Thomas Bryant poured in a season-high 30 points while Troy Brown Jr. had a near triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists but it wouldn’t be enough as the Wizards fall to the Nets, 118-110 on Sunday afternoon. Washington had no answer for guys like Caris LeVert and Joe Harris who scored 34 and 27 points respectively and all but eliminated Washington’s postseason aspirations in the process.
Whether it was scripted or not, Brown found himself with the ball in his hands early on in this game. He looked much more comfortable triggering the offense as he was able to hit floaters in the lane or work the pick-and-roll to perfection with Bryant.
This is a work of art. Look at the high ball fake from Troy. pic.twitter.com/W4pZEf7Mv6— Quinton Mayo (@RealQuintonMayo) August 2, 2020
In the second quarter, everyone not named Thomas Bryant for the Wizards was ice cold. However, Brooklyn was never quite able to pull away. Washington was able to keep the deficit manageable and back-to-back three-pointers from Bryant to close the half had this game tied up at 54 going into the break.
Washington got some help off of the bench in the third quarter from guys like Jerome Robinson, Ish Smith, and Jerian Grant as the Wizards held a 85-83 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The lead seesawed back and forth with the game all tied up at 100 with 5:26 to play – and that’s when it all fell apart for Washington. The Wizards turned to iso ball for a few possessions, forced shots, and couldn’t stop LeVert down the stretch as the Nets would pull away and win this one 118-110.
The Wizards need this Thomas Bryant on a more consistent basis
Thomas Bryant has received a bunch of criticism this year. While most of his criticism has come on the defensive end of the floor and how he hasn’t made the next step in his progression, fans have become a little antsy with him on the offensive end of the floor as he’s tried to force things at times.
Today, Bryant stuck to his strengths, and as a result, had a great game. Bryant brought the energy, finished most of his shots around the rim, and only shot the ball from deep if he was wide open and if they were of the catch-and-shoot variety.
Update: THOMAS BRYANT IS NOT DONE. pic.twitter.com/k9KwPiZtEs— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) August 2, 2020
There was no playing outside of himself today and as a result, turned in a season-high on the offensive end. Inconsistency with Bryant’s game is what frustrates the fan base so much. If they could get this version of Bryant more often, folks would be a whole lot happier.
Washington can’t keep Brooklyn out of the paint
I know what you’re going to say, “well, Bryant and Wagner aren’t rim protectors so of course Brooklyn had their way.” Not quite.
Were Thomas Byrant, Mo Wagner, and Anzejs Pasecniks flawless on the defensive end of the floor? No. But, you can’t put all the blame on them for allowing 52 points in the paint this afternoon.
Wing defenders often looked stuck in the mud as guys like Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, and Chris Chiozza (remember him?) easily sliced their way to the hole. It would have helped if the Wizards had a true rim protector to meet the cutters at the rim, but at some point, the perimeter guys have to play defense too.
Washington’s postseason hopes are all but over
If Washington was to have any shot at forcing a play-in game to make the playoffs, they had to win this one. They were looking up at Brooklyn in the standings and after this game; they have to make up three games with just six to play to force a play-in game.
You can pretty much stick a fork in Washington’s postseason aspirations.