Wizards drop season opener to Pistons
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- If there's one thing John Wall should be able to do well going into his fourth season, it's run the offense even if his jump shot isn't working.
He failed on both counts in Wednesday's season-opening 113-102 loss at the Detroit Pistons.
On the surface, Wall's performance looks more impressive than it really was. He had 20 points on 8-for-21 shooting, 11 assists and made 4 of 6 foul shots.
"I took a couple of bad ones and I didn't make the easy ones I'm used to making," said Wall, who launched -- and missed -- all four of his three-point attempts. "Main thing is you got to stay confident. Keep shooting it. I'm not going to let one game stop me. I got to do a better job of leading my team and getting guys easy shots."
Wall battered the rim by missing 9 of 12 in the first half as the Wizards fell behind 55-43. And when he started to find his stroke late in the game, that's also when Wall turned over the ball. He had none in first half. He finished with four.
His 21 shots were a game-high. No one on the Pistons shot more than 15 times though all five of their starters scored in double figures.
"It's tough at that spot. Situations where early on everybody's got to feel the ball. Offensively, we didn't do that in the first half very much at all," coach Randy Wittman said. "That put us behind the eight ball."
Martell Webster, the Wizards' best three-point shooter from last season, only had one shot in 21 minutes. He made it. Of course, it was a three-pointer. But it didn't come until 38 seconds remained in the third quarter and trimmed the deficit to 80-71.
"You got to realize the guys, where they're at, who's hot, who hasn't had a shot in a while, who do we need to get going," Wittman said when asked about Webster's lack of involvement in the offense. "Those are things that we have to be conscious of. You just don't go out and play."
The Wizards practiced Thursday at noon and will face the Philadelphia 76ers in their home-opener at Verizon Center on Friday (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).