The Washington Wizards lost to the Brooklyn Nets 103-98 on Tuesday night. Here's analysis of what went down...
Another bad loss: The Wizards keep letting this happen and it has to be driving head coach Scott Brooks absolutely nuts.
Once again, the Wizards lost to a team they had no business losing to. After owning the Nets (11-15) for years, Brooklyn was the aggressor all night. That was despite missing a host of regulars including Jeremy Lin, D'Angelo Russell and the newly acquired Jahlil Okafor.
The Nets trotted out a team of guys you probably have never heard of, but it didn't matter. The Wizards lost for the seventh time this season to a sub-.500 opponent. They are 9-6 against teams with .500 records or better and just 5-7 against sub-.500 teams. It's a confusing trend and it continued against the Nets.
Many on the Wizards struggled including Otto Porter (11 points, 5-for-13 FG), Markieff Morris (six points, one rebound) and Jodie Meeks (six points, 2-for-9 FG). Bradley Beal had 28 points but shot 11-for-33 from the field and 0-for-7 from three. He also missed several key shots down the stretch as he attempted to shoot his way out of the slump.
One big mistake with 8.8 seconds left really hurt the Wizards. Point guard Tomas Satoransky turned the ball over on a five-second violation before he passed it in to Beal. The Wizards didn't even get a chance tie when they were down three at the time.
The Wizards are now 4-5 without John Wall since he had platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment and viscosupplementation injections in his left knee. They are 5-6 without him this season overall.
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Morris keeps struggling: Something seems up with Morris. After going off for 21 points and six rebounds against the Suns two games ago, he's been missing in action the last two outings. He had just two points vs. the Clippers on Saturday and followed that up with another stinker against the Nets.
Morris managed only six points and one rebound in 18 minutes. We know he's been dealing with some discomfort in his left ankle dating back to the Wizards' playoff series against the Celtics in April, even Morris would say that doesn't explain it all. He's in a funk and there's no clear answer for why.
Mahinmi, Wall out: The Wizards were without Wall for the ninth straight game on Tuesday, as he continues to recover from his left knee injury. They were also without Ian Mahinmi, who missed his first game of the season due to a right knee strain. It's unclear how serious Mahinmi's injury is, but right as they are about to get Wall back they have a new knee injury to worry about.
Smith got some run: With Mahinmi out, Brooks turned to Jason Smith as he's been prone to over the last two seasons when one of his big men is injured. And per usual, Smith made a nice impact.
There were moments where he looked rusty, but Smith put in his best game of the season. He set season-highs in points (nine), rebounds (five) and minutes (28). The bench overall was a relative positive, as they managed 43 points. They also outrebounded the starters with 29 of the team's 49 boards.
A Jason Smith block led to this tremendous third effort— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) December 13, 2017
The bench is doing work 💪 pic.twitter.com/9Bbh1FC9ZU
Up next: After a five-game road trip, the Wizards finally return home on Wednesday to host the Memphis Grizzlies, possibly with Wall in the lineup. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.
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