Wake-up call: No scorers coming off bench

Wake-up call: No scorers coming off bench
November 30, 2013, 8:00 am
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Wittman: "We didn't play very well"

Every time it appears that the Wizards have figured out a rotation that works, it gets upended by an injury.

Nene is expected to miss his second consecutive game Saturday vs. the Atlanta Hawks (CSN, 7 p.m. ET). Jan Vesely likely will start in his place.

Unlike the loss of Bradley Beal to a stress injury in his right fibula earlier in the week, the Wizards are especially hurt by Nene's loss to a right Achilles. They run so much of their offense through the 7-foot power forward, who also is their best low-post defender, that when he's not there it becomes stagnant.

Vesely isn't going to replace his offense, knock down the mid-range jumper or help calm them when a game starts to get out of hand.

In fact, Vesely failed to score or attempt a shot in Friday's 93-73 loss at the Indiana Pacers. Their inability to make shots -- the Wizards hit less than 32% in the first quarter -- carried over. The bench was needed more than ever but it still can't provide the spark minus Al Harrington (right knee). 

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"We didn't make shots early. I think that took a little bit out of us which we can't let (happen)," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "We're down seven at halftime. it might've been one of worst halves we ever played."

Eric Maynor made 3 of 4 shots and had eight points, but he also had four turnovers in just nine minutes of play. For the game, the bench contributed 26 points but half of those came in garbage time.

With the game still in reach in the third quarter, the Wizards' reserves failed to score. Trevor Booker didn't score in the second half and only had four in 25 minutes. Garrett Temple shot 1-for-7 overall and only had two points in 22 minutes. Kevin Seraphin led the bench with nine points, but only two of them came in the first three quarters. 

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"We were right in the game even up into the third quarter. We just didn't play very well," Wittman said. "Guys that aren't playing, wondering why they're not playing, they got to always be ready. You never know when your opportunity is going to come. These are opportunities that sometimes you let slip by. Offensively, we were very careless with the ball. When you give up 26 points off turnovers it's tough."