It showed Friday night during a horrific display of terrible shots that chipped paint from the rim and passes that often wound up in their opponents’ hands. In one of the most putrid offensive performances in franchise history, the Wizards were walloped, 103-65, at Madison Square Garden.
“This is embarrassing,” Jordan Crawford said after the Wizards suffered their most lopsided loss in a season filled with blowout defeats. “We wasn’t ready. At no parts of the game. We wasn’t ready. At all. Had nothing to do with the coaching. It was all us. It was the players. Just wasn’t ready.”
The game was so bad that it probably needed a running clock to end it sooner. Assistant coach Sam Cassell appeared ill on the bench as he spoke to Coach Randy Wittman in the fourth quarter. Wittman futilely tried to mix rotations and make motivational speeches, but every effort to spark his team resulted in more misery.
With eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Wizards had just 47 points, a fact Knicks fans reminded them of by chanting the point total every time they brought the ball up the floor. When Crawford made one of two free throws to get the visitors to 48, the fans booed. The only saving grace came when Cartier Martin drilled a three-pointer with 1 minute 11 seconds remaining to help the Wizards avoid setting a new franchise record for scoring futility.
The Wizards’ previous franchise low came in Chicago on Jan. 11, when the Derrick Rose-less Bulls held them to just 64 points. With five minutes left in the game, the Wizards had more turnovers (21) than field goals (18). They finished with 22 in each category — setting a team record for fewest field goals in a game — and shot a season-low 27.8 percent from the field.
“I’m glad I hit the three there,” Martin said, laughing uncomfortably, after finishing the game with five points. “It was a rough night for us, man. We just didn’t play like we played over the last two games. Even in practice today, we didn’t compete as hard as we could’ve. Obviously, the scoreboard tells you, we didn’t hit a lot of shots.”
Shelvin Mack ended a drought of more than 12 minutes without a field goal in the second half when he made a layup. When Crawford quickly followed with a runner in the lane that brought the Wizards within 89-54 with 5:34 remaining, Knicks fans chanted, “Under 60! Under 60!” At least it provided a target to reach.
“It don’t happen. How many times you seen that? Ain’t too many times a team is going to be under 60 with four minutes left in the fourth quarter,” Crawford said, shaking his head. “If I was a fan, I’d do the same thing.”
Crawford had a team-high 17 points, but he missed 14 of 20 field goal attempts. John Wall was an abysmal 2 for 12 and scored just eight points. Kevin Seraphin scored 12 points, becoming the first Wizards center since Gheorghe Muresan in 1997 to reach double figures in eight consecutive games, but there was no need to celebrate when the usually efficient big man needed 15 shots to get there.
“The thing with this league, you’ve got to bring it every night,” Roger Mason Jr. said after scoring 11 points. “That team we played against, they are fighting for playoff position and we’re fighting for our pride. They came out and just completely humiliated us.”
The Wizards (14-45) certainly contributed to humiliating themselves. Wall and Seraphin both threw passes to Baron Davis and Crawford was called for traveling twice in the first period. The trio combined to commit 15 turnovers.
Starting forwards Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely were both scoreless, combining to go 0 for 7. Vesely attempted a baseline jumper in the second period that would’ve been on target if his goal was to hit the upper side of the backboard.
The lone highlight came in the third quarter, when Wall and Crawford were on a two-on-one fast break against Davis. Crawford lobbed the ball over his left shoulder and Wall climbed Davis for a two-handed dunk that brought the Wizards within 62-45 with 7:03 seconds left in the period. But the Knicks (31-28) responded by scoring 15 consecutive points and extending the lead to 43 when J.R. Smith (team-high 23 points) hit a three-pointer with 2:12 left in the game.
“It looked like we were overwhelmed at the jump ball when we walked into the arena,” Wittman said. “Maybe that happens to young guys, I don’t know. I tried everything.”