With 4:23 left in the fourth quarter, the Wizards defended the Pacers pretty well and Mahinmi missed an easy shot. But the rebound was tipped out, a white jersey missed the ball and it went immediatly to George Hill. He drained a three to put the Pacers up 113-98.
That summed up the Wizards night where they looked completely outmatched and outclassed on both ends against the Indiana Pacers. The Wizards held seven of the nine players the Pacers played to just 51 points. The problem was the other two scored a combined 72 points and shot 15 of 17 from the three point line.
Paul George and C.J. Miles led the way for the Pacers in their win tonight and there was nothing the Wizards could really do about it. Miles stared off hot and drained his first six three pointers--three of them came while matched up with Kris Humphries.
Every one of the Wizards' problems in their first 10 games reared their ugly heads tonight. They turned the ball over throughout the game, the offense stagnated over long periods of play, they couldn't stop anyone on the wing and their transition defense was all but absent from the game.
The Wizards have some soul searching to do after another blowout loss with more than 110 points allowed. Rest in peace to the Wizards' three game win streak. Here are three things we've learned.
The starting lineup needs tweaking
I can't say I know which issue in the starting lineup is the most important one and which one needs to be taken care of, but facts are facts and every single player in the Wizards' starting lineup had at least a -5 plus/minus. Everyone outside of Kris Humphries registered at least a -16.
Something isn't working here and that's apparent. The second unit plays faster, moves the ball better and plays more cohesive defense. The infusion of Jared Dudley and Nene's defense on perimeter pick and rolls helps with the defensive issues and the abundance of ball handlers helps keep the offense fluid in transition.
I'm not too sure what the solution is here, but something needs to happen.
The defense needs tweaking--again
Something is wrong with the Wizards defense. They allowed the Pacers to score at least 30 points in the first, third and fourth quarters tonight. They scored 29 in the second quarter, so we may as well give them that 30 as well.
We'll have to dig into the film a bit more to see what is going on here, but there seemed to be a lot of perimeter switching. Paul George was a matchup problem from the start, and cross-matching Porter onto Paul George did not help things.
Wittman tried to stick Humprhies on Miles to start the game off, but he scored nine straight points and hit three straight threes. Humprhies was clearly out of place, which has been a central theme for the Wizards all season.
John Wall has to cut down his turnovers
The Wizards have a turnover issue and all too often it starts with John Wall. Wall had eight of the team's 21 turnovers and that can't be the case. He's the team's best player and he orchestrates the offense.
Wall only had eight turnovers, but he could have had many more. He threw too many passes putting his teammates in bad places to receive the ball. Making the simple pass to the wing is sometimes the best option, and too often tonight he did not take it.
The Pacers do have a suffocating defense, but Wall played himself into to many bad situations. If the team is going to turn things around, that has to change.
- Kris Humprhies matching up on a perimeter player clearly did not work. Because of that, Wittman opted to start Dudley in the second half against a more perimeter oriented team. It'll be interesting to see if that continues.
- Gary Neal had 23 points and played good basketball. Garrett Temple played more minutes than him during the Wizards' winning streak, but it'll be interesting to see if Neal plays more going forward.
- Ramon Sessions seems like a solid dunker.
- Nene had another double digit scoring night and played well overall. It'll be interesting to see if he gets anymore time with how poorly Marcin Gortat has played as of late.