October 22, 2020

Washington Wizards Game 1 Wrap: Wizards’ rally falls short in season opener

Old habits die hard and, on Wednesday night, the Washington Wizards of new looked much like the Wiz Kids of old in their 113-102 loss to the Detroit Pistons.

It was not John Wall or Bradley Beal who helped carry the Wizards in their comeback attempt after trailing by as many as 15 points, rather, it was Trevor Ariza who provided the most momentum with 28 points by day’s end, including six shots from behind the arc.

Wall came up with 20 points and 11 assists for Washington and Beal added another 17 and two respectively, but it was largely defense that dashed Washington’s hopes early against a revamped Detroit squad.

Detroit handed Washington plenty of opportunities on early turnovers, but as Wall & co. tried to push back in the second half, so, too, did Washington gift the Pistons opportunities.

Halfway through the third quarter, the Wizards pulled within single digits of catching Detroit, but Greg Monroe was too quick to catch throughout. By the end of the night, Detroit’s player-of-the-game recorded 24 points and 16 rebounds.

After entering the fourth quarter down 81-73, Al Harrington and Marcin Gortat came up with timely free throws to help the Wizards keep things close. Martell Webster added another two free shots before Gortat made a bucket to veer right onto Detroit’s path, trailing 89-85.

But, the newly returned Chauncey Billups had an answer that would lay to rest comeback hopes. Billups sank back-to-back baskets from 26 and 27 feet respectively before Josh Smith’s three powered the Pistons to a 103-89 lead with five minutes left to play.

Wall and Beal did their best to lead the Wizards back in it, but the effort proved too little too late. In the end, the Pistons outscored the Wizards by a crushing 32-8 advantage in the paint. As such, Detroit powered to a 113-102 win at The Palace of Auburn Hills, further delaying the Wizards’ hopes to showcase a playoff-bound squad.

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 24: Slide Continues, as Wizards Show they are the Worst in the East

It was a dark night for the Washington Wizards, who were thoroughly dominated by the Detroit Pistons from start to finish in a 100-68 loss in Detroit Friday night.

Friday’s first half was most definitely the worst one of the year for the Wizards, who are currently in the midst of a now seven game slide. Heading into the holidays, the schedule set up perfectly for the Wizards to gain some momentum with a home-and-home series against the lowly Detroit Pistons. Their season low 34 points through two quarters though, showed just how painful the Wizards can be.

Now, before going any further the Wizards are without their three best players in Nene, John Wall and Bradley Beal, while also missing Trevor Ariza and AJ Price. Keeping that in mind though, the Pistons do not have a true star on their roster and the closest they come to having any true scoring power is from center Greg Monroe and guard Brandon Knight.

No one would be able to tell that after one, as the Pistons dropped 53 in the first half, despite only shooting 42 percent. It could have been much worse for Washington who continued to struggle to find any scoring outside of Jordan Crawford. The forward had 14 points in the first half of his return to his hometown.

Even shorthanded, the Wizards’ problems come from their own issues. Yes, they certainly miss Beal, Wall and Nene, but it does not excuse the awful shot choices and rushed possessions  It has plagued them all year, the poor execution of a basic game plan, but it was never more apparent than on Friday. The team consistently missed open looks, missed the rim and wasted promising possessions in the first half.

It was not any prettier in the second half as the Wizards started to aboslutely fall apart in the third quarter. A perfect example of why they had such a terrible game came after Crawford was called for a travel. The Pistons pushed the ball up the court and after a shot from Monroe, Kyle Singler grabbed an improbable rebound and kicked it to Tayshaun Prince who hit a three to make it 70-43.

Crawford was part of the reason for Washington coming of the rails. He was called for an offensive foul and a subsequent technical after he ran his mouth. This all came before, the travel he was called for too. While he was the main source of offense for the Wizards, he certainly did not do many other things to help them get back into the game.

The fourth quarter was much like the third, with Detroit controlling the play and scoring 23 to just 17 for the Wizards. Three Pistons would finish in double figures and Andre Drummond finished with a double double by scoring 11 and grabbing 14 boards. The two teams square off again tonight at the Verizon Center in Washington’s last matchup before Christmas.

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