face could keep Towns down as he finished the night with a season-high of 37 points. Despite the absence of Jimmy Butler who is out on a right knee injury, Towns’ inside finishes, consistent shots from the field, and physical ability allowed him to step up and power through Washington’s defense which helped the team push through a 10-point deficit.
Washington’s bigs could only do so much in regard to guarding Towns. It would take more than one defender to stop the 7- foot All Star center from proceeding to the basket.
The more Towns controlled the ball and the movement of the court, the easier it was for his Timberwolves teammates to go and grab some points of their own.
“We’re getting beat on backdoors. We’re getting beat off the dribble,” Brooks said. “And if you do that, you can’t expect your bigs to protect you every time.”
The Wizards are looking risky as they enter their sixth week without their star player John Wall. Wall being out due to surgery on his left knee, will not be playing in any games this week but is scheduled to return soon. Hopefully in time to turn the team around.
There is no safe zone for Washington this season which means every game is critical. With Boston missing Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and three other players, Wednesday night could mean a win for Washington and an end to their losing streak.