Wizards must find way to win close games
That the Wizards' bench is a hot mess isn't news. That has been obvious all season, and after saying for weeks that he was still searching for answers, coach Randy Wittman was more candid after a one-point loss to the Denver Nuggets.
If he only could clone Trevor Booker, who had season-highs of 12 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks, the Wizards (9-11) would be better off. But Booker started in place of Nene (right foot soreness), which left the bench even thinner.
"Book played good. To give us 12 and 12? That's what I'm looking for," Wittman said. "He's played the last two games with great energy. That's what you need. I'm looking for more guys to do that."
Unfortunately for Wittman, he only had five points from his reserves. Chris Singleton scored three points in 22 minutes on 1-for-5 shooting. Jan Vesely scored two points -- the only scoring from the bench a 29-point second half -- on 1-for-2 shooting. The reserves shot 2-for-13 overall.
In relief of John Wall, Eric Maynor was a disaster in shooting 0-for-3. In just five minutes of play, Maynor had his pass stolen and ran an offense that had two shot-clock violations. The second one was the most egregious because Maynor dribbled until 11 seconds remained before he made the first pass. He was pulled in that second quarter and never returned.
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Kevin Seraphin, who missed the last game with a swollen right knee, only played five minutes off the bench and was ineffective. He missed his only shot, which was an airball. Otto Porter didn't take a shot in seven minutes of play.
Trying to play with so many unfamiliar faces can throw off the offense's timing and lead to long droughts. Wall only had three assists after halftime -- none in the fourth quarter.
"When it's not there, I try to get those guys going early and get them easy baskets and let them see the ball go in the hoop and see them get their rhythm," Wall said. "I just tell them to be confident. I know it's tough because you're not used to playing that much or you haven't played all season. You just have to go out there and try to get the butterflies out the way."