Bradley Beal missed his third straight game with a right hip contusion and the Wizards offense struggled as a result, which unsurprisingly impacted their defense. After handily defeating the Detroit Pistons at home last Saturday, the Wizards were dominated less than a week later on the road to the tune of a 120-91 loss against the Pistons. In 34 minutes of play as a starter, Deni Avdija scored 11 points on 4-for-10 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds for his first career NBA double-double.
Deni Avdija looking for a bounce back game, knocks down his first shot from deep pic.twitter.com/tIJ4T7EndW
— Hoop District (@Hoop_District) April 1, 2021
The same issues that have plagued Washington all season bit them again in Detroit. The road team committed 15 turnovers, of which Russell Westbrook had nine (one short of a quadruple-double), that turned into 24 points for the home team. The Wizards struggled from the three-point line (26 percent, 5-for-19) and were nearly as bad from the charity stripe that was anything but free (32 percent, 6-for-19). For good measure, Detroit had 10 offensive rebounds that they turned into 18 second-chance points. All of that put together is how you lose by 29 points to a team below you in the standings and certainly lottery-bound at now 14-34.
“Our intensity defensively, we had no resistance. Just one of those nights,” Russell Westbrook explained after the blowout loss. “A lot of things went wrong, we can point at a lot of things, a lot of it starts with myself. Just a s—- job overall, not taking care of the ball, not being the best leader I could be so this one is on my hands and my shoulders. I got to do a better job of leading us regardless of who’s playing. I’m responsible for our energy, our effort, and I take the blame on this one.”
Coming off of arguably his most difficult performance of his young NBA career, shooting 1-for-10 from the field and fouling out, Deni Avdija did not have the bounce-back showing he was hoping for and finished with a game worst -31 in on-court differential. Plus-minus is obviously not a perfect statistic always indicative of a single player’s performance but it does exemplify the Pistons’ starting lineup dominance. As has been the case at various points throughout this season, Avdija has shown flashes of what he is already capable of as a 20-year old that the Wizards will hopefully be able to expand upon in what everyone has to understand is not a short-term development process.
Deni Avdija with the bucket plus the foul pic.twitter.com/AMCO4Lnp1m
— Hoop District (@Hoop_District) April 2, 2021
Washington returns home for a matchup against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday before embarking on a season-long six-game road trip including four on the West Coast.