By Dave Johnson
The NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award is now in Cleveland with Dion Waiters, who won the award in February. The Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal will try to continue his March campaign tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Coverage of the Wizards and 76ers begins at 5:45 on the Washington Wizards Radio Network.
Here is today’s Wizards Report:
Beal won the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award in December and January, but he started February on the sideline with a wrist injury. Starting with the last meeting with the Sixers in Philadelphia in January, Beal missed five straight games with the injury. Beal hurt his wrist earlier in January in a win in Denver.
Beal returned in the finale of the Wizards win over the Nets on February 8. In that game Beal was still trying to get his rhythm back and only scored 3 points. In his next game Beal netted a then-career-high 28 points. Since that game in Milwaukee on February 11, Beal has averaged 20.7 points and 6 rebounds.
The last time:
There was not much to talk about after the Washington Wizards 92-84 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Randy Wittman’s post-game chat with reporters lasted all of three questions because there was only one decisive factor in the game.
For the second game in a row the Wizards had too many turnovers. A game after stumbling through with 20 turnovers against the Sacramento Kings, the Wizards gave the ball to the 76ers 19 times. The 76ers had 15 points on the Wizards 19 turnovers. The Wizards only had 6 points off 11 turnovers by the 76ers. In an eight-point game, that was the difference.
“You have nights like this. We have to figure out as a team when you have a bad night how you keep playing. Don’t put your head down, don’t sulk, don’t feel sorry for yourself. You’re going to have nights. If a teammate screws up, didn’t help you on a certain play, we can’t slump our shoulders and put our head down.”
“I have to tell you, nobody is going to play a perfect game. It ain’t going to happen, it never will, it never has, but we have to fix it the next time. That as a team we have to do on the floor it can’t wait until a timeout. I think we went through a period there where we had some screw-ups, but we looked at each other like, “Hey, next time get me some help and get it fixed so it doesn’t happen again.”
The Wizards did play through the sloppiness and with 1:41 pulled to within five points on an Emeka Okafor slam dunk to make it 89-84. It happened on one of the better executed half-court sets for the Wizards, who struggled all night with ball movement. It was a game marred by bad passes and poor movement off the ball.
“I think they [Sixers] did a great job in getting in the passing lanes and did a good job of getting their hands on it. We had open opportunities to make shots. I don’t think we converted them, but we did a great job of taking them. Then we just didn’t do a great job of stopping them when we had an opportunity to make our runs.”