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Film study: Switching on defense starts to cross up Wizards

Film study: Switching on defense starts to cross up Wizards

A lot is going right for the Wizards, but what they can't lose sight of during their 2-0 start to this five-game road trip is that they can be much better on the defensive end.

In beating the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets, they've combined to score 254 points, but they've allowed 240 to a pair of sub .500 teams.

The biggest issue defensively? They're allowing a lot of open looks, especially from the three-point arc because of confusion on rotations.

"We just got to do a better job of communicating on our switches," point guard John Wall said after having 30 points and 10 assists on Wednesday in Denver. "It’s giving up too many easy shots."

This is just a small sample of what has been routine. The focus that the Wizards (39-24) had in beating the Golden State Warriors and their road game at the Toronto Raptors is absent. 

Their potent offense has carried them, but at some point when the shots stop falling they're going to have to get stops. 

This is how the Nuggets got their first basket. It came on the first possession of the game with the starting five. Can't blame mental fatigue or new players added to the roster for this one.

This is simply a matter of Bradley Beal stopping. He did his job initially but Gary Harris kept playing. He negated his own good defense by not putting a body on Harris to keep him off the glass. Marcin Gortat forced the missed by Mason Plumlee.

Bojan Bogdanovic signaled to Brandon Jennings to switch on the perimeter. Jennings, however, stayed home and allowed Wilson Chandler to pop for a three. He missed, but that's not the point. This is too easy. Denver did nothing special to get this kind of quality look.. It's 100% on the defense. 

Kelly Oubre had Darrell Arthur and switched onto Jamal Murray, expecting Otto Porter to switch onto him diving to the basket. It didn't happen so that compromises the interior. The ball gets to the one spot on the floor teams prefer to avoid. Ian Mahinmi has to rotate to stop Arthur who makes the easy shovel pass for a dunk to Plumlee.

Related: Brandon Jennings and Jared Dudley fined by NBA after ejections in Wizards-Suns game

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks, who will buy him out, in three-team deal involving Dennis Schroder

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks, who will buy him out, in three-team deal involving Dennis Schroder

The stage has been set for Carmelo Anthony to hit free agency, as the 10-time All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in a three-team deal, one that will lead to a subsequent buyout of his contract. ESPN first reported the news and noted that the Rockets are the favorites to sign him.

The full deal sends Dennis Schroder from the Hawks to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony and a protected first round pick, and sends Mike Muscala from Atlanta to Philly. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder from Phily and Justin Anderson will go from the Sixers to the Hawks.

That's a complicated deal, but it ultimately frees Anthony up to choose a new team. He was set to make $27.9 million from the Thunder next season, but the Hawks are footing the bill to let him walk.

Anthony's skills have declined now that he's 34 years old. Last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting, way down from the 22.4 points he averaged the season before with the Knicks.

Still, Anthony could help a team looking for a scoring punch and the Rockets would like some more help in their quest to take down the Warriors. If he signs there, he will join friend Chris Paul and the 2017-18 MVP, James Harden. 

Houston has been the logical landing spot for Anthony ever since news broke that the Thunder were looking for a way out of his contract. If he doesn't go there, perhaps the Lakers would make sense. LeBron James is going to need a lot more help than the roster he currently has around him to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Fallout from the Kawhi/DeRozan trade; Kevin Love questions

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Fallout from the Kawhi/DeRozan trade; Kevin Love questions

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hugheswas joined by Nick Ashooh to break down the fallout from the trade involving Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan.

They looked at what it means for the Wizards and the East, as well as the Lakers and LeBron. Plus, they took fan questions, many of which centered on Kevin Love and the possibility of a trade to Washington.

You can listen to the episode right here: