Key Legislature: Wizards 92 at Spurs 101 – Alamo Remembered for 17th Straight Time | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Key Legislature: Wizards 92 at Spurs 101 – Alamo Remembered for 17th Straight Time

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Updated: January 4, 2015

Truth About It.net’s Key Legislature: a quick run-down and the game’s defining moment(s) for Washington Wizards contest No. 33 versus the Spurs in San Antonio, via Sean Fagan (@McCarrick) from parts in America abound.

DC Council Key Legislature

by Sean Fagan.

Road trips through the Western Conference are meant to test the mettle of Eastern Conference pretenders. The early returns on the Washington Wizards are that the structural integrity of the team currently in place is not enough* to withstand the rigors and punishment of getting beaten pillar to post by the upper echelon of the West.

And so the losing streak has been extended to three games after the Wizards dropped a winnable game in San Antonio on Saturday night. The Spurs, without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, managed to beat Washington through their use of disparate parts, collective mojo and the fact that the Wizards could not score more than a pauper’s smattering of four points over the last five minutes of the game.

To beat on the deadest of horses, the problem with the current offensive set is not necessarily that it is ineffective, but that it is highly susceptible to breaking down once an opponent decides to ratchet up the defensive intensity in the latter parts of the game. It happened against Phoenix, where the Suns (a bad defensive team) kept frenetically switching on the Wizards and harried them into a series of midrange jumpers. It took place again in Oklahoma City, where the Thunder pulled ahead on a combination of Kevin Durant’s shooting prowess and Wizards coughing the ball up on several key possessions. In San Antonio, during the fourth quarter offensive Sahara, the possession chart read as follows:

Beal misses 20 foot jumper.

Wall misses 25 foot three pointer.

Nene misses 15 foot jumper.

Shot clock violation.

[Wizards 4th quarter shot chart]

[Wizards 4th quarter shot chart]

In the final period, the Wizards had a grand total of TWO free throw attempts and those came from Nene before the offensive drought took place. The Wizards were incapable of manufacturing any type of offense because their bread and butter from midrange becomes far less effective as the game grinds on. That Wall is shooting 3-pointers on key possessions in both Oklahoma City and San Antonio either shows a shocking lack of awareness for what his skill set is (which I doubt), or the fact that the Wizards offense is so stymied that a Wall 3-point attempt become the most desirable of possible outcomes.

The overarching problem to the last three games is not that the Wizards are losing to better teams or that they are a fundamentally flawed team incapable of making adjustments. However, the playoffs become trench warfare in the fourth quarter and right now the Wizards are shooting popguns while everyone else is throwing grenades. If they don’t deviate from the standard playbook sooner rather than later, those grenades are going to keep blowing holes in Washington’s offensive sets.

 


 

[*Ed. Note: Does Wizards brass realize this? Perhaps so in their eschewing (assuming he doesn’t get traded) of 2013 second round draft pick and 2014 NBA Summer League MVP, Glen Rice Jr. There are perhaps other franchise inefficiencies at play, but per reports from the Washington Post, the Wizards are looking to open up the flexibility of the 15th roster spot, and Rice is the easiest victim. Maybe Wizards brass sees an opportunity in a weak East and hold roster opening that higher than player development at the moment. Maybe losing Rice is also evidence of another lost opportunity. —KW]

 

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Sean Fagan
Reporter / Writer/Gadfly at TAI
Based in Brooklyn, NY, Sean has contributed to TAI since the the dawn of Jan Vesely and has been on the Wizards beat since 2008. His work has been featured on ESPN, Yahoo and SI.com. He still believes that Mike Miller never got a fair shot.