Breaking Down the Wizards Epic 149/146 Win Over Nets

Kevin Durant scored 37, Joe Harris scored 30, Kyrie Irving scored 26, Jeff Green scored 23, yet they still get outscored... and it was by the Wizards, the worst team in the league? How does this happen?

In the Wizards case, it helps that Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal combined for 78 points, but it was truly a team effort for Washington. Coming into this game, Moe Wagner, Ish Smith, Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura, and Troy Brown Jr. re-joined the Wizards. Amid the first quarter, it seemed as if the Nets were going to absolutely mutilate the Wizards, and the biggest lead of the game was 18 for Brooklyn. However, with the addition of Moe Wagner, and Robin Lopez continuing to dominate in the paint, the Wizards outscored the Nets 72-34 in the painted area. Those 72 points came, of course, from Moe Wagner and Robin Lopez, a combined 11/13 from the field. It also came from Russell Westbrook, who, finally appearing quite healthy, shot 57% from the field, which included many drives to the basket and 7 free throws. Amidst Ish Smith's return, he looked like his old self as well, crossing people over (actually made someone hit the floor) and splashing mid-range jumpers. He added to the Wizards' paint points on a few crafty layups. An intricacy of the Wizards' offense is their turnovers, but it was the Nets that did more of such in this game, as they finished the game with 17 turnovers as a team. The Wizards only had 7.

The Wizards, despite this win, have to get their three-point shooting under control. They shot 30.8% this game and the main reason for that is Davis Bertans' and Garrison Mathews' poor shooting throughout the contest. They were a combined 4/17 from three, absolutely dismal, especially given the fact that Bertans is fresh off of his extensive new contract. Getting these two guys integrated into Scott Brooks' offense will be essential in their desire for success. An unlikely source for three-point shooting, Russell Westbrook, as he went 4/7 on threes. That's fantastic if Westbrook will proceed to shoot the ball this well, but in order to unlock the full potential of this team, they will need to unlock the true three-point ability of Deni Avdija, Garrison Mathews, and most essentially, Davis Bertans.

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