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Takeaways from Wizards' defensive letdown vs. Heat

Takeaways from Wizards' defensive letdown vs. Heat

Offense isn't a problem for the Wizards with the way John Wall and Bradley Beal are playing. They bled points, however, to the depleted Miami Heat again in a 112-101 loss Monday at American Airlines Arena.

John Wall (30 points, eight assists, six rebounds) led the way for the Wizards, who couldn't win their third game in a row for the first time this season. Bradley Beal (29 points, four steals), Markieff Morris (10 points), Otto Porter (nine points) and Marcin Gortat (seven points, 10 rebounds) rounded out the starters. 

Goran Dragic (season-high 34 points) was unstoppable as he made 14-of-23 shots as Miami ended a five-game losing streak and shot 51.1percent from the field. 

In early November, the Heat scored 114 points -- about 21 over their average at the time -- in a win at Verizon Center. 

They had fewer pieces available Monday with Dion Waiters (groin) out. 

-- The Wizards fell down 86-82 to start the fourth quarter, but it was Kelly Oubre (six points, five rebounds) who energized them yet again. Oubre drove to the basket and got a foul call and made both shots. He then stole an inbounds pass from Tyler Johnson (11 points) for a dunk to tie the score.

--The bench did its job to hand the starters a 38-30 lead in the second quarter after two free throws from Trey Burke (four points). But when they went into halftime, the Wizards trailed 59-53.

-- Dragic picked up his fourth foul in the first two minutes of the third quarter and he had to go to the bench. The Wizards were able to chop down an 11-point deficit and take an 80-75 lead.

-- The coverage on the screens between Dragic and Whiteside started out strong, but Gortat and the backcourt didn't seem in sync most of the time. 

-- Coach Scott Brooks went to a smaller lineup in the fourth. Instead of Wall, Beal, Oubre, Porter and Gortat, he used Morris as the center. The problem was the Heat started running pick-and-rolls with James Johnson (14 points), a reserve forward playing as a spread five, running the set. Dragic, instead, was screening for him and popping for the open shot. The Wizards had no idea how to defend that wrinkle and it showed.

[RELATED: NBA Insider Notebook: Time for a Magic-Rockets trade?]

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Wizards vs. Bucks: time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Wizards vs. Bucks: time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

The Wizards head back to the nation's capital Monday night for a matchup with Giannis Antetokoumpo and the Milwaukee Bucks at Capital One Arena.

Bradley Beal led the Wizards with an astounding 53 points in the team's loss Sunday night to the Chicago Bulls. Beal passed Jeff Malone on the team's all-time scoring list for second place. He now only trails Elvin Hayes.

The Bucks are coming off a dominant 21-point win over the 76ers on Friday night and look to continue their stellar play in D.C. against the struggling Wizards.

Here is everything you need to know.

WIZARDS vs. BUCKS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.

When: Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards vs. Bucks will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Bucks on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the MyTeams App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. BULLS TV SCHEDULE

6:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders

6:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live

7:00 PM: Wizards vs. Bucks

9:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live

10:00 PM: Wizards Talk

WIZARDS vs. BUCKS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, Wizards (29.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 6.0 APG): Beal will look to carry the Wizards to victory against the Bucks after the team was unable to defeat the Bulls on Sunday night.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks (30.0 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 5.8 APG): The Greek freak is on a fast-track to another MVP trophy and has the Bucks in a prime position to come out of the Eastern Conference.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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Coach Scott Brooks unloads on 'soft' Wizards after loss to Bulls

Coach Scott Brooks unloads on 'soft' Wizards after loss to Bulls

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks scratched and clawed his way through 10 NBA seasons as a player after going undrafted out of college and while doing all of it as an undersized point guard. He made it those 10 years because more than anything he was tough and resilient.

And because of that, there is nothing he laments more as a coach than when he believes his players are being soft. On Sunday night, after his Wizards lost in Chicago to the Bulls, he used the word 'soft' over and over to describe their performance to reporters.

In Brooks-ese, which often consists of platitudes and positivity, that means he is nothing short of irate about how the Wizards have played in their first two games coming out of the All-Star break. They have lost to two teams - the Cavs and Bulls - who are not good and in games they had early leads and a chance to win.

But it's clearly not just the losses themselves that has bothered Brooks, it is the nature of them. And you could argue the way he unloaded on his team on Sunday night suggested he is as fed up now as he has been at any point with them since he took over as head coach four years ago.

What Brooks had a particular issue with was the and-ones the Wizards allowed. The Bulls had nine of them, which means the Wizards fouled them but not hard enough to prevent a made shot. Brooks evidently wants his players to make their fouls count and ensure nothing comes easy for their opponents. He wants them to earn those points at the free-throw line.

As Brooks put it, the "and-ones were about as soft as you can get," per Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. He also said the 16 and-ones between the last two games may be the most he's ever seen in his NBA career.

That would be difficult to verify, but it's easy to figure out who has been the culprit recently. Of the 16 and-ones in the last two games, which was indeed the accurate number, Ian Mahinmi leads the way with four. Bradley Beal, Jerome Robinson, Davis Bertans and Moe Wagner are next up with two apiece.

All in all, nine different Wizards players have committed an and-one foul in the last two games. So, though Mahinmi has had the most issues, it's a team-wide problem.

There is also more to an and-one than just the fouler themselves. They are usually the result of a defensive breakdown. But Brooks also noted how some Bulls players probably didn't even realize they were fouled, which suggests they should have been fouled harder.

Surely, the Wizards will work on it because as direct as Brooks was with the media on Sunday night, you can bet it was much worse behind closed doors. Wizards players likely got an earful either at halftime or after the game. And they will likely hear plenty more in an upcoming film session.

Playing soft is Brooks' biggest pet peeve and the Wizards have clearly struck a nerve with their last two games. The good news is they will have a chance to rebound very soon with another game on Monday night, the second of a back-to-back. The bad news is that it's against the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks, a team currently on pace to win 70 games.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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