After falling behind by 12 early in the second quarter due to some unforced turnovers, the Wizards did what they did in their route against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday by pushing the pace and forcing turnovers in the full-court press. But save for the final 3 minutes of the half, Washington was never able to get into a rhythm offensively. Those swing passes to the open man weren't there, and players continuously made things more difficult than it should be, opting to do it themselves rather than trusting their teammates.
However, what doomed the Wizards today was their poor showing on the glass. They didn't get to those 50-50 balls, and were unable to stop those Memphis bigs from throwing their weight around down low. The bigs had no answer for Jack Cooley in particular, who continued to beat whomever the Wizards threw at him down low for position en route to his double-double.
Glen Rice Jr showed what he could do as a two-way player to close the half. He picked the pocket of Laurence Bowers on one end, kept his head up and found the streaking Dennis Horner for a transition layup. He continued his stellar passing, finding Chris Singleton running ahead despite having an open lane to the basket himself and wisely passed up on a three point attempt to find Horner down low posting up. He continued to attack closeouts well with his developed one-dribble pull-up, but just wasn't able to knock them down. It was promising to see him work on defense and make the correct reads in the halfcourt.
Jan Vesely showed a little bit of everything today. He air-balled a few shots, he committed a few unnecessary fouls, and relied more on his athleticism rather than fighting for position to secure rebounds. However he was the best player on the roster tonight. He ran the floor well, made some great passes operating from the elbows, and was consistently around the rim for tip-ins.
Chris Singleton continued to stick to his summer league M.O. by staying aggressive and pushing the pace. He looked more decisive with the ball in his hands, understanding when to attack the lanes and when to pull it back and reset the offense, but his shaky dribble really limited him.
It will be the Wizards vs. Pelicans on Friday at 6:30 EST, so see you then.