At the one-quarter mark of the National Basketball Association (NBA) season the Washington Wizards are still trying to figure things out. But while the team is busy trying to understand defensive rotations and work out minutes among the remaining players, the team is still losing and losing and losing.
Washington dropped four games in a row this week to continue their losing streak at seven straight. While the team is still waiting on John Wall to return, it's getting shown up on the hardwood. The Wizards now sit at 3-22 on a season in which fans have all but given up. The AFRO recaps the week that wasn't for the Washington Wizards.
Dec. 18: Wizards 95, Atlanta Hawks 100– It took an extra period for the visiting Hawks to put the Wizards away but the home team certainly didn't let Atlanta have it easy. Guard Jordan Crawford's triple-double (27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds) led an inspired effort for the Wizards who also received solid contributions from center Nene (18 points) and guard Bradley Beal (17 points). Reserve center Earl Barron tied the game at 90-90 with a short jumper with little time remaining in regulation but the team simply couldn't muster enough points to match Atlanta in overtime. Forward Josh Smith led Atlanta with 17 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and five blocks.
Dec. 19: Wizards 83, Orlando Magic 90– Even without center Dwight Howard the Orlando Magic are still a thorn in the Wizards' side. Visiting Washington played well in every quarter except for the third when Orlando outscored them 24-13. The Wizards trailed by 13 points after the quarter and were never able to get closer than four as Orlando answered every comeback attempt Washington attemped in the fourth quarter. Nene scored a season-high 20 points but the absence of Beal (sore back) subtracted another scoring threat that the Wizards couldn't afford. Guard J.J. Redick led Orlando off the bench with 17 points.
Dec. 21: Wizards 68, Detroit Pistons 100– Washington tipped off the first game of their back-to-back tilt against the Detroit Pistons in a lackluster showing in Motor City. The Pistons led by 15 points after the first quarter en route to a blowout victory. Detroit, marred in their own losing streak of six games, got huge production from its bench who outscored Washington by 37 points. Crawford led Washington with 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. But it wasn't enough to combat Detroit, who placed five players in double figures and had three others score at least seven.
Dec.22: Wizards 87, Detroit Pistons, 96–The Wizards kept it close this time around, learning from their mistakes on the prior night. Crawford again was at his finest, leading the team with 21 points, six assists and three steals. Center Emeka Okafor recorded a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Washington trailed the entire game before narrowing the lead down to seven points with over half of the fourth quarter remaining. Detroit responded with a run to stretch the lead to 13 points before putting Washington to bed for the night.
Washington will be off until Dec. 26 when they return to action with a home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.