Wizards Miss Everything, Especially Unopposed | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Wizards Miss Everything, Especially Unopposed

Updated: October 26, 2017

Get a load of this. 

Washington entered the fourth quarter up 79 to 69, comfortably pacing the young Lakers, benefiting from the placid expectation of victory from ESPN’s announcers. But under the surface, the Wizards’ fortunes were roiling, glory tempted back to ground again and again with a bounty of missed shots. Wide open shots. Uncontested shots. Bradley Beal’s shot seemed fated to click, but never did. John Wall’s shot never seemed fated to click, and never did.

Beal shot 6-for-8 on contested shots, per the NBA’s player tracking system. On uncontested shots, of which there were far more than the contested variety, Beal shot 5-for-15. No Laker found themselves open that many times. Only one Laker took double-digit uncontested shots (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope took 13), while both Beal and Wall (4-for-12 on uncontested shots) sprung open more than enough to win a basketball game, but could only offer up a paltry 33.3 percent conversion rate each on open looks. That’s pretty bad!

What is this? Ignoring a wide-open teammate and not recognizing a potential Oubre cut, Beal drinks deep from the well of Randall F. Wittmanface, extending a coy stab towards the basket before pulling up from 20 feet out. There was a better result to be had on this play.

Beal has to make this shot.

Here’s Beal’s shotchart, just to give a sense of what was happening.

Beal dominated at the basket, but missed on pretty much everything else. On shots away from the basket, Beal was 5-for-16. It’s a reversion to the style of play that held him back as a player during Wittman’s reign. Beal showed flashes of a Harden-esque stutter on drives to the basket against the Lakers, but Harden knows better than to lean on the mid-range game for his nightly meal.

For his part, Wall was off all over, and a bigger detriment to Washington’s chances than Beal. Wall had 18 points, and it took him 22 shots to get there. He forced awkward contact without a reasonable chance to get a shot off, putting his success solely in the hands of road referees in a late-night ESPN special. Meanwhile, Porter (when he wasn’t in foul trouble) fell out of the offense, as did Kelly Oubre. The three-man game between Wall, Beal, and Gortat was too predictable, and not sharp enough to overcome that predictability.

On a rare night when the bench outperformed the other team’s second unit (all bench players outside of Mike Scott were positives in the plus/minus department), Washington didn’t need to do much to beat the Lakers. The Lakers didn’t even put up much of a fight.

But despite the open looks, Washington left L.A. with an underwater identity and a bruised gut, suffering through the echo of Lavar Ball’s horseshit, as we all do, every day of our lives.

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Conor Dirks
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
Conor has been with TAI since 2012, and aids in the seamless editorial process that brings you the kind of high-octane blogging you have come to expect from this rad website. The Wizards have been an assiduous companion throughout his years on the cosmic waiver wire. He lives in D.C. and is day-to-day.