In their first game after the break, the Washington Wizards were stunned by the Philadelphia 76ers, losing 120-112.
The all-star break may have been too much rest for the Wizards. With Joel Embiid out and Nerlens Noel now in Dallas, Washington was looking to take advantage. They knew the circumstances and went out there and played like it. They played the 76ers like they were a practice team and did not look like they were giving full effort.
In the first quarter, Washington could not gain a big lead on Philadelphia and only led by two points after the first period. In the second quarter, it looked like Philly was the third ranked team in the Eastern Conference. They outscored the Wizards 35-21 and took a surprising 12 point lead at halftime.
Second Half Woes Stay the Same
Before the break, Washington had problems closing out games. That problem is still occurring as Philly showed. The Wizards stopped playing around and got serious as they put up 32 points in the third. However, the 76ers put up 34 and went into the final quarter with a 14-point lead. Beal did all he could do with 36 points after three quarters, but it was just not enough.
The 76ers started off the quarter hot by going on a 13-5 run and taking a 22-point lead. Washington answered back with a 15-4 run late in the fourth. Although they put up a fight with a 26-12 run to close the game, it was too little too late. Philadelphia did just enough to seal the deal in the end.
Robert Covington led the 76ers with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Bradley Beal showed why he was an all-star snub by leading the Wizards with 40 points. All-star John Wall had 29 points, 14 assist and eight rebounds. The front court started off slowed by finished strong, although they waited too long to show up. Bojan Bogdanovic finished with two points and four rebounds in 18 minutes in his Washington debut.
Too Much Rest???
The Wizards showed that they just got off of a break. They played lazy and looked rusty since their eight-day vacation. This is not a good start for the Wizards to start the second half of the season. The worst part is, their schedule is not in their favor over the next week. Their next four games are against the Jazz, Warriors and the Raptors twice, all whom are current playoff teams. The good news is their next two are at home, starting with the Jazz Sunday.
The Jazz are the third ranked team in defensive efficiency and are quietly having a good season. The Jazz are 35-22 and 5th in a competitive Western Conference. The Wizards will have to worry about their whole entire starting unit because they play well together. Rodney Hood is coming back from injury and Derrick Favors seems to have his minute restriction lifted. Gordon Hayward made his first all-star game this season and big man Rudy Gobert is having a career year.
The Jazz live off of defense and turning them into points. Washington will have a tough task off a bad loss to the 76ers. Bogdanovic has not practiced with the team yet so he should have a better game this weekend. The front court needs to start off better instead of Wall and Beal carrying them like the old days. The Wizards were just rusty and should come back and defend their home court Sunday, but it will not be easy.