The Wizards, absent nearly an entire starting lineup worth of veterans, started fast on Friday against the Knicks. From there, the wheels fell completely off the wagon.
Washington lost 114-92 to New York at Capital One Arena in the team’s penultimate game of the season, as well as its home finale, as a youth-laden roster couldn't keep up the pressure.
Here are a few takeaways from the night in D.C.:
Hachimura leads the way
Rui Hachimura snuck in another chapter to his stellar 3-point shooting season just under the wire. He finished the night with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including a 3-of-5 clip from 3-point territory.
The third-year pro has played well since his return to the team in early January and, absent a bevy of players Friday against the Knicks, he was the one to lead the charge. In doing so, he matched a season-best 21 points.
With a few veterans sitting for the night (and for Sunday), the Wizards turned to a very young lineup in the final home game of the season.
The usual faces (Hachimura, Deni Avdija, Daniel Gafford and Corey Kispert) were there, but the Wizards also got minutes from Isaiah Todd and Vernon Carey Jr. to close out the season. Cassius Winston and Jordan Schakel also joined the game in the fourth quarter, just after the Capital City Go-Go's season concluded.
It was a hodgepodge lineup for the Wizards to end the home portion of their schedule as all 13 players dressed for the night saw game action.
KCP/Kuzma/Porzingis down for the year
Coach Wes Unseld Jr. said pregame that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis would be out both Friday and Sunday, ending their seasons in Washington.
Caldwell-Pope and Kuzma, acquired in the massive trade last summer from the Lakers, ended their first season in Washington with 77 and 66 games played, respectively. Caldwell-Pope averaged 13.2 points and 3.4 rebounds, while Kuzma was the team’s third-leading scorer with an average of 17.1 points and 8.5 rebounds a night.
Porzingis, who played just 17 games as a Wizards since being acquired from the Mavericks at the trade deadline, averaged 22.1 points and 8.8 rebounds — nearly three points more and just over three rebounds more per game than he’d averaged in Dallas this season.
Now, they’ll look ahead to next fall to get back on the floor.
Friday was, depending on your point of view, an interesting case study in end-of-season results.
Both the Wizards and Knicks entered the night at 35-45 and tied for the 10th best lottery odds at 2.5%. And, depending what some fans wanted, a loss on the scoreboard might equal a win due to improved lottery odds.
The Knicks won, which sent the Wizards into sole possession of the 10th-best lottery odds with just one game left to play on Sunday. The Pelicans are 36-44 and will play on Saturday and Sunday to conclude the season. The Spurs, at 34-46, will also play twice before the season is done.
There will be movement in the lottery odds over the weekend, but Friday, the Wizards improved their odds at least a little bit.
The Wizards ended their home portion of the schedule with a thud, but still finished the year with a winning record (21-20) at Capital One Arena.
Now, they’ll play just one more game (Sunday against the Hornets) before the offseason can officially commence in Washington — where there’ll be a bevy of questions to answer.