The Wizards took it on the chin early in the game. The Clippers started the game on a 7-0 run and led by 16 just two minutes into the second quarter. Scott Brooks went to the team’s small lineup early in the second quarter to get the team back in the game, and it had some early success, cutting the lead back down to seven.
Unfortunately, that’s when they literally took it on the chin. Markieff Morris left the game with concussion-like symptoms after Danilo Gallinari inadvertently elbowed him in the chin and did not return the rest of the game.
Washington has nowhere else to turn after that point. Ian Mahinmi stayed out of foul trouble, but he was ineffective all night, posting a -24 in 29 minutes of action. Montrezl Harrell devoured Washington on the glass when they tried to go super small, and the Wizards’ bench stood no chance against the Clippers’ strong reserves. As you might expect, the Wizards fell behind by 20 early in the second half and the game was in garbage time by the start of the fourth quarter.
Simply put, the Washington Wizards are not a good basketball team right now, and depending on how long Dwight Howard and Markieff Morris miss time, it could still get worse before it gets better.
The Wizards’ passing is not getting better
Earlier we noted how the Wizards have gone from one of the best assisting teams in the league over the past few years to one of the worst this season. That didn’t change much tonight. Nothing changed that perception in this game. The Wizards only had 18 assists on 38 made baskets. John Wall led the way with five. Otto Porter was the only other starter who had an assist.
You can blame it on selfishness, you can blame it on a lack of cohesion, you can blame it on bad playcalling or whatever else you want, it’s clear the Wizards aren’t moving the ball the way they need to. They might not need to revert back to Everybody Eats mode to get things humming again, but the Mass Starvation model isn’t working.
The Clippers, on the other hand, finished with 35 assists on 56 made baskets. Three Clippers finished with at least five assists.
Marcin Gortat is probably going to have a nice, long laugh about this
He didn’t have a sexy box score, but his team won by 32 and the team that tried to make the scapegoat for the team’s drama last season is still dealing with drama.
On a related note, Mike Scott scored 13 points on 5 shots in 19 minutes off the bench.
The Wizards kept their streak alive of losing rebounding battles by double digits. They lost the rebounding battle 57-45, thanks to six different Clippers grabbing at least six rebounds. They’ll tie the record for the longest streak of losing rebounding battles by double-digits if it happens again on Tuesday against the Grizzlies.