The Washington Wizards are going to have trouble scoring this season when everyone is healthy, let alone on nights like Tuesday, when they missed out on the services of John Wall, Nene and Kevin Seraphin. The result was an unfortunately predictable ten-point loss in Cleveland to the Cavaliers in both team’s season debut.
Cleveland benefitted from a game-high 29 points from 2011 rookie of the year Kyrie Irving, and all Wall could do was watch from the stands as he recovers from a knee injury that will delay his season debut until early December.
The Wizards started the fourth quarter down 12, but a 14-point run gave them life midway through the frame. But the Cavs bounced back to shake the Wizards and then ran away from them as time expired.
Rookie Bradley Beal scored eight points in his league debut on 2-of-8 shooting from the floor (2-of-4 from 3PT).
In fact, the Wizards team shooting overall was dismal at 36 percent, including Wall’s replacement, A.J. Price, who went 2-for-13. He managed seven points and six assists. Jamal Crawford scored 11 points from the bench on 4-for-13 shooting.
It’s going to be a common theme for these Wizards this season. They shipped out a bunch of talented knuckleheads for solid citizens and good defenders, but the offense has to come from somewhere.
With Nene’s injury history, it’s going to be tough for this team to fill his big shoes on nights he needs off, and Emeka Okefor has to do a better job than the 10 points and seven rebounds (team high) that he did tonight. Cleveland big man Anderson Varejao had nine points on the inside, but grabbed a whopping 23 rebounds, including 12 on the offensive boards which turned into second chance points for the Cavs last night.
“They (Cavaliers) dictated the tempo, which I thought was key,” head coach Randy Wittman said after. “We can’t get beat up on the boards like we did (54-39) or shoot free throws like we did (12-for-20) and have a realistic chance to win.”
The Wizards have their home opener Saturday with a visit by the Boston Celtics at 7:00 pm at Verizon Center.