Not Everyone Ate in the Wizards' Third Straight Loss | Wizards Blog Truth About

Not Everyone Ate in the Wizards’ Third Straight Loss

Updated: March 4, 2018

(Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

For the first time this season, the Wizards have lost three consecutive games. This particular loss stung because of its potential playoff implications down the road. The Wizards entered the evening with a half-game lead over the Indiana Pacers for the 4-seed in the Eastern Conference playoff standings—with a win, they would have moved a game and a half in front of them. More importantly, Washington could have stolen both the season series and the coveted tie-breaker over the Pacers. With their 98-95 loss, however, the Wizards will now have to go back to the drawing board as they attempt to keep their playoff positioning intact as they wait for John Wall’s return.

Everybody’s Not Eating

Bradley Beal started a little bit of a controversy a few weeks back when he first dropped the patented Paid in Full lineeverybody eats” after a big win against the Toronto Raptors. The sentiment behind Beal’s comments was that the team was seeing success because the ball movement was at an all-time high and multiple Wizards players were receiving ample opportunities to showcase their talents. This style of play has helped the Wizards do more than tread water during the 15-game stretch without Wall, but for some reason it was not quite implemented last night, when Beal’s shot was not falling.

Brad shot 8-for-27 from the floor, and missed his last five shots from the field, while turning the ball over twice on two errant passes. The problem with Beal taking 27 shots on a night where he simply did not have “it” is the Wizards as a team only took 83 shots during the game–meaning Big Panda took 32.5 percent of the teams shots at a 29 percent conversion rate.

When asked if fatigue played a factor in his off shooting night, Beal was blunt in not making any excuses:

“It’s no excuse, man. I got to hit them shots. It’s just plain and simple. I was tired but you can’t half-ass carry a team. You got to go all out. I got to make some shots.”

Part of the reason why Beal felt like he had the carte blanche in the shot department was Scott Brooks empowering him with his lineup choices down the stretch. Brooks elected to sit Tomas Satoransky for the entire fourth quarter, after he picked up his fourth foul in the third. When asked about why Brooks did not get his starting point guard back in the game, the head coach commented that he felt the bench guys deserved to close out the game:

“They gave us energy. The other lineup, we were down a big number and they gave us energy. We came from behind with that lineup, and I was going to roll the dice. I thought they deserved the chance to win the game.”

The logic behind this lineup decision is shaky at best and is even more baffling considering there is empirical evidence to show that Satoransky is simply a much better basketball player than Jodie Meeks. There is literally nothing that Meeks does better on the basketball court than Satoransky, yet Brooks trotted Meeks out for the entire fourth quarter, including two late defensive possessions out of timeouts, when it would have been easy to put the superior defender on the court. Sato has been the catalyst behind the “everybody eats” movement, thanks to his ability to be assertive within the flow of the game and his uncanny ability to find his teammates off of his dribble drives. Brooks stifled the Wizards offense by going with his gut feeling instead of the trusting the data.

Oladipo Outduels Beal and Bogey Gets His Revenge

Victor Oladipo made a return to his hometown metro area after his first All-Star appearance and he put on a show for his family and friends. Oladipo scored a game-high 33 points on 11-for-20 shooting and put his improved play-making skills on full display. In the first half, Victor was able to get to the rim at will and, when he wasn’t finishing through contact, he was receiving the benefit of the doubt from the referees and he made it count by hitting nine of his 10 free throw attempts. When asked about what it meant to play at “home” and to jump the Wizards in the standings, Oladipo made sure to keep his answer politically correct, since these two teams will meet again in two weeks:

“It was a good win, period. Obviously, it is cool playing in front of my family and friends. This is not the first or last time I will be doing this. We just needed the win, obviously, and every win is important. Every game is important from now on till the rest of the season, so we just have to continue to keep getting better and taking it one game at a time.”

Bojan Bogdanovic also made his return to D.C. after he spent half a season with the Wizards as they made their playoff push last year. Bogey did not receive a contract offer from the Wizards during his restricted free agency last summer, and he took that slight out on the Wizards to the tune of 20 points. The former Wizard was able to get into a rhythm with his jump shot and was competent enough on the defensive end to not end up being a liability—even if there was a stretch where Otto Porter, Bogey’s mark, looked as if he were going to take over the game (going 5-for-5 in the second and third quarters after starting the game 1-for-7 from the field). Bogdanovic made his presence known on the game and was certainly a contributing factor as to why the Pacers won the game.

Game Extras

  • While Beal took one-third of the Wizards shots, he also accumulated 11 assists, a new career high and his first points/assists double-double
  • The Wizards need to scrap Gortat and Mahinmi post-ups from the playbook, as they went 0-for-6 on post-up opportunities against the Pacers. The two big man are only scoring 0.88 and 0.63 points per possession (PPP) respectively on post-ups. Those are wasted possessions that could end up in much more fruitful PPP play-types.
  • Kelly Oubre missed his first game of the season with a sore left foot, but coach Brooks did not seem too concerned about Oubre’s availability going forward.
Troy Haliburton on Twitter
Troy Haliburton
Troy Haliburton is a native Washingtonian, and graduate of Gonzaga College High School and Morehouse College. Bylines on bylines on bylines.

Will write for food.