If the long view of an 82-game season is what this is about for the Wizards, then the play of rookies Tomas Satoransky and Sheldon McClellan in a 106-95 loss to the Chicago Bulls should make them upbeat. But the fact is they're 2-7 after dropping the second game of a back-to-back.
John Wall (rest) and Bradley Beal (right thigh) did not play. Instead, Satoransky (12 points, nine assists) made his second start and produced five assists in a first quarter that Washington led 21-9 before the Bulls (6-4) made a run of their own to close the gap.
Markieff Morris (24 points, 15 rebounds, three blocks) led the Wizards followed by Marcin Gortat (18 points, 14 rebounds) and McClellan (15 points).
But they couldn't get past a disconnected third quarter in which the Bulls outscored them 28-14 to break open the game. Jimmy Butler (37 points) lead all scorers while Nikola Mirotic (17 points, 11 rebounds) did most of his damage late.
- McClellan and Satoransky didn't look out of their element when matched up with Rajon Rondo (0 points, five fouls in 25 minutes) and Dwyane Wade (14 points) on just 5 of 17 shooting. Rondo couldn't get to the rim and get his shot off on the 6-7 Satoransky. He finished 0-for-6.
- No Wall equals few transition points. When Wall missed last week's game in Orlando, the Wizards only had three on fast breaks. Though Satoransky did a more than competent job running the offense, the Wizards had just six.
- Butler locked down Otto Porter (eight points), who didn't have Wall and Beal to take the pressure off of him so he could move freely around the offense. Porter was only 3-for-12 shooting in 29 minutes. Porter has been the Wizards’ best player all season but the strength of his game is movement and that’s not possible with the opposing defense game plans to take you away.
- Trey Burke went back to his old habits of being shaky running the offense. Coach Scott Brooks found something five games ago, when he started using Burke with two other ballhandlers on the floor and taking the responsibility of running the pick-and-rolls. But with Satoransky as a starter, he had to change his rotations. When the Bulls went on their spurt at the end of the third quarter to pull away, Burke was running the offense. He only had one turnover but that couldn’t have been more misleading. The Bulls were jumping passing lanes, especially Butler, who could read him looking at his target on the wings. The countless deflections that weren’t steals ruined any continuity in the Wizards’ offense.
- Rookie Danuel House dressed and was available but didn’t play. Neither did Andrew Nicholson for the second game in a row or rookie Daniel Ochefu. Nicholson is the highest-priced acquisition in free agency ($26 million). Marcus Thornton (nine points) was just 4-for-14.
MORE WIZARDS: Brooks will re-evaluate Wall's rest soon