Kyle Kuzma on the Wizards’ historically bad defense: ‘We can’t guard a stop sign’

After the Washington Wizards’ 139-120 loss against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, forward Kyle Kuzma offered a blunt explanation.

“We can’t guard a stop sign,” Kuzma said, via The Athletic’s Josh Robbins. “That’s kind of really what it boils down to. We let anybody get whatever they want on us. So, until we change that, then that’s probably going to be the result.”

The Magic, who entered the game with the 16th-best offense in the NBA, scored 133.7 points per 100 possessions against the Wizards. After this explosion, Orlando’s offense ranks 13th, and Washington’s defense, which was tied for the No. 29 spot, is now alone at the bottom: 120.1 points per 100 possessions. If this stat stays this bad, it would be the highest single-season defensive rating of the play-by-play era. 

(That means the highest since 1996-97. The 2023-24 Wizards also have the highest defensive rating ever according to Stathead, which uses a formula to estimate possession counts dating back to 1973-74, and according to Cleaning The Glass, which removes heaves and garbage time. It’s worth noting, though, that the NBA is in the midst of a scoring boom and last year’s San Antonio Spurs currently have the worst defensive rating in history. This year’s Charlotte Hornets have also been worse than those Spurs, and the Indiana Pacers have only been a few percentage points better.)

Kuzma’s quote is appropriately bleak. This is a team that is not only the worst in the league when it comes to getting stops in the halfcourt, but the worst when it comes to forcing teams to play in the halfcourt, per Cleaning The Glass. Only the Indiana Pacers are allowing more points in the paint, and nobody is allowing more offensive rebounds. (Nobody’s grabbing fewer offensive rebounds, either, but that’s a different story.)

Washington is a rebuilding team that has Jordan Poole playing a featured role, but must its defense be this bad? Is there anything it can do to avoid giving up 139 points to an average offense like Orlando’s?

“Maybe just lock into player tendencies, build a game plan…


Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/kyle-kuzma-on-the-wizards-historically-bad-defense-we-cant-guard-a-stop-sign/

Author : James Herbert

Publish date : 2023-11-30 19:10:17

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