Game to game, half to half, quarter to quarter. Pick a time frame and the issue remains the same: We don't know what we'll see from the Washington Wizards.
“I don’t know. If I find the answer I’ll let you know," center Marcin Gortat said to reporters about the lack of consistency following Monday's 112-95 loss at Memphis.
There have been slow starts, a key factor in last Wednesday's 109-103 home loss to the Houston Rockets. We've witnessed strong performances from the opening tipoff to the final buzzer with the road victory over Miami on Dec. 7 a prime example. The mid-game surge against the Mavericks fueled Saturday's 114-111 win, but a fourth quarter collapse nearly put the kibosh on downing Dallas. There are surprise wins like the triumph in Cleveland -- and brutal losses like the setback to a two-win Los Angeles Lakers team at home. The Wizards haven't won multiple games in a row since a three-game winning streak from Nov. 14-21.
Then we have the recent game at Memphis. Other than Gary Neal's 24 points and a brief fourth quarter surge, this loss stood out because so little worked and that it came right after earning a rare road win in Dallas. Washington never led over the final three quarters and had only 60 points entering the fourth quarter. On the other end, the Grizzlies, one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the NBA, sank 10 of 15 from beyond the arc.
The search for a consistent fix continues.
"I have no idea," Gortat continued. "It’s not like we come out there and we don’t want to play basketball. You know we all want to play basketball. We are all taking the same shots that we take every day in practice or in a game and sometimes they just don’t go in."
Head coach Randy Wittman focused on the defensive side.
"Until we get a commitment to defend...we’re going to be on this roller coaster," he said. Right now we get satisfied with one win. Right now our mindset is to try to outscore people. Our team isn’t made that way. I don’t have enough scorers to say we’re going to go out and not care what they do, we’re going to outscore them. ... Right now, it was an embarrassment from a defensive standpoint.”
Next up for the Wizards, a road game against a team embarrassing plenty of opponents lately. That would be the 21-5 San Antonio Spurs, who have outscored opponents by an average of 28 points during their current three-game winning streak. Tim Duncan and company won't be overlooking the 10-13 Wizards. Quite the opposite seeing as Washington handed San Antonio one of those five losses with a 102-99 victory on Nov. 4
Bradley Beal's last second 3-pointer dumped the Duncan's that night, but the injured guard won't play in Wednesday's matchup. Those that do must put forth an energetic and smart effort to have any shot at winning. No matter the result in San Antonio, finding consistency of a positive nature over the remaining 50-plus games would be the best result of all.
MORE WIZARDS: Grizzlies grind out Wizards 112-95: Five takeaways