Washington Wizards’ Bench Struggles in Opener

Kelly Oubre Jr. is the only returner from last year for the Washington Wizards in terms of bench players. The other six players to suit up were all acquired this summer. With that being said, this group will have plenty of learning experiences throughout the 82-game season. Last night was their first.

Trey Burke and Andrew Nicholson combined for three made shots in the first three attempts from the reserves, but other than that, the lineup experienced its share of struggles. J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic spoke with Jason Smith (4 TO) after the game:

“There were a lot of times you couldn’t hear the play call,” said forward-center Jason Smith, who had four turnovers in just nine minutes. “It was a great away atmosphere. We have to learn to deal with that. We have to learn maybe some visual cues on what the play is, maybe some silent calls what the play is but really get it out there so everybody see it. As long as we get into what we’re running no matter how loud it is, we all know what we’re doing. We’ll be OK.”

This is a bit concerning because even though Philips Arena can be somewhat of a difficult place to play for the away team, it doesn’t compare to the loudness and energy of Oklahoma City or Golden State’s arena. This is an issue that will need to be resolved immediately.

Due to the miscommunications or lack of communication completely on offense, turnovers were the end result of many sets in the fourth quarter when the wheels fell off for the Wizards. After ending the third quarter trailing by one, the Wizards were outscored 33-19 to ultimately fall 114-99.

The Wizards’ bench had eight turnovers was outscored by the Hawks’ bench 49-38.

Our Joshua Vinson spoke to head coach Scott Brooks after the game:

“It’s just one game.” Head coach Brooks reiterated, then continued by saying “they will get better…we will play better…I thought the second unit..(well) we have to figure out how to score. We have to focus on getting stops and helping us score.”

The Wizards travel to Memphis on Sunday to take on a Grizzlies team that will be coming off of a back-to-back. They take on the New York Knicks tomorrow night. Memphis isn’t a deep team in terms of quality depth on the bench, so it’ll be interesting to see if this Wizards group can gain confidence with improved play.

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