NBAWashington Wizards

The Winless Wizards looking for their first NBA Restart Win

The Wizards are not only fighting for a playoff spot, but also fighting their first win of the NBA restart. Up next, the Wizards take on the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday. The Sixers are coming off a 132-130 win over the Spurs behind Shake Milton’s game winning shot. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, and Josh Richardson will definitely challenge the Wizards defense.

That is our first aspect of the game to watch. How will the Wizards respond and tighten up defensively? Defense has been an area they’ve struggled with as we saw the Indiana Pacers go on a 20-2 run and a 22-2 run in Monday’s loss. Guard, Troy Brown Jr. said postgame Monday “At the end of the day we just have to make sure we’re communicating, make sure we know when we’re switching, and just have each other’s back is the biggest thing.”

Another area to watch- Offensively, the Wizards have struggled from the field. They shot under 40% from the field in their first three scrimmages and even less from beyond the arc. Their offense, especially in transition is progressing as players’ confidence in themselves and their teammates grows though.

Finally let’s see if there are Any changes in the starting lineup. We will see how Head Coach Scott Brooks responds following a strong game off the bench for Napier, if he is put back into the starting lineup or keeps the same role coming off the bench. One game may not be enough for Napier to work himself back in to the starting lineup or for any drastic changes. Either way, as a whole, it is another chance for the team to fight for their first win of the restart.

The Wizards dropped their last game, Monday, 111-100 to the Pacers behind T.J. Warren’s 34 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three steals, four blocks, and zero turnovers. Warren had an impressive stat line for the second game in a row for the Pacers after a career high 53 points Saturday in a win over the Sixers. Malcolm Brogdon contributed with 20 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

For the Wizards, Thomas Bryant led with a team-high 20 points, 11 rebounds. Jerome Robinson and Shabazz Napier came off the bench with a combined 33 points. Napier scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half.

Rui Hachimura has been a big part of the Wizards’ offense and has been seen as the leading threat for this group with Bradley Beal, Davis Bertains, and John Wall. However he at times has struggled to get going. With his size and ability, he has a lot of potential and we have seen moments of great growth for the rookie leading the offense. Then in some games like the loss to the Pacers, finished with just eight points.

It was a very eye opening game against a strong Pacers team that sits at number five in the East. A game like Monday’s loss, shows the difference player for player where these young Wizards are now versus where they need to be individually to play a pivotal role on a playoff caliber team.

The common theme for this young team with leading scorers John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Davis Bertans is 11 games of opportunity. Three scrimmages and eight official games to see which players can contribute to the team as they are trying to turn the franchise around and be more competitive in the league and conference. These games are like tryouts for each of these players and so far some are really showing their worth long term for the Wizards as a more pivotal role within the team or even as a trade asset.

The common theme for this young team with leading scorers John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Davis Bertans is 11 games of opportunity. Three scrimmages and eight official games to see which players can contribute to the team as they are trying to turn the franchise around and be more competitive in the league and conference. These games are like tryouts for each of these players and so far some are really showing their worth long term for the Wizards as a more pivotal role within the team or even as a trade asset.

Coming into their first two games of the restart versus the Suns and Nets, two games versus teams at their bottom of their respective conference, the Wizards needed to pull a win from one, if not both of those games however won neither. However, we did see moments of players stepping up and show what they can bring to the floor. Coming off their third straight loss in the off NBA Restart, we will see who steps up for the Wizards Wednesday for a 4pm ET tip-off.