Washington Wizards Still in Search for Their First Win

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Washington Wizards are one of four teams in the NBA without a win as the Wizards fall to 0-3 after dropping their home opener.

Washington Wizards second half woes continued Wednesday night in their home opener as they were outscored 30-19 in the third quarter, resulting in 113-103 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

The Wizards are now 0-3 to start the season and fall short in a game Marcin Gortat stated to Washington Post’s Candace Buckner, “must-win for us at home, especially against Toronto.”

Despite nine turnovers, Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall recorded his third straight double-double of the season with 33 points and 11 assists in front of an announced crowd of 19,851 at Verizon Center. Wall wasn’t the only Wizard to record a double-double in Wednesday night’s defeat as third overall pick in the 2013 draft Otto Porter dropped 23 points, just 5 points shy of his career-high, along with 13 rebounds and only missed two of his 13 shot attempts.

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However, Wall and Porter’s double-double performance was outshined by Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan who dropped an impressive 40 points to help improve the Raptors to 3-1 on the young season. It turns out DeRozan has a history of success against the Wizards throughout his career. Since 2012, the former ninth overall pick has averaged at least 21 points per season against the Wizards including a robust 26.5 points per game last season.

A major factor why the Wizards have yet to produce a win, this season is their lack of defense. Just how bad of a defensive team are the Wizards right now?  After three games, they’ve allowed their opponents to score at least 112 points; only the Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers have allowed their opponent to score more points this season. More concerning, though, is the Wizards constant collapses in the second half of games. The Wizards have been outscored by their opponents 170-139 in the second half so far this season.

Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who became the highest-paid player in franchise history this past offseason by signing a five-year deal worth $128 million, is off to a sluggish start this season, yet another reason why the Wizards are struggling to secure their first win of the season. Through three games, Beal is just 38.1 percent from the field and shooting only 28.6 percent from three-point range. After posting a three-point field goal percentage of 40.9 in his third year in the NBA, Beal’s percentage from beyond the arc dropped to 38.7 percent last year.

The injury-prone guard and the third overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft has not played more than 63 games in a single season since his sophomore year, yet it was enough for team owner Ted Leonsis to provide Beal with a max-deal. If the Wizards want to be one of the eight playoff teams in the Eastern Conference this season, Beal must begin to produce for the Wizards and live up to his historic contract.

Lastly, new Wizards head coach Scott Brooks has many questioning his rotation scheme. After averaging 22.2 minutes per game this preseason, the gifted rookie Tomas Satoransky is nowhere to be found in Brooks’ rotation. Instead, he has elected to go with 12-year veteran Marcus Thornton who is averaging 16.7 minutes per game and seven points. However, Satoransky could see playing time in the near future as Brooks told The Washington Post’s Candance Buckner , “I have a lot of confidence in him.”

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Tonight, the Wizards look to capture their first win of the season as they welcome the Atlanta Hawks to Verizon Center. Tonight’s game against the Hawks is a first of a back to back as the Wizards will travel to Florida to play the 2-3 Orlando Magic Saturday night. The Wizards could find themselves in a deep hole at 0-5 if they can’t find a way to win one of the next two games.