Wizards Simply Have No Defense; Bulls Exploit Team's Woes
Byline: John N. Mitchell, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The glaring weakness the Washington Wizards successfully covered up for much of this feel-good, breakout season - a persistent inability to defend - is now a hemorrhaging problem for all to see.
And the Chicago Bulls, direct beneficiaries and owners of a 2-0 lead in the teams' first-round Eastern Conference playoff series, sound as if they don't believe the Wizards have enough time to correct the problem.
"If you haven't been playing defense all year, it's unlikely that you'll be able to just turn it on in the playoffs," said Chicago sub Eric Piatkowski, whose Bulls visit MCI Center for Game3 of the best-of-7 series tomorrow night.
Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich eviscerated the Wizards in Chicago's 113-103 victory in Wednesday's Game2, scoring 21 of his team-high 34 points in the fourth quarter. He connected on 12 of 15 shots and made all five of his 3-point attempts without seeing a hand in his face - an absolute indictment of the Wizards' defense.
"I felt every time I shot it, it was going to go in," Hinrich said. "I felt like I was taking good shots, in good rhythm. The ball just seemed to find me in good positions, and I was able to knock it down."
Before the playoffs began, the Wizards pretty much acknowledged they are what they are: an offensive team that wins by outscoring opponents.
This played well during the regular season as the Wizards averaged 100.5 points, the franchise's most since scoring at a 102.5-point clip in 1995-96.
But relying on offense in the playoffs is a recipe for disaster.
After the Wizards took a 13-point lead early in the second quarter Wednesday, the Bulls converted an absurd 70 …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Wizards Simply Have No Defense; Bulls Exploit Team's Woes. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Washington Times (Washington, DC). Publication date: April 29, 2005. Page number: C01. © 2009 The Washington Times LLC. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.