Plenty of missteps in Wizards' latest loss

Plenty of missteps in Wizards' latest loss
April 10, 2014, 9:00 am
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The morning after a game like this is loaded with questions about the Wizards, who blew a chance to virtually lock up a No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. So where did they go wrong in losing three of their last five games, two to the Charlotte Bobcats including Wednesday's 94-88 overtime game at Verizon Center?

Trevor Booker: He brought the only energy to the floor in the first half, when they fell behind by 20 points. He had 16 points, made 4 of 5 shots, all eight foul shots and had a season-high five blocks. But he didn't get off the bench in the fourth quarter and played 4:09 in the OT, when he didn't score. Said John Wall: "Booker was the reason we stayed close anyway the way he had a heck of a first half. I felt like he could've played a little more down stretch with the way he was playing and competing."

Nene: Yes, he played 17 minutes and got 10 points in his first game back from a left knee ligament strain, but was this the right game to bring him back? He's on a minutes restriction and it cut into the playing time of Drew Gooden, who was on the floor 14 minutes. Gooden had played at least 18 minutes in 11 of his previous 12 games. Wednesday, Gooden only had two points on two shot attempts. Al Harrington didn't play. 

RELATED: [Overtime loss to Bobcats drops Wizards in East]

Andre Miller: He played just 11 minutes and had four points, and he wasn't sharp when he initially entered. But, he can post up smaller guards, such as Kemba Walker, and did so successfully in the previous meeting. He could've shared the floor more often with Wall. 

Trevor Ariza: He gutted it out to play 39 minutes but was held scoreless in missing all six of his shot attempts. Why was he relied on so heavily? Ariza still was feeling the after-effects of the flu which began bothering him Friday. He's far from 100% and it showed as he still has trouble speaking. He was sluggish in going 1-for-9 in a loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, too. 

Bradley Beal: Speaking of shooters that didn't have it, Beal went 4-for-15 for eight points, including 0-for-4 in OT. He was short on everything, even had an airball on an open look in the first half. Maybe the grind of the season has caught up to him. Beal has been playing through multiple injuries. Like Ariza, let a player who has nothing left have the option to play and he'll say "Yes, I can play" when maybe he should sit. Granted, there's more to the game than scoring and Beal contributes with rebounds, assists and team defense. But Martell Webster is the only player who'd made a three-pointer. The team went 1-for-15. 

Marcin Gortat: The Wizards had a foul to give on the final play of regulation with 10 seconds left. Gortat had a chance to foul Al Jefferson, who made a layup with three seconds left, to force overtime. But he didn't, worried that he'd give up the and-1 for a three-point play and losing right there. It was well-executed in Friday's win at the New York Knicks, when Raymond Felton credited the Wizards using the same strategy on the final play to disrupt them. Wall: "We had a conversation about that. It was just a tough situation for us. We said we could foul but it's a tough situation when I'm recovering and the guy's already going up and if I jump on his back there's a big possibility he can make an and-1. I've seen people losing games like that. As a veteran, I didn't want to do anything stupid. He laid it in. We still had three seconds and then we had five minutes (in OT) to win the game."