Again, three-point accuracy allowed by the Wizards is an issue. They got away with allowing the Chicago Bulls, the worst team in the NBA from long range, to shot 80% in the first quarter but the Boston Celtics beat them behind it.
Their biggest free-agent acquisition, Al Horford, only shot 2-for-6 from three but presented matchup problems as the spread option at center. He didn't play in the Celtics' 30-point loss in early November.
"They made shots. Horford is a handful for guys," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said after his team allowed 8-for-11 three-point shooting in the first quarter. "He's a stretch five that we have to do a better job of handling that coverage. But we got them again. We'll figure out how to play him better."
Horford had too much space to operate. And his screening ability got Isaiah Thomas (5-for-11) loose as well as Jae Crowder (4-for-6) and Terry Rozier (2-for-3). Overall, they were 17-for-41 from long range, 41.5%.
After practice today, the Wizards (19-19) will play the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. They'll see Boston again Jan. 24 with the season series tied at 1.
The Wizards led by 10 in the third quarter only to melt down as key players missed open looks. John Wall, who had a disfigured right pinkie and a badly swollen left wrist, shot 4-for-21. Markieff Morris had a favorable matchup beginning the second quarter against second unit bigs only to finish 6-for-21.
"John did not shoot the ball well. Keef did not shoot the ball well. That's not normal," Brooks said. "They're not going to shoot great every night but they're not going to shoot this bad. Very rarely. The game was physical. We have to do a better job managing that."
Morris' suggestion was a simple one: Mix up how they defend Thomas, who figured out the coverage and ended the game 14-for-29 shooting for a game-high 38 points.
"You see I.T.? You got to make an adjustment, get the ball out of his hands at least," Morri said after Thomas' 20-point fourth quarter spurred the comeback for Boston. "The guy was going crazy out there. We've got to do something different."