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Wake-up call: Wizards' ball movement a problem in loss to Phoenix

The Wizards' toughest part of the schedule got started earlier than expected when the Phoenix Suns came to town and shut down Washington's offense. With a tough stretch approaching, is it time for Nene to start again? We cover that, and more, in today's wake-up call.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

1. Suns deny Wizards, 104-92

It's not every year that we'll be able to say the Wizards fell to 19-7 on the season. But the Phoenix Suns were just too much for Washington to handle on Sunday evening in D.C. They hit more than 51 percent of their shots, and held the Wizards to just 11 assists. I hope Washington is ready, because they've just been sucker-punched by a then-.500 team as they gets into the most difficult part of their schedule thus far.

Here are the recaps.

Bullets Forever

The Washington Post

Comcast SportsNet

Wiz of Awes

Truth About It

2. Time for Nene to start again?

Nene said that he was fine with coming off the bench. But Kris Humphries' minutes have been reduced recently, and so has his production. lf Humphries heads back to the bench, with the expected boost for the second group upon Martell Webster's imminent return, will it be enough to compensate for Nene and his production being transferred to the starting lineup? That's something Randy Wittman will have to think about.

3. Chris Bosh was on to something...

A 19-7 record is far from disastrous, especially considering what this Wizards organization has been through. But I just wanted revisit something Bosh said after the Wizards beat his Miami Heat squad by 21 points back at the start of this month.

"You don't know how a team is mentally until they're doing extremely bad," Bosh said following Monday's game when I asked about the Wizards' mental toughness this season. "That's when you find things out. They probably won't find that about themselves until the playoffs, when they're down [and] see if they can recover."

No, the Wizards aren't doing extremely bad. No, the playoffs haven't arrived yet. But after struggling to beat a Bosh-less Heat squad three days ago and then being suffocated by the Suns in all aspects last night, something tells me this upcoming stretch will be huge in finding out just how mentally tough this Wizards team really is.

4. Wizards continue to struggle with long, athletic bigs

The Suns were supposed to rely on their three-headed guard attack against the Wizards last night if they were going to win. And they did.

The surprising part was how effective their young big men were against the Wizards' deep front line. Alex Len had eight points, eight rebounds, and four blocks. Mason Plumlee had four points, six rebounds, and two blocked shots. Kevin Seraphin stepped up but Marcin Gortat, the $60-million man, recorded just nine points, seven rebounds, and two blocked shots. Kris Humphries had just four points and two rebounds.

5. Hear from the team

John Wall

Paul Pierce

Rasual Butler

Kevin Seraphin

Bradley Beal

Randy Wittman