It's two losses in two nights for the Wiz kids after falling in Orlando tonight 90-83.
Before the game it was announced that Bradley Beal would have the night off after taking a nasty spill in last night's loss to Atlanta. Not only did this limit Randy Wittman's options to ten players, it also made for an interesting starting lineup.
Shaun Livingston started at the point moving Jordan Crawford to shooting guard. Earl Barron earned the start down low after snagging 14 rebounds in what was really his first significant playing time of the year the night before. Emeka Okafor and Martell Webster completed the starting five.
In the first half it looked like Wittman had struck gold with this new lineup. The Wizards picked up were they left off last night and outplayed the Magic for most of the first half. But being the Wizards, you knew a let down was coming.
Here is a classic Steve Buckhantz line you have to hear
That let down came in the third quarter when the Wizards were outscored 24-13. It was a combination of poor defense and selfish offense that let Orlando pull away. J.J. Reddick had 17 off the bench and E'Twaun Moore added 15, Washington had no answer on defense for either of them in the third quarter.
The Wizards made this game close down the stretch as they tend to do, but as a fan, you never really felt like they were going to get over the hump and win. They just lacked the offensive discipline to make a real push at the lead.
A night after going for a triple double Jordan Crawford dropped 19 points but struggled from the field down the stretch and had poor body language to go with it.
Nene lead the team with 20 points in 25 minutes of play. Wittman said before the game he would keep Nene around 20 minutes which means we can get used to seeing Okafor constantly bricking open jumpers as a member of the starting lineup.
The Wizards played nine of their ten available players, guess who was the odd man out. It rhymes with .....with.....well it doesn't rhyme with much but it was last year's number six overall pick, the Czech heartthrob himself Jan Vesely (who had a cold according to the coach)