Coming off their worst loss of the season, the Wizards didn’t find much to improve on in a 113-95 loss to the Grizzlies in Memphis on Saturday night.
The loss was the team’s fifth in a row and dropped them to three games under .500 for the first time all season.
Here are a few takeaways from the Wizards’ loss to the Grizzlies:
Tough times continue
The Wizards are certainly in the thick of it now.
After a 29-point loss to the Celtics preceded the infamous 35-point blown lead to the Clippers, the Wizards dropped their fifth in a row against the Grizzlies and have now lost six of seven games. The schedule won’t let up either, as they’ll head to Milwaukee and Philadelphia before home games against the Suns and Heat before the trade deadline. And even on deadline night, they’ll have to play the Nets.
Now 23-26, the Wizards are slipping further and further back in the Eastern Conference standings with not much time left to make a move to try and fix it.
Dominated in the paint
Ja Morant is famous for his floaters, but as a whole, the Wizards were totally dominated in the paint — specifically when they were on the defensive end of the floor.
The Grizzlies outscored the Wizards 60-46 in the paint and had 21 offensive rebounds, compared to just 45 total rebounds for the Wizards. It wasn’t much better at the break, as the Grizzlies' 12 offensive rebounds and 37 rebounds in total dominated the Wizards. They also outscored them 36-16 in the paint in the first half.
Memphis generally had the shots it wanted all night, and that was a theme from start to finish.
The Grizzlies' domination changed the second chance points battle too, as the Wizards were dominated on both ends of the floor.
A starting lineup switch
The Wizards went to Thomas Bryant to start at center instead of Daniel Gafford in a bit of a surprise move. What was even more surprising was the fact that Gafford did not play at all. Just he, Davis Bertans and Raul Neto didn't see the floor.
Gafford had started every game he was available for this season, though he played just 12:12 in the team’s wild loss to the Clippers on Tuesday. In the previous six games, he averaged just 11 minutes per outing.
In his place, Bryant earned his first start of the year and his first start since he tore his ACL a year ago. He scored four points and had four rebounds in his first time with the starting unit this season.
Wes Unseld picks up first tech
With the Wizards trailing by 19 points early in the second quarter, Wes Unseld Jr. did his best to try and spark the Wizards.
He was assessed his first technical foul as coach of the Wizards while arguing an offensive foul call against Jaren Jackson Jr. The Wizards needed any kind of spark, and Unseld tried his best to provide it.
But like most things he and the Wizards tried Saturday, it wasn't enough to overcome the Grizzlies.