Top 10 Reasons Why Washington Lost to Philadelphia | Wizards Blog Truth About

Top 10 Reasons Why Washington Lost to Philadelphia

Updated: February 25, 2017

10. Lack of Second Unit Scoring.

This is a serious problem and Ernie Grunfeld’s trade deadline deal did not solve it. Bojan Bogdanovic may be a nice player but he does not create his own shot. The second unit stalls with Trey Burke running the point, and anyone he passes to just forces up a jumper.

I don’t know if it’s the injuries (he left the game early due to back spasms or tightness) or if it’s just how Mahinmi plays, but he does not seem to be a good fit for the second unit. Whenever he catches the ball on the perimeter he immediately looks to hand it off, thus advancing Washington no closer to a made basket. When he does get to the rim, his poor free throw shooting is a liability.

9. Trey Burke.

8. This Call.

Washington battled back to within four with 22.9 seconds left and came up with a critical steal off a Sixers in-bounds pass. Unfortunately, rookie referee C.J. Watson put an end to the Wizards comeback by calling a foul on Oubre.

Did Oubre foul Nik Stauskas? Sort of. Is it the kind of foul you call in the closing seconds of a tight game? No.

Stauskas was not even the intended recipient of Dario Saric’s in-bound pass. The ball had already sailed off of Gerald Henderson’s fingertips and should have been considered a loose ball at that point. As Wall swooped in to grab the ball, Oubre touched Stauskas’ head but the contact had no effect on the outcome of the play. Stauskas sold the call by flailing his arms, and the ref bit.

I’m not saying the Wizards would have won, but they would have had a chance.

7. Dario Saric Bully Ball.

I don’t know if it was the Nerlens Noel trade, Joel Embiid being out, or just wanting to knock the hell out of the Wizards’ smaller defenders, but Saric looked like a young Zach Randolph in the paint. For some reason, smaller defenders kept switching onto Saric and he made them pay.

6. Anyone Who Took A Shot Other Than Bradley Beal.

Beal shot 15-for-25 for 40 points. When you see 40 points from Beal, you expect a bunch of 3-pointers. That was not the case in Philly, as Beal was only 2-for-8 from downtown. Instead, Beal twisted and turned his way to the rim for easy layup after easy layup against the 76ers half-court defense.

Washington had 90 field goal attempts in the game, which means there were 65 times when a player other than Beal attempted a shot. That’s about 50 too many.

5. Lack of Effort.

It’s a trite sports cliché but Philadelphia just wanted it more. They hustled to loose balls, attacked the rim, and just generally gave a f— when the Wizards clearly did not.

4. Trey Burke.

3. Re-Emergence of Old John Wall.

We have seen this version of John Wall before… the wild drives to the rim; the constant complaining to the refs after no-calls; the disgusted looks after Marcin Gortat flubs easy assists; the matador defense against much, much worse players.

That was the Wall of year’s past. This season he has played out of his mind and left those negative tendencies in the dust. Hopefully this was a one-night only appearance.

2. Not Enough Of This Guy.

And the number one reason why Washington lost Philadelphia last night…

1. No Defense.

This was the most disconcerting aspect of the loss. Washington’s effort on the defensive end was an embarrassment. The Wizards scored with ease in the fourth quarter but could not get any stops.

And it wasn’t like the Sixers were on fire from long range (although they hit 10-of-29 3-pointers) or were hitting incredibly contested shots. No, Philadelphia was scoring at the rim with no resistance.

The only bright spot is that defensive effort is not a chronic problem. It can be easily fixed. And Washington will not have to wait long for an opportunity to right their post-All-Star break wrongs – the Utah Jazz come to the Verizon Center on Sunday for a 5PM showdown.


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Adam Rubin
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Adam grew up in the D.C. area and has been a Washington Bullets fan for over 25 years. He will not refer to the franchise as anything other than the Bullets unless required to do so by Truth About It editorial standards. Adam spent many nights at the Capital Centre in the ‘90s where he witnessed such things as Michael Jordan’s “LaBradford Smith game,” the inexcusable under-usage of Gheorghe Muresan’s unstoppable post moves, and the basketball stylings of Ledell Eackles.