A lot has changed in a month — namely, the Wizards started playing real games and their actual defensive effort has proved to be anything but special.
Forget “top five.” Ahead of Tuesday night’s 107-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, which capped a lengthy Road Trip, the Wizards ranked among the lowest quintet of NBA teams in rebounding, defensive rating and opponent three-point field goal percentage, to name a few.
The lack of defense — combined with the losses — unearthed locker room friction and frustration during the team’s longest road trip of the season, five games spread across the Western Conference.
Since Oct. 15, the center, who missed all of preseason with an injury stemming from a buttocks muscle, has spent the early stretch of the regular season getting into game shape.
At least one person close to the situation projected Howard making his season debut Friday when the Wizards return from their road trip to host the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The five-man group of Wall, Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Ian Mahinmi and Jeff Green, who played the third quarter in place of Markieff Morris, who left the game after taking an elbow to his head, allowed Los Angeles to connect on 64.3 percent of its shots from the field.
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