A few days after Bradley Beal criticized the team’s losing culture, he turned in a dud performance, and the Wizards were stomped by the Toronto Raptors, 140-111.
For much of the season, Washington has played to a familiar script — entertaining games where they score bunches of points and allow even more. Tonight, they performed just the “allowing” part.
Don’t be fooled by the high scoring total. The game was played at a blazing fast pace and the Wizards offense was inefficient. Against a quality opponent like the Raptors, bad offense and bad defense was a recipe for a blowout.
They shot the ball well (.534 effective field goal percentage), but committed 26 turnovers — tied for the third most in a game this season.
Washington got another excellent performance from second-year wing Troy Brown Jr. He scored 22 points on just 13 shots, and added eight rebounds and three steals in 26 minutes.
Isaac Bonga continued to show growth. He posted 17 points on 9 shots, and collected 10 rebounds.
Point guard Ish Smith produced a solid 12 points and 8 assists in his 32 minutes.
The rest of the Wizards varied from crummy to awful. Beal inexplicably taking the court for meaningless games despite knee and shoulder injuries, had another poor outing.
While Scott Brooks’ lineup choices have been limited by injuries, the team needs to reassess a starting group that includes Ian Mahinmi and Thomas Bryant. The two operate in similar spaces and playing them together puts them in each others’ way. Plus, Mahinmi simply isn’t much good.
The team also needs to reconsider the decision to play Beal despite persistent pain and stiffness in his knee and shoulder. Beal may want to play, but there’s little point in letting him grind out minutes in a lost season where game outcomes don’t matter. They’d be better served to let him get healthy rather than risking more serious injury.
As for the Raptors — they enjoyed their time with the Lake Wobegon Wizards where all the women are strong, the men are good looking and the opponents above average. Toronto got outstanding performances from up and down the roster. The only thing preventing multiple players from getting career highs was that the game was so easy, no one had to play major minutes.
The Raptors did nearly anything they wanted against the Wizards. Normal Powell had 28 points on just 17 shots. Marc Gasol had 20 points on 9 shots, including 6-7 shooting from three-point range. O.G. Anunoby posted 18 points on 13 shots. Kyle Lowry dropped 11 points, 8 assists and 2 steals in just 22 minutes.
The Wizards are next in action Monday at Detroit.