There was not enough help for Bradley Beal Wednesday night, as the Washington Wizards fell to the Portland Trailblazers, 125-104.
The Wizards completed their West Coast tour Wednesday night, going 1-3 in those games. Bradley Beal finished with 29 points to go with 6 rebounds and 6 assists against the Portland Trailblazers. The do-it-all All-Star snub Beal needed help from his teammates, as the Wizards only managed to put up 104 points. In order to make the playoffs, the Wizards can ill afford to lose many more games.
Blazers’ Big 3 was the difference
The Trailblazers took advantage of the poor offensive night from Wizards. Damian Lillard made his return from injury, after missing the previous six games. Lillard put up 22 points in 32 minutes. Lillard had offensive help from his teammates. CJ McCollum finished with 22 points, and Carmelo Anthony, drinking from the fountain of youth, scored 25. The Blazers trio combined for 69 of 125 total points.
The Wizards inexperience and youth is starting to show now that we are into the final full month of the season. Coming off a failed comeback attempt against the Kings, the Wizards did not put up consistent effort against the Blazers. The Wizards lost yet another game in which Bradley Beal filled the stat sheet and lead the team in scoring. Where have we heard that before? Davis Bertans finished second in scoring with 21 points off the bench, shooting 4-12 from deep. The only other player in double-digit scoring was Rui Hachimura with 11.
The Wizards only win on this west coast road trip was against the Golden State Warriors, the worst team in basketball. Wizards lost to a playoff team in the Utah Jazz on Friday, and lost to two teams chasing the 8th seed in the West in both the Sacramento Kings and the Portland Trailblazers.
Wizards playoff chances
As the Wizards are also chasing the 8th seed, every remaining game is going to be like a playoff game for Washington. The Wizards find themselves 4.5 games back from the Orlando Magic, who are currently in the 8th spot. For the Wizards to make the playoffs with only 21 games left on the schedule, they will have to string together a couple of win streaks in March and April and beat the teams that are not playing for the postseason.
There are some D.C. faithful who don’t want to see the Wizards make a playoff push. Instead, they want the team to tank and play for ping pong balls in June. When you look at the makeup of this team, they are mostly players 25 and younger. Playoff experience for a rebuilding roster is something worth playing for, especially when you consider the thought of adding John Wall to the roster next season. John Wall added to a young, playoff experienced team, is reason for excitement for Wizards fans. Understand too that Scott Brooks is likely coaching for his job and will be trying to win every game he can.
All that said, this team actively tanking seems unlikely as they would have started doing this earlier in the season if they wanted to. Remove the thought of tanking from your heads Wizard fans! Enjoy the last 20 games of the season as the Wizards make a push for the final playoff spot!