Washington only scored three points over the final six minutes of the game as they fell to Bucks 104-95 on Monday afternoon.
The Wizards ended the game the same way they started it: Out of sync and unproductive on offense. They missed four of their first five shots to start the game and committed three turnovers as the Bucks took an early 10-3 lead. Even though the Wizards responded with a 20-8 run to get right back into the game, the uneven start set the tone for a game in which the team struggled to produce consistent offense.
The team committed 17 turnovers in the first half alone, en route a season-high 23 for the game. Every Wizard committed at least one turnover in the game, and all but three committed at least two. Bradley Beal led the way with a season-high seven turnovers, including six in the first half as he struggled to find driving lanes against Milwaukee’s long defense.
What the Wizards lacked in protecting the ball they tried to make up for with their own swarming defense. They forced two shot-clock violations and only allowed Giannis Antetokounmpo to make five shots in the paint. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep him off the free throw line, where he attempted 15 free throws, and they couldn’t keep him off the glass, where he grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds.
Still, the thing everyone will remember and continue to discuss is Washington’s late-game offense, which has haunted the team all season in close games. Not only did the team struggled to generate good shots in the closing minutes, but they couldn’t even convert on free throw opportunities, as Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris both missed a pair of free throws which could have kept things close.
In the end, this loss felt a lot like the Wizards’ loss to Milwaukee earlier in the month. If something doesn’t change, Washington could experience four more losses like this if they have to face the Bucks in the playoffs.
The Satoransky Air Show
Scott Brooks went with a nine-man rotation for this one, which meant Tomas Satoransky had to spend time spelling Wall and Beal, and also meant he got more opportunities to show off his hops:
Otto Porter has another dormant night
Granted, Porter was the only player to make a field goal in the final six minutes of the game, but it was one of only three he made all game long.
He’s been ice cold since his big game against Houston earlier in the month. He’s only shooting 37.7 percent from the field over the last six games and he’s just 6-of-23 from deep. It would be one thing if it was just a cold stretch, but keep in mind he’s also still recovering from a hip strain that kept him out of a game earlier in the month, so it might not just be a bad luck thing.
- Jodie Meeks did not play for the second time in three games. At this point, you have to think Washington will be shopping for some bench depth at the trade deadline, unless you think they’ll go with a nine-man rotation from here out.
- The one nice thing the Wizards did offensively early was getting John Wall to attack the rim, in spite of all of Milwaukee’s rim protectors. He had a lot of success early getting in there and either drawing a foul or finishing through contact.
Once the Bucks finally closed off the paint to Wall, that was when the Wizards really started to crumble.
Next up: The Wizards hit the road to take on the Hornets Wednesday night at 7 p.m.