Tuesday's Wizards game vs. the Thunder had a lot of hype. But the game was a whimper. The Wizards lost 125-101.
Kevin Durant wasn't the star and he sat out the second half due to injury. The player of the game was Russell Westbrook who had a triple-double without having to play the fourth quarter.
The biggest concern I have from this game wasn't just that Washington looked lethargic all game. It was that that the Thunder didn't force the Wizards into making many turnovers. Welcome to Loud City's Marina Mangiaracina put it succinctly in her recap:
Bradley Beal is normally the lynchpin of Washington's perimeter threats, but he's out with injury. This meant Washington was really left without a solid shooter, period. Gary Neal can hit threes, and so can Jared Dudley and Ramon Sessions. But none of them were ever really able to make the Thunder respect the Wizards on the perimeter as a unit. Thus, the Thunder got to settle into playing conservative defense and forcing bad shots.
Think of it this way: The Thunder won by 24, but only forced 8 turnovers.
To this point in the season, we have voiced our concerns about turnovers in multiple posts, whether by myself, Alan, L.W., or Mike Sykes in the last week. The eight turnovers in yesterday's game are a season low, yet this ended up being the Wizards' worst loss of the season all things considered.
The biggest problem was the Wizards' lack of a rebounding and defensive mentality. In his postgame press conference (also embedded above), Randy Wittman was noticeably frustrated with the lack of defense and especially rebounding.
To put things in perspective, Marcin Gortat only grabbed one defensive rebound in 27 minutes of play, and the Wizards' starting lineup grabbed a total of 12 defensive rebounds on Tuesday. The Thunder's starting lineup on the other hand grabbed 27 defensive rebounds, 19 by Durant and Westbrook.
The Magic come to town on Saturday night, so there's time to incrementally correct things before then, but as bad as this loss was, the effort was just not there at all from tipoff.
The Commenting Stats
The Comment of the Night
Wall_Hopeful received 10 recs for this point on Wall's demeanor during the game. I can't disagree with him.
Highlight Day: Bullets Forever group picture
Nick Bilka, Kelly Cohen, Ben Becker, and I met up during yesterday's game. GROUP PIC ANYONE?!
My apologies for having my iPhone cable out of my right pocket. The awkwardness of being a blogger got to me. :)