The Wizards were physically in the building but seemed to be a shell of themselves after allowing a short-handed Nets team to completely dominate them.
With the Nets in the midst of the recent firing of Steve Nash, Kyrie Irving’s five game suspension, and an injury to Ben Simmons, this matchup was a perfect opportunity for the Wizards to take advantage of the disarray surrounding Brooklyn but instead they didn’t show up after a strong performance against the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Very disappointing,” Coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “I’m not pointing blame at players. Across the board, we all got our butts kicked tonight. That’s the bottom line. We all have to own that. It’s embarrassing.”
The Nets were able to score 60 points in the paint and take advantage of three-pointers, hitting 14-28 attempts. The Wizards only averaged 23.5% from three. They also never found an offensive rhythm which is reflected by the lopsided score.
The biggest problem they encountered has been the Wizards Achilles heel for years…defense. Ever since Delon Wright exited the lineup with a hamstring injury, there has been a void on the defensive end of the floor that no one has been able to fill.
“It was a letdown,” Bradley Beal said in reaction to the loss. “It was definitely a step back on the defensive end. We showed no resistance, no physicality, and really no pride on that end of the floor. We didn’t have it at all tonight.”
In classic Kyle Kuzma fashion, he didn’t mince words when reacting to the Wizards embarrassing loss.
After an expletive, he finally identified a few issues the team faced against the Nets. Kuzma noted that the Wizards focused too much on Kevin Durant (28 pts) early in the game which opened up shots for players like Nic Claxton (18 pts) and Royce O’Neale (13 pts).
Corey Kispert also carefully rejoined the team after being out for the past few weeks with an ankle injury. He finished with two points in 18 minutes.
Kristaps Porzingis tallied 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double this season. Porzingis has now recorded four double-doubles through the first nine games, tying the 2015-16 season for the most in his career through the first nine games of a season.
Bradley Beal netted 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting, also dishing out three assists and hauling in three rebounds. Beal has now notched 20+ points in six games this season and in three consecutive games.
Monte Morris dished out a team-best five assists and has now topped 5+ assists in six total games this season, the most in his career through the first nine games of a season.
Kyle Kuzma tallied 19 points on 5-12 shooting, hauling in five rebounds and tallying two assists.
Kuzma has now topped 15+ points in six outings this season.
The Wizards schedule doesn’t get any easier. They travel to Tennessee on Sunday to meet Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies.