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The Blue & Gray Press | October 17, 2017

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Washington Wizards off to rocky start

Washington Wizards off to rocky start

By CJ CUMMINGS

The Washington Wizards have started the 2015-2016 season off a little bit shaky, with a win here and a loss there. The Wizards are currently 5-4 and are third so far in the Southeast Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference.

It may be too early to tell how the team will turn out, but so far their defense has been letting them down. They have allowed their opponent to have an average of 45.9 percent overall in shooting which is ranked 25th in the league, 36.9 percent in three-point shooting, 26th in the league, and 109 points per game, 28th in the league.

“We focused so much on offense every day in training camp that now we’re back to focusing on defense,” said starting point guard John Wall in a recent press conference.

As they try to improve their defense, they will be doing it without their shooting guard Bradley Beal for a couple of days. Beal is listed as day to day with a sore shoulder. Although this may seem like a minor injury, he has been out for 10 days, missing their last three games. Beal did not participate in shoot-around before the game this Tuesday against the Milwaukee Bucks, which the Wizards won thanks to the 37 points in the second quarter.

It is possible that Coach Randy Wittman is making sure that Beal is 100 percent before they have him do any basketball related activities. Garrett Temple is playing in place of the hurt Beal.

It will be harder for the Wizards to win if their defense is still trying to come to form and their offense is scoring fewer points.

Power forward Chris Humphries has been increasing his shooting range to beyond the three-point arc. This season, he has made six times more three-pointers than his previous 11 seasons combined. As he improves with his three-point shot, other teams will have to put players further out to guard him.

This will open up space for Wall and Marcin Gortat to move underneath and score more points in the paint. However, for now they are stuck with a subpar defense and a slightly better than average offense.

Wall and the Wizards will be back in action on Saturday, Nov. 21 as they will be traveling to the motor city to take on the 6-5 Detroit Pistons at 7:30 p.m.