The Washington Wizards may have a revamped roster, but their road woes have continued. With one game remaining on the road trip, in which the Wizards have dropped four out of five, they will look to end on somewhat of a high note – if that – with a win against the New Jersey Nets.
Part of the blame for the road losses can be blamed on the uncertainty surrounding the team as the trade deadline approached. Part of it can be blamed on the departure of JaVale McGee and Nick Young. Part of it can be blamed on youth and inexperience.
But most of it can be blamed on the same reasons that have caused Washington to have the second lowest road win total in the entire league with just four. Failure to play sound defense down the stretch of games, failure to hit big shots, failure to take high percentage shots (Jordan Crawford, I’m looking at you), and a general lack of having a go-to guy to finish plays are what we have seen night in and night out from this club.
What’s worrisome is the lack of identity in the fourth quarter. Washington plays well in stretches, be it the first quarter or the third. They even have things together for six minutes at a time in the fourth quarter. However, the glaring need for a dependable scorer, whether he plays the post or up top, has been a major issue. It is a matter that must be addressed in the offseason, without fail. Just like the local football team addressed their quarterback issue by any means necessary, Washington will have to pay the price to bring in a legitimate starter to help John Wall.
Jordan Crawford is not the answer. Trevor Booker, as hard as he plays, is not the go to guy in the post. Wall could be that guy, but given the general lack of talent around him, the pressure defenses that he will face being the sole playmaker will make it nearly impossible for him to succeed as a closer.
Yes, everyone will point to Derrick Rose as the counterpoint but Rose has always had a decent to very good cast around him capable of hitting shots. Wall doesn’t. Until the Wizards develop an identity and add a player who can help consistently shoulder the offensive burden, the road woes – and home woes – will continue.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)