Following Saturday’s 83-76 loss to the Utah Jazz, there’s little solace available for the Wizards, who became the second franchise in NBA history to start consecutive seasons 0-8.
The defeat demonstrated the best and worst of the NBA’s only remaining winless team. Defensively, the Wizards put together another strong performance. Offensively, they sputtered.
“We’re getting after it defensively, we’re competing, we’re defending and now we’ve got to get it to that other end,” Coach Randy Wittman said. “Believing that we’re going to execute and do the things that’s necessary to score enough points to win a game.”
Heading into Saturday’s game, Utah was ranked 10th in the league in scoring and averaged 99.2 points a game. Washington held the Jazz to a season-low 83 points and limited leading scorer Paul Millsap, who averages 16.7 points per game, to 6. Utah’s 37.8 percent shooting marks the lowest success rate of any Wizards’ opponent this year.
But Washington, which tied a season-low in points, failed to take advantage.
Only two players, Jordan Crawford (20 points) and Trevor Ariza (16), recorded double digits; the starters finished with 57 points. The six players who came off the bench – Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin, Cartier Martin, Bradley Beal, Shaun Livingston and Chris Singleton – combined to go 8-for-31 (25.8 percent).
After running out to a 15-2 lead at the start of the game, the Wizards’ shooting disappeared. They missed seven of the final eight shots they took in the first quarter and wound up with just a 17-15 edge at the end of the frame.
“The first quarter we should have been up by 10 or more,” Wittman said. “The defense that we played in the first quarter to hold them to 15 but we only scored 17, that’s sometimes the difference in the game. It’s not necessarily always the last five [minutes]. We scored 17 in the first, 13 in the fourth. We really came out energized, we were after it defensively, we were rebounding the ball but we just couldn’t put it in the hole.”