Let me know if you’ve heard this before, lack of defensive intensity led to an early Wizards’ deficit which they were never ever able to recover from. The Wizards lost to the Warriors Monday night 125-117. All-Star snub, Bradley Beal put up 43 points but it was not enough as the depleted Warriors dominated the game from start to finish.
Wizards were bullied all night
This is the first time all season the Warriors have won back to back games. The Wizards’ poor defensive effort allowed the Warriors to shoot nearly 50-percent from the field. The Wizards were out rebounded by 9. The Warriors had 3 more assists Monday night. Do I need to continue?
In the fourth quarter, the Wizards showed signs of making a comeback. Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans played well together down the stretch on the offensive end. Scott Brooks recognized the Warriors were doubling Beal anytime he touched the ball. To counteract this, Brooks ran Beal and Bertans on pick-and-pop plays. This allowed Beal to kick to a wide-open Bertans for a three-pointer off of the pop.
Once the Warriors became wise to this scheme, Brooks switched it up and took the ball out of Beal’s hands. Bertans took on the ball-handling load down the stretch to free up Beal. This allowed Beal to focus on doing what he does best, scoring. Ultimately, it was not enough as the Wizards’ defense gave up too many open shots.
Lack of effort
Bad defense is hard to overcome no matter how high-powered your offense is. What struck me tonight though, was not the defense, it was the lack effort. The Warriors were seemingly always first to the ball. Any rebound or loose ball, the Warriors were the first to grab it. This was a very disheartening display for a fan-base who finally had some reason to be enthusiastic. Even if there is little hope for this team this year, you do not want to see them give such little effort. The Wizards were the better team but they did not play like it tonight.
It is worth noting that the Warriors star point guard, D’Angelo Russell, also did not play Monday night. Yes, that is right, the Wizards lost to the Warriors without Russell playing. The point guard was out against the Wizards and has been in several trade rumors as the deadline approaches.
Glass half full
Let’s not get too down though, it is just one game of many and there are some positives to mention. Both Rui Hachimura and Moritz Wagner returned to action Monday night. It was reassuring to have these two rising stars back on the court for the Wizards. Hachimura especially stood out as he finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds. Wagner brought his unmatched energy with 8 points off the bench.
As I mentioned before, Bradley Beal continues to prove his doubters wrong. He finished with an impressive stat line of 43 points and 6 assists. Beal also made history as he moved up to third on the Wizards all-time scoring list, passing his buddy and teammate, John Wall. Bradley Beal has scored 10,880 points for the Wizards. This is now the seventh game in a row Beal has scored 34 or points.
It is also worth mentioning, there was a trending video of John Wall warming up before Monday’s game against the Warriors. Wall is performing moves at game speed and appears to be healthy. In the video, Wall is performing several quick ball-handling moves and scoring against a member of the Wizards coaching staff. I won’t speculate as to when Wall will return as it likely won’t be until next season. But things like this can be a bright spot in an otherwise tough season and we all need more content like this. Here’s hoping the All-Star point guard will be returning sooner rather than later.