Coming off a 2 game break, the Washington Wizards lost 132-102 to the Detroit Pistons the day after Christmas (December 26, 2019). This was the toughest defeat tasted by the Wizards since the starting five put on a shoddy display of defense as well as offense. To add to the woes, in-from Bradley Beal exited the game after leg soreness.
Overall it is clear that injuries are hurting the performance of the Wizards, as each game goes by without their best start lineup. Even after a stellar performance in his last match against New York Knicks where he scored 26 points, Troy Brown Jr. succumbed to an unusually rough day. The shooting guard could only gather 13 points for his team.
For now, the fans have to believe in the ability of the team and hope the Wizards gather winning momentum. With that being said, here is an analysis of Thursday night's loss.
Pasecniks leads with a team-high 17 points
Signed in mid-October, Latvian Anzejs Pasecniks's debut against Chicago Bulls was considerably impressive. However, against the Pistons, Pasecniks, who has recently signed a two-way contract with the Capital City Go-Go, scored a career and team-high of 17 points.
In his 24 minutes on the court, Pasecniks went 7-11 FG, 3-5 FT, and racked up 6 rebounds with 1 assist. While he cannot contribute to the defense as much as Ian Mahinmi can, he is certainly making an argument for the starting position, especially considering the lack of scoring from Mahinmi.
Mahinmi is in his contract year and could be a target to be traded before the deadline that could push Pasecniks to the backup role of center behind starter Thomas Bryant.
Payton II continues to perform
It was not a glorious performance, but it was enough to continue to impress the Wizards coaches and fans. Gary Payton II came off the bench once again, played 31 minutes and scored 10 points. He had 5 rebounds and 5 assists, as well as a steal and 2 blocks. Moreover, Payton was the only one showing any defensive work aside from Pasecniks.
Maybe it is time to build around these two guys.
The Wizards are back home to face the New York Knicks on Saturday (December 29, 2019).Published 27 Dec 2019, 09:49 IST