Washington Wizards Fighting – The Athletic

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NEW ORLEANS – Wednesday night’s match between the Washington Wizards and the New Orleans Pelicans featured unusual break entertainment: a Thanksgiving-themed dining contest.

Two men competed mano-a-mano to devour turkey, ham and green beans. Game night staff spread a plastic drip cloth on top of the Pelicans logo at midfield and brought out two trash cans in case attendees should feel sick as they hurried through their food. One of the contestants actually threw himself up midway, with the sight captured live on the Smoothie King Center’s huge video board.

It was ugly, but it was not as repulsive as the visiting basketball team’s performance.

The same Wizards, who steamrolled their way through the early stages of the regular season, almost setting the record for the best start in franchise history, lost to the struggling Pelicans, 127-102, in a game that felt more skewed than the end result indicates . . Wizards repeatedly turned the ball over. They missed outside shots. They never held the lead or even equalized.

Even a championship challenger will look out of the game at least once or twice during an 82-game regular season. It happens. Such is life in the NBA. So any single truncing should not cause hand twisting and dismay.

But what the wizards endured on Thanksgiving Eve was not entirely new. They lost for the fourth time over a stretch of five matches – a range characterized by revenue, double-digit deficits and dull results from the starting unit. Effort does not seem to be the problem. A sudden inability to play the way they want to play is the problem. The team has lost its defensive edge. All too often, it hinders itself with self-inflicted mistakes.

“We’re going the wrong way,” coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. to journalists.


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