WASHINGTON -- The Wizards were off on Wednesday, giving everyone involved with their disastrous 35-point collapse against the Clippers on Tuesday some time to clear the air and get over the initial shock. On Thursday, they sat down as a team at their practice facility and watched the entire second half together.
Head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said that doesn't happen often in the NBA, but in this case it was needed. They had to relive as a group exactly what transpired so they can prevent it from occurring again.
"Yeah, it’s unusual. That’s an unusual game," Unseld Jr. said.
The Wizards were outscored 80-49 after halftime against the Clippers. They led by 35 points in the first half and were up by seven with 20 seconds remaining.
The Clippers won the game thanks to a four-point play converted by Luke Kennard with 1.9 seconds on the clock. The NBA has since released their two-minute report, which said that play was incorrectly called. There were other missed calls that could have helped the Wizards.
Unseld Jr., though, put more focus on how the Wizards got into that position in the first place. Losing a 35-point lead comes down to much more than just a few mistakes by the referees.
Unseld Jr. felt going through it all in a film session setting was productive.
"There’s feedback, there was some dialogue. I think it’s great. The more we can do that, the better. They take ownership of it, they talk out some things that were maybe unclear amongst themselves. I can help give them clarity," Unseld Jr. said.
As for what went wrong for the Wizards, clearly quite a bit. They had eight turnovers as a team in the fourth quarter alone. They also missed five free throws in the final frame.
More generally, Unseld Jr. saw some intangibles the Wizards were lacking.
"I think the attention to detail was not there. I think the urgency wasn’t necessarily always present. I think they at times, and give the Clippers credit, they played harder," Unseld Jr. said.
The timing of this loss for the Wizards was interesting in that it came before three days off, their longest break of the season so far that wasn't created unexpectedly by a COVID-19 postponement. They had more time to think about this one than the Wizards often do after games.
That gave them the opportunity to really digest this one and make sure they learn from it.