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.