Well, at least it's over.
The Wizards carry the weight of being five games under .500 going into the All-Star break and remain at a loss after falling to the Bucks tonight. The Wizards had a 25-15 lead with 1:54 left in the first quarter of the game but were outscored 40-21 going into the half to fall behind 55-46.
The Wizards were out of sorts all night. John Wall had 12 three-point shots in the game -- more than Jared Dudley and Bradley Beal combined. Marcin Gortat played in foul trouble for much of the first half and never got his rhythm back in the second half. Otto Porter started the game out going 4-4 from the field and went 2-11 for the rest of the game.
It just didn't work out for the Wizards. With just about a minute left to go in the fourth quarter, the Wizards cut the lead down to 93-90 after Bradley Beal and John Wall hit a trio of free throws. Wall managed to get a steal at halfcourt and went full speed ahead at Giannis Antetokounmpo. But, just as the Wizards did for a majority of the game, they came up empty in that possession and lost an opportunity to get back into the game late.
This game was crucial with the Wizards having a stretch of three straight games coming out of the All-Star break to make up for their missed game against the Utah Jazz. It's a disappointing loss and one of the worse of the season. The Wizards really have no silver lining after this one, and like the rest of us, they'll just have to move on.
Here's what we've learned:
John Wall and Bradley Beal cannot have off nights
This isn't anything new or something we didn't know in the case of John Wall, but Bradley Beal is an important piece to the team's offense as well.
Wall did not have it going tonight after he banged his knee on the floor early on in the first quarter and he played one of his worst games of the year. He turned the ball over everywhere, did not penetrate within the three point line, avoided traps early on and held the Wizards' offense back.
Much of this loss has to go on Wall for his performance. There should never be a game where three point attempts make up for 63 percent of his overall shot attempts. Wall never penetrated the lane, and that affected the play of the rest of the team.
Beal played a solid game, but was really held back by what happened with Wall. He never got a rhythm, and the Wizards cannot afford to have both of these guys not on top of their games.
Three pointers do not always equal great offense
The Wizards went 6-32 overall from three point range in this one. Again, a lot of that comes from the lack of dribble penetration which creates a lot of contested three point attempts.
A majority of Wall's 12 three point attempts were contested and, while he's a good shooter, he is not at that level. The Wizards cannot afford to take many bad shots from deep because their offense suffers in other places because of it. The Wizards' starters did not shoot free throws until Otto Porter went to the line for two flagrant foul free throws late in the third quarter. That simply cannot happen.
The Wizards went on an eight minute scoring drought in the second quarter because they couldn't get into the lane. Even when Wall came in the game, the Wizards could not penetrate into the paint and they took too many quick launch, early clock three point attempts.
The three ball is a valuable shot, but that's not good offense.
The Wizards will look to pick up the pieces, but it'll be tough. They'll face just one team under .500 in the next five games and will likely struggle in all five of the games. This trade deadline for the Wizards will be a tricky one. They'll have some heavy decisions to make and they'll have to make them soon.