“We had open looks. We just didn’t knock them down,” Trevor Booker said after the Wizards dropped to 1-9. “I guess it was just one of those nights.”
It’s actually been one of those seasons for the Wizards. They got off to the worst start in franchise history by losing their first eight games, got a win over Toronto, then came crashing down with an ignominious performance in Chicago.
The Wizards had never put together a more awful offensive performance than Jordan’s Wizards had on Dec. 13, 2002, when they scored just 65 points in a 14-point loss to the New Jersey Nets. Only five seasons ago, Gilbert Arenas scored 60 points in a game all by himself.
“The Bulls are a good team and they are a good defensive team. They was playing good D. We also missed some shots, but we ain’t worried about it,” Jordan Crawford said as the Wizards prepare for a home-and-home, back-to-back series with Philadelphia beginning on Friday at Wells Fargo Center. “We are playing D. Once we start making shots, then we’ll be really hard to play against.”
Washington has improved on the defensive end, ranking 18th in points allowed (93.8) and 17th in opponent’s field goal percentage (44), but it currently has the least efficient offense in NBA history, producing just 90.6 points every 100 possessions. They are on pace to obliterate the previous low mark of 92.2 points produced per 100 possessions shared by the 17-win Denver Nuggets in 2002-03 and the 23-win New York Knicks in 1976-77.
If not for the Detroit Pistons, the Wizards would be the lowest-scoring team in the NBA, averaging just 83.6 points per game. They are shooting a league-worst 39.7 percent — and an even worse 36.7 percent on the road. No team has shot below 40 percent for an entire season since the 1961 Boston Celtics, who oddly enough went on to win their fifth consecutive NBA championship that season.
The Wizards have shot better than 43 percent in just two games, when they defeated the Raptors and came within a Carmelo Anthony three-pointer of upending the New York Knicks. Coach Flip Saunders was hailed as an offensive genius upon his arrival in Washington two-plus years ago, but the Wizards have already had two games this season in which they failed to score at least 80 points. They had five games with 79 or fewer points last season.
Saunders isn’t surprised by the Wizards’ offensive woes, given the personnel of his 15-man roster. Since taking John Wall No. 1 overall in 2010, the Wizards have surrounded him with tough, defensive-minded players such as Booker, Chris Singleton, Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely. None of those players is noted for shooting expertise.