Beyond the box score: The glass half empty version

Beyond the box score: The glass half empty version
November 4, 2012, 11:15 am
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(For what we liked out of the Wizards home debut, click here)

The bad:

*Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, acquired together this offseason from the Hornets in exchange for Rashard Lewis' contract, combined for 3 points, 7 rebounds while shooting 1 of 10 from the field. In fairness to Okafor, who didn't play in the fourth quarter for the second straight game, all the actual production came from him. That's really not giving him a pass - Okafor attempted to take on the scoring burden early and his rebounding per minute numbers were solid -, but a way to emphasize Ariza's continued struggles (0 for 4 from the field while his defensive assignment Paul Pierce started scoring early). Both played less than 17 minutes, six each in the second half and none in the fourth quarter. This is not what anyone expected from two of the highest three players on the team. Like others, the two defensive-minded players have been thrust into roles not suited for their skill sets due to Nene and John Wall being out. That's part of the issue, but not the whole thing. By the way, in four games combined the pair have 22 points. In three games, Lewis has 28. Who would have that even this early the Wizards might be on the wrong end of that deal from a production standpoint?

*At least we know Bradley Beal will never make a basket in every game of his career. Five attempts, five misses, two coming from beyond the arc. One game can be ignored; three struggles in a row is a touch trendy. Including the Wizards final preseason game, the Florida product is only 2 of 19 from the field. Beal's 41.1 percent (31 of 75) over the first seven preseason games was hardly robust (though really only two games did he truly shoot well below 50 percent), but looks down right scorching hot right now. More on this leading up to Wednesday's rematch at Boston, but with the current starting lineup Beal is the  player defenses are focusing on. Between Beal's inexperience, style and pressure that comes with being the third overall pick, that's just not working. Assuming Seraphin joins the starting lineup, that will help open up the floor. After what Seraphin just did, pretty sure Boston will have its attention centered on Washington's center, which will be great news for the understated rookie.

The interesting:

During the final minutes, Booker was the only starter on the floor - and with good reason. The Wizards late game lineup included three players - Webster, Martin, Pargo - who at the start of training camp might have been considered the 12th, 13th and 14th players on the roster. This comes after roster surprise Earl Barron played the entire fourth quarter against Cleveland. On the flip side, Okafor, the team's highest paid player, has yet to sniff a second on the court in the fourth quarter this season. Wittman is either rather gutsy for letting performance dictate playing time over salary or playing with fire by sitting some of those who sit higher in that standard roster hierarchy.