“Least amount of minutes and led us in rebounding. Earl was playing pretty good,” Wittman said, when asked if Okafor didn’t play because of a shoulder injury suffered in practice last week. “There is nothing wrong with Emeka.”
Before making his NBA debut, Beal, the third overall pick out of Florida, sat in front of his locker room stall with orange headphones and scribbled, “Psalms 32,” onto his sneakers. He made his first two three-point attempts in the first quarter, but after scoring eight points in the first half, Beal didn’t score again. His rookie counterpart, Waiters, the fourth pick last June, more than doubled him with 17 points.
“I could’ve played a lot better than I did,” Beal said. “I felt good in the beginning. I was making shots and doing what I was supposed to do on both ends and I got lax. I kind of disappeared. I was mentally ready. Just unfortunate that we lost.”
Wittman believes Seraphin is close to coming back from a strained right calf. Wall isn’t expected to return from a stress injury in his left knee until early December and there is no timetable for Nene’s return from plantar fasciitis. Their absences force the Wizards to be more creative in generating offense.
The Wizards moved the ball well enough, with 26 assists on their 32 field goals. But they finished shooting 35.6 percent from the floor and were 8 for 32 (25 percent) from beyond the three-point line.
Washington’s starters were outscored, 71-38, by Cleveland's starting five. Ariza had nine points and four assists, Price led the team with six assists but missed 11 of his 13 shots. Booker missed 7 of 9 shots — including a layup attempt blocked by Irving — and had four turnovers with just one rebound. Webster had nine points off the bench.
“We just weren’t executing,” Singleton said. “We got bullied.”
The Wizards will have three days to regroup and prepare for their home opener on Saturday against the Boston Celtics.