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Wiz Get Burned by Suns in Phoenix, Still Winless on Road

Posted By Robert Bode On Dec 6 2010 @ 1:53 am In Washington Wizards | No Comments

After a pathetic defensive performance against the Toronto Raptors, the Washington Wizards rebounded with a great showing on that side of the court in a 83-79 win over the Portland Trailblazers. Well, the defense was lacking again Sunday night, as the Phoenix Suns put on an offensive clinic, led by Steve Nash’s 20 point, 17 assist, perfect shooting display in a 125-108 win.

Flip Saunders decided to go with another starting lineup against the Suns, as Alonzo Gee and Kirk Hinrich stepped in for Gilbert Arenas and a still hobbled Al Thornton. The experiment didn’t work, and it is hard to figure out Flip’s rationale. Nick Young’s defensive liabilities can’t be so bad as to leave his hot shooting out of the starting lineup (another 20 points in just 23 minutes), and Gilbert Arenas is obviously a better player than Kirk Hinrich. Even with John Wall posting a double-double (12 points and assists) and Andray Blatche shooting 10-of-13 from the floor and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line (good for 24 points), the Wizards didn’t mount much of a challenge after halftime.

Again, Washington’s defense was below-par, with every single Suns player scoring at least three points, and Phoenix shot 58% from the floor. Again, the Wizards look lost and uncomfortable on the road, and things don’t get easier on Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. It is hard to see how this team can even compete with the Lakers, despite L.A.’s recent struggles, and JaVale McGee will hopefully be able to go after playing just 18 minutes against Phoenix. Washington needs to get a road win soon, because with so many young players the pressure they put on themselves, let alone what they will feel from the media and fans, will haunt them for weeks ahead.

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