Glass half-full in blowout loss to Thunder

Glass half-full in blowout loss to Thunder
March 28, 2013, 12:00 am
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Wittman sees positives in loss

A 23-point loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder seems to indicate the Wizards don’t have many, if any, positives to build on.

But they have several.

Nene (right knee), Martell Webster (abdominal strain), Bradley Beal (left ankle), Trevor Ariza (flu) and A.J. Price (groin) didn't play again which was no surprise since they all had missed previous games.

They also lost little-used backup center Jason Collins (flu), who was needed for his 7-foot frame. The Wizards only dressed eight players and had trouble competing with the Thunder’s post players Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka in the 102-80 loss Wednesday night. That duo combined for eight blocked shots for Oklahoma City.

Point guard John Wall only shot 3-for-18, ending a hot streak that included a career-high 47 points earlier in the week vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. The Thunder’s two best players, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, combined to shoot 20-for-21 from the free throw line as they blew open a 53-45 halftime lead.

"We just couldn't get anybody hot. We hovered in the low 30s shooting all night. I was as proud of these guys tonight as I was in our last game against Memphis," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said, alluding to a 107-94 upset Wednesday. "It's not about wins and losses it's about how we play and we went out tonight with eight guys able to play and we battled."

While that sounds like coach-speak from Wittman, the numbers show he's correct. His team graded out well despite a road record that dropped to 7-28:

  •         43-41: A surprising rebounding edge, including 16 offensive, gave them a 21-2 advantage in second-chance points because of Emeka Okafor, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker and Jan Vesely.
  •         12 of 15: Wall attacked the paint and got to the foul line early and often, accounting for 12 of his 18 points
  •         32-28: Oklahoma City had a 10-point edge in the paint after the first quarter when it led 29-23, but the Wizards erased it and ended up with more points inside because of hustle plays.
  •         3: Wall had that many giveaways. One came in the first half. The Wizards fell behind because of a numbers game, not mistakes by turning over the ball. Considering their predicament, finishing with 15 total turnovers wasn't too bad.  They had just four as a team in the first half. The other 11 came when the game mostly out of reach.