Wizards Leave Utah in a Bad Mood, Lose 116-69 | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Wizards Leave Utah in a Bad Mood, Lose 116-69

Updated: December 5, 2017

Sometimes the final score does not accurately reflect how close a game was. This was not one of those games. 116-69 is exactly how close it was. There are many reasons why the Wizards lost. Here are a few of the most glaring ones, as told in pictures.

Wizards Collapsed the Paint But Had No Interior Defense

The Wizards accomplished a rare feat against the Utah Jazz. They packed the paint on defense so tightly they regularly had five men in the lane, yet — even with a several man advantage down low — they still could not protect the rim.

Here, Jonas Jerebko turned the corner on Otto Porter. For some reason the entire Wizards roster decided to play help-side defense and raced toward Jerebko, leaving both Donavon Mitchell and Joe Ingles wide open with their hands raised in the air (see yellow arrows). You may assume — based on the fact that Utah shot 16-for-34 on 3-pointers — that Jerebko swung the ball to one of his wide open teammates. He didn’t.

Jonas missed a contested shot at the rim but Rudy Gobert grabbed the rebound with no resistance and laid it back in. Which means that in the course of a single play, Washington left three shooters wide open (Ricky Rubio is at the top of the key) AND also gave up an uncontested offensive rebound.

Wizards Overplayed the Pick and Roll and Failed to Recover to Three-Point Shooters

Washington seemed overly concerned with trapping the ball handler on the pick and roll and overplayed the big man when he received the pass at the foul line. The following play worked twice for the Jazz as they built their insurmountable lead.

Here, Ian Mahinmi thought Derrick Favors was about to set a pick on Tim Frazier. But, as you will soon see, Favors never set the pick.

Favors stayed behind Frazier and never attempted to pick him, thus allowing Frazier to stay in front of Alec Burks. Problem solved, right? Wrong. Even though no pick was set, Mahinmi hedged as if it was, leaving Favors wide open.

Favors, sans defender, dove to the rim and Burks hit him with a pass at the foul line.

For some reason, both Otto Porter and Bradley Beal decided to leave their men wide open to converge on Favors.

Favors passed to Jerebko for the wide-open 3.

The Jazz ran the same play two minutes later with the same result.

This time Ingles took Burks’s place in the pick-and-roll.

Unlike the previous play, Favors actually set a halfhearted pick on Otto, but Porter easily fought through it and stayed with Ingles. Nevertheless, Mahinmi hedged again, leaving Favors with only Tim Frazier in front of him.

Ingles lofted the ball to Favors at the foul line with Frazier barely visible behind him.

Once again, both of the Wizards’ weak-side defenders over-rotated and left their men wide open to contest Favors. By now, the image of two yellow arrows pointing to wide open Jazz shooters should look pretty familiar.

Favors swung it to Jerebko in the corner and he attempted a 3-point shot while none of the Wizards were outside of the paint on his side of the court. Although Jonas missed this shot, he and his teammates did not miss many others.

Wizards Had No Rim Protector and Guards Allowed Too Much Penetration

While the video below is a particularly troubling example of Washington’s inability to protect the rim (Mahinmi turns his head around just in time to watch Alec Burks score an uncontested layup), it is by no means the only one.

And the fault does not lie solely with Marcin Gortat and Mahinmi. Many of Utah’s uncontested layups were the result of poor perimeter defense. The guards have to do a better job staying in front of their man.

On the first play of the second quarter, Royce O’Neal set a running screen on Tomas Satoransky, sort of like a pick play in the NFL where the slot receiver gets in the way of the defensive back but does not make too much contact. Satoransky and Meeks decided not to switch on the quasi-pick, so it was Satoransky’s responsibility to stay in front of his man, Raul Neto.

Neto turned the corner on Satoransky at the 3-point line and there was nothing but daylight between him and the basket.

By the time Neto reached the foul line, Mahinmi had barely taken one step toward the rim and Oubre was just starting to move.

Neto sailed to the rim for an uncontested layup.

On to Portland

If there is one silver lining after this embarrassing loss in Utah, it’s that the Wizards have another game in Portland in less than 24 hours. And, if avenging their 116-69 loss is not motivation enough for the Wizards, their 17-point fourth quarter collapse against the Trail Blazers on November 25 should still be fresh in their mind.

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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.