Last night, the Boston Celtics defeated the Washington Wizards with a final score of 116-107. Bradley Beal scored 41 points, but no one else on the team, including Russell Westbrook, scored more than 20 points. It’s not an exaggeration to say that even with a ball dominant Westbrook on the floor, Beal still has to carry the scoring load. Whereas, on the Celtics, Jayson Tatum scored 32 points, Jaylen Brown had 27, Marcus Smart had 13, and Tacko Fall got meaningful minutes for the first time in his NBA career, scoring four points, grabbing eight rebounds, and blocking three shots in 19 minutes, including a Russell Westbrook lay-up attempt.
Beal was mad for good reason, as the previous game against the 76ers, he had dropped 60 and led a comeback that was squandered in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. To Beal, it felt as if his career-high had been for nothing, as when Steph Curry dropped 62 points against the Blazers earlier this season, it had been in a win. Against the 76ers, the Wizards were down by over 20 points at one point, only to bring that number down to low single digits, and still lose.
In last night’s Celtics-Wizards game, Boston had scored 66 points at halftime and 93 by the end of the third quarter. After the game, Bradley Beal said, “It’s our defense. I don’t know why it’s our defense. At this point, we can’t guard a parked car.” The fact of the matter is that Washington has always had trouble with defense, even with John Wall. In the past five years, they have never finished with a defensive rating in the top 15 (keep in mind there are 30 teams). This season, the Wizards are last in points allowed per game, have the third worst defensive rating, and allow the second most 3 pointers made and points made at the free throw line.
Beal isn’t getting the help that he needs from Westbrook, either. In a game against the Brooklyn Nets, Westbrook attempted an ill-advised three down one, which led to a fast break and a one point Wizards deficit. Luckily, a dunk by Thomas Bryant and good defense by Rui Hachimura led to a 1-point win, but they won’t always be that lucky. Westbrook is currently averaging 19.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 11.3 assists for the season, but on horrible shooting.
One also has to wonder if poor conditioning and coaching is to blame here. The Wizards have been running out of gas multiple times this season, such as against the 76ers, Celtics, and Magic. Scott Brooks needs to emphasize defense A LOT MORE. The 4th quarter is the Wizards kryptonite, and Scott Brooks isn’t helping matters. One may wonder if it’s time for the organization to part ways with their head coach of four years. I don’t know for sure, but I think the organization would much rather part ways with their coach than their star shooting guard.
The Wizards currently are tied for the worst record in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons, with a record of 2-7. They’ll have a chance to improve that to 3-7 tonight against the Miami Heat. One thing’s for sure: if the Wizards keep playing like this, and they don’t get a top five pick, I wouldn’t blame Bradley Beal for wanting out of DC.
Do you think the Wizards should fire Scott Brooks, or trade someone? Who should they trade, if anyone? Let me know in the comments down below, don’t forget to follow the blog, and as always, have an awesome day!
Credit to the NBA for pictures