The Washington Wizards lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 148-129 on Wednesday night. Here are five observations from the game...
1. The NBA schedule must go on, even if a team is still processing the news that their star point guard ruptured his Achilles in an accident at his home and even if within an hour of tip-off, their highest-paid player was sent out the door in a trade. The timing for the Wizards’ game against the Bucks on Wednesday could not have been weirder.
But they played the game and the result was expected. The Milwaukee Bucks, owners of the NBA’s best record, pulverized the Wizards, showing no sympathy for their current state.
The loss was the Wizards’ fifth in their last seven games. They dropped to 10 games under .500 as they look ahead to Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline.
The Wizards were already down John Wall, Markieff Morris and Dwight Howard. The trade of Otto Porter Jr. technically left them without two more, with Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker not yet officially on the team.
It is hard to put up a fight against a juggernaut like the Bucks missing five key players. Though the Wizards lost by 15 and trailed by as many as 25, they cut the deficit to eight with 10 minutes left in the fourth.
That was about the best they could have expected on a night like this.
2. As wild as the past two days have been for the Wizards, there was no excuse for how terrible their defense was in Milwaukee. They came out and allowed a whopping 50 points in the first quarter.
Fifty points! That’s a half, not a quarter. In fact, it was just one off the NBA record for points in the opening frame. And it was one off the record for most points ever scored against a Wizards/Bullets team in any quarter.
The Bucks scored 35 more in the second quarter, giving them 85 at halftime. Only twice in franchise history has Washington given up more in a half and both times were in 1968.
We’re not done. The Bucks scored 148 points total in the game. That was the most allowed by a Wizards/Bullets team in a non-overtime game since 1990.
Amazingly, it could have been so much worse. The Bucks had 141 points with 6:03 to go in the fourth. But things slowed down soon after once they took out Giannis Anetokounmpo (43 points) and their starters.
3. There were some positives in this game for the Wizards on the offensive end. Bradley Beal, who had 30 points and shot 54.5 percent, made his 1,000th career three. He became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 1,000 triples, passing Klay Thompson.
The next milestone to watch for Beal should be reached on Friday against the Cavs. Beal is now only four points from passing Gilbert Arenas on the Wizards/Bullets all-time scoring list.
4. Speaking of threes, both teams hit a ton of them. The Wizards went 17-for-37 (45.9%) from long range, coming within two of the franchise record they set earlier this season.
The Bucks, though, were even better. They went 19-for-30 (63.%) from the perimeter. It was the fifth time in the past six games the Wizards have allowed 15 threes or more.
5. The Wizards have had major problems rebounding the ball this season, in part because Howard has been hurt. But through it all, one crazy stat had emerged. Before this game, they were a perfect 12-0 in games where they out-rebounded their opponents.
It was a stat head coach Scott Brooks and others in the organization were well-aware off. But now it is no more. The Wizards lost this game despite outdoing the Bucks on the glass, 39-35. The streak may be over, but clearly rebounding is important and the Wizards’ inability to grab boards has hurt them.
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