Wizards can't overcome defensive woes; fall to the Heat
Second year wing Kelly Oubre came off the bench to post 16 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals on 50 percent shooting
All training camp Wizards head coach Scott Brooks put an emphasis on getting better defensively. In the first preseason game against the Miami Heat, the intensity that Brooks was hoping to see on the defensive end was non existent as the Wizards fell to the Heat 106-95. The Wizards allowed 65 percent shooting in the first quarter for a total of 35 points from the Heat, creating a deficit that they couldn't overcome. The interior defense from Washington's big's were especially troubling. The Heat scored 26 of their 35 first quarter points in the paint which were led by center Hassan Whitesides 16 points on 7 of 8 shooting.
"Our focus has been defense" - Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. " It's not the start we wanted, 35 points in the first quarter and mid-60's field goal percentage. There are things that we definitely have to improve. We did a much better job in the second half, they only had 45 points. Defensively it is still a work in progress." Washington allowed Miami to shoot 55 percent from the field and 47 percent 3-point range while scoring 54 points in the paint. "It's a combination" said Scott Brooks on Miami's points in the paint. " You have to be able to stop the ball. If you do not have the guys that can stop the ball, then you have to have a secondary line of help and we did not have that."
Washington shot 39 percent from the field and 42 percent from 3-point line for the game. Kelly Oubre finished with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals off the bench while Trey Burke and Bradley Beal added 14 and 12 points respectively. Rookie guard Tomas Satoransky posted 8 points, 6 assist and 5 rebounds. Miami center Hassan Whiteside led the Heat with 20 points (9-12 FG), 13 rebounds and 3 blocks while Luke Babbitt and Dion Waiters both scored an efficient 14 and 12 points. The Wizards, after being down 61-44 at the half, played with more poise in the second half, outscoring the Heat 51-45. Washington point guard Trey Burke noticed the difference in intensity, " We all collectively have to start out that way (with more urgency), come out with more of a chip on our shoulder and compete at a high level from the jump bowl."
Washington will now travel to face the Philadelphia 76ers Thursday at 7 p.m.
Heat center Hassan Whiteside was dominant in the paint finishing with 20 points (9-12 FG), 13 rebounds and 3 blocks
Wizards rookie guard Tomas Satoransky posted solid all around numbers with 8 points, 6 assist and 5 rebounds
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