Wizards' leaky perimeter defense fails Gortat

Wizards' leaky perimeter defense fails Gortat
December 28, 2013, 12:00 pm
Share This Post

T-Wolves snap Wizards' winning streak

(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Before this is called taking words out of context, let's get this clear: Wizards center Marcin Gortat made no attempt to hide his discontent with the perimeter defense in Friday's 22-point loss at the Minnesota Timberwolves.

No, he's not pointing fingers as much he's stating the obvious. And to his credit, he's not going to tell you to not believe your lying eyes. Nikola Pekovic had his way with Gortat in the post with 18 points and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes. Six of those boards were offensive. Pekovic was awarded eight free throws. Minnesota had 14 more points in the paint, nine more second-chance points and were plus-two in fast-break points against a team that is supposed to be superior in the open court.

[RELATED: Instant analysis: Timberwolves 120, Wizards 98]

"He got a lot of offensive rebounds standing by himself under the rim. There were a lot of drives into the paint where basically we got to go and help and you're leaving a big man like that underneath the basket by himself," Gortat said. "He's going to get offensive rebounds. I don't know what to tell you."

This is a familiar story for the Wizards. Just as they turn the corner defensively and draw the praises from their coach -- and themselves -- they end up in a ditch. Fittingly, it was on the road this tme. They won't have much time to mope because of Saturday's home game vs. the Detroit Pistons who also are playing back-to-backs and coming off a bad road loss.

[RELATED: Game On: Wizards-Pistons preview]

"We made shots early in the game. We got comfortable," coach Randy Wittman said of his team jumping out to a 9-0 lead only to trail by 14 at the half vs. the Timberwolves. "Defensively, that's as bad as we've played as a starting group. None of our concepts of how we want to play defense. ... Didn't even attempt to play defense. ... It was a sieve to the basket tonight for dribble penetration. That's why they shot 38 free throws."

John Wall concurred with those assessments from Gortat and Wittman. So did Martell Webster, who was upset with himself. 

"We bailed them out. They shot a tremendous amount of free throws," Webster said. "We got away from the Xs and Os. I got beat on the backdoor twice, gave up the and-1. Those are things you can't do. Those are potential momentum-shifters."