So, yeah, that didn't exactly go as planned. The Wizards looked flat early against the Philadelphia 76ers, and the end result was a 103-78 beatdown loss that looked better than it actually was. It's only preseason, so let's be careful to make any sweeping generalizations on the game, but looking so uncompetitive in any setting is cause for concern.
A couple quick thoughts on the game.
- Everyone looked really tired: The most obvious sign of this was seeing how all those missed jump shots actually missed. The front of the rim got quite a workout tonight, as it seemed like every single missed jump shot was short. When your legs are tired, the shots miss short. You have to wonder if the Wizards' training camp was the cause of this, either because they weren't in as good a shape as was professed or because they were pushed too hard. Neither is an especially good thing.
- There were still a lot of defensive breakdowns: I didn't like JaVale McGee's defensive game tonight. He was still poor with his pick and roll defense, and he let Spencer Hawes get open too often, compromising the rest of the defense. Also, I didn't like his rebounding. But really, everyone was bad, except for maybe Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely.
The offense was not crisp at all: Man, there was a lot of standing around. It's no wonder all those jumpers missed. There were a couple bad shots taken early and the offense was never to regain its rhythm. Chris Miller said it best: they looked like a team that barely practiced offense in training camp. It didn't help that John Wall wasn't enough of a difference-maker attacking the basket.
- If Crawford was trying to make his case for more PT, he failed: It's far too soon to jump to the conclusion that this team needs to meet Nick Young's reported demands, but Crawford really struggled with his jump shot and in the half-court offense. He still hasn't demonstrated that he can be a capable player when he needs to work off his teammates.
- On the bright side...: Jan Vesely looked a lot better than I thought -- really solid defensive instincts, and he'll learn how to use his length. Chris Singleton was OK, and Shelvin Mack played well against Philadelphia's bench guys in the fourth quarter. And ... that's pretty much it.
Give credit to the 76ers as well, because they looked regular-season ready, especially defensively. The Wizards, on the other hand, still looked like the wheels were turning slowly in their head. They looked like they were thinking rather than reacting. That's the sign of a team that isn't ready for the task at hand in a week, for whatever reason. They'll need to develop that in-game rhythm quickly if they want to improve this season.