Wizards' defense takes two steps back

Wizards' defense takes two steps back
March 18, 2013, 11:00 pm
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In the aftermath of a win over the weekend, Wizards coach Randy Wittman showed concern about his team’s defense.

They’d beaten the Phoenix Suns 127-105, but allowed them to shoot 63 percent in the second quarter and had to come from behind as a result.

Monday in a 119-114 loss at the Charlotte Bobcats, the NBA’s worst team, the opponent stayed hot for four quarters. The Bobcats (15-52) made 57 percent of their shots in the first half and finished the game at 53.2. The Wizards fell to 5-26 on the road.

"We don't have a different mind-set when we come on the road and you have to," Wittman said. "You can't play the same way at home that you do on the road. I can't get them to realize it. I have got to find a way to change their mind-set."

Charlotte entered the game averaging 93.1 points per game, 27th in the NBA. This month, it dipped to 86.7 in nine games going into Monday. 

The key to the Bobcats' victory, their third in four meetings with the Wizards to close the season series, was guard play. Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon combined to shoot 23-for-40 for 64 points. Walker and Henderson combined for 15 assists.

While all five Wizards starters scored in double figures, Nene and John Wall had foul trouble. Plus, they didn't get a lot of help from the bench. Playing his second game since returning from a left ankle sprain, Bradley Beal scored five points on 2-for-8 shooting in 20 minutes.

The four-game road trip only gets tougher as the remaining opponents are much better than Charlotte. After playing at the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, the Wizards play at the Los Angeles Lakers and at the Golden State Warriors on Friday and Saturday.