For the second straight game, a Wizards' comeback has been too little, too late and they have no one to blame but themselves.
Against the Magic on Friday night, the Wizards charged back from down 25 points to get within one, only to see Orlando close out with relative ease. On Tuesday in Dallas, the Wizards cut a 24-point deficit all the way down to six, right before the Mavs blew the doors off the building to touch up their victory.
On one hand, the Wizards showed fight. Clearly, that is a good sign for a reeling team that could have just packed it in for both of those games.
But the Wizards are digging themselves early holes with far too many unforced errors. This isn't a matter of battling and battling and coming up short. If they could shore up the finer details of the game, they wouldn't be in this position in the first place.
On Friday against the Magic, it was a familiar story. They got out-rebounded 41-35, including 10 offensive boards. The Magic scored 16 second-chance points.
The 2-9 Wizards have been out-rebounded in all 11 of their games this season. That's the longest streak for the franchise since 1991.
Some offensive rebounds can be attributed to tip-your-cap effort or a fortuitous bounce. But many of the ones slipping by the Wizards are due to Washington players losing focus and not boxing out.
The 2-9 Wizards have been out-rebounded in all 11 of their games this season. That's just unreal.— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) November 10, 2018
Tonight, the Magic outdid them 41-35, including this offensive board by Mo Bamba. pic.twitter.com/X9lPtnGIgO
The Wizards are losing the rebounding margin by an average of 10.9 per game, the biggest deficit in the league. They are allowing 50.3 boards per game, most in the NBA. They are securing the second-fewest rebounds per game (39.4).
Also, turnovers. Oh, the turnovers.
The Wizards had 13 in the first half on Friday night and 19 for the game. The Magic cashed those in for 29 points.
Though the Wizards have been solid overall this season with protecting the ball, it killed them against Orlando. Four of their starters - John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr. and Markieff Morris - each had at least three in the game.
The rebounding issues and turnovers led head coach Scott Brooks to make some drastic in-game adjustments. He benched Porter, Morris and Dwight Howard for the fourth quarter, and it worked. The Wizards went on their run without them, it just wasn't enough.
The easiest way to lose to bad teams like the Mavs and Magic is to shoot yourselves in the foot. That's exactly what the Wizards have done in recent days.
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