Another atrocious loss for the Wizards, and tonight it was evident how big a disparity their is between a playoff team and a lottery team.
In addition to the Denver Nuggets‘ 43-38 rebounding advantage, and their seven double-digit scorers, and 27-6 fastbreak scoring advantage and 56 points in the paint, another thing that stood out was passing. While the Wizards repeatedly came down the court, made one pass and threw up a shot — and in some cases, a player came right down the court with blinders on and forced a shot, and missed — the Nuggets would make the second and third passes which led to easy baskets, many of them easy back-door cuts to the hole. The Nuggets posted 30 assists on the night and shot 56.3 percent from the field.
The Wizards couldn’t seem to figure out how to defend their opponents and repeatedly left the Nuggets open for cuts to the basket. Antawn Jamison said it seemed like his guys “were scared to play out there tonight,” and added “we’re not playing with a high basketball IQ right now.”
Despite the ugly loss Ed Tapscott said “I think that there are some things that are developing. As long as there were some veterans on the floor, we were playing good and we were competing. However, I cannot play all the veterans for the entire 48 minutes.”
What exactly those positive developments were tonight, it’s hard to tell. Even the veteran players were giving up easy drives to the basket and failing to look for their opponents. And not a single Wizard had a positive plus-minus for tonight. Denver meanwhile boasted seven players with positive plus-minus. Kenyon Martin’s was the highest at +40.