The Bulls, like the Wizards, have had injury issues this season. And the Bulls lost more bodies during this game, as Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchison went down with injuries. Despite this, the Wizards could not take advantage. The Wizards lost a winnable game by crumbling late in the 4th quarter. Washington did not make life hard for their opponent, and Chicago got to the basket with little resistance. Add the 16 turnovers that the Wizards had (many being unforced), and it killed their chances of winning this game.
Thomas Bryant at the 4
Scott Brooks switched the starting lineup against Chicago. Thomas Bryant started at power forward next to Ian Mahinmi. Bryant seemed to disappear at times and seemed limited in what he could do from that position. He was on a minutes restriction, playing only 12 minutes. However, those 12 minutes were enough for me to see that Thomas Bryant is not the best option at the 4.
Bradley Beal is frustrated
After the game, Bradley Beal voiced his frustration on the Wizards losing winnable games. This is a season in which Beal knew the Wizards would struggle. This doesn’t absolve Beal of blame, as he finished with the worst +/- on the team. The Wizards won three out of four games, which included the Nuggets and the Celtics, while Beal was down.
The supporting cast around Beal has been able to handle their own at times and I believe Beal should trust his teammates more. There will be more bumps in this Wizards season, as they are almost at the halfway mark. As a leader, Bradley Beal has to understand that he has to stand strong in tough times. Tommy Sheppard has made good moves and wants to win sooner than later, so Beal has to continue to grow as a player and a leader.
Who can help the Wizards defense
Chicago shot 51-percent from the field. That is a common theme for Wizards’ opponents. The key to the Wizards defense improving is adding more length. Anzejs Pasecniks has done a great job of just being lengthy. Pasecniks has been a deterrent in the paint by using his length and not avoiding foul trouble. The Wizards need to prevent teams from getting shots in the paint consistently. If they can, those field goal percentages will drop. Pasecniks has done a good job of that and should continue to get playing time.
The Wizards next game will be against the Toronto Raptors this Friday at 7:00 pm. They’ll try to get back in the win column against another strong conference rival.