The Washington Wizards will try for that elusive first victory of the season on Wednesday night when they travel to Dallas to take on the Mavericks.
The Wizards fell to 0-6 Tuesday night thanks to an ugly 16-point loss in Charlotte to the Bobcats. Washington built a four-point lead after the first quarter, but a 12-point second frame put them down 13 heading into the locker room.
"Second quarter it all became a search. Hold the ball, dribble, dribble, dribble til I exhaust my opportunity to shoot the ball, which leads to turnovers, or awful shots," said a clearly frustrated Wizards coach Randy Wittman. "That display, offensively, in terms of trying to do everything on your own, we don't have a player on our team we can do that with.
"We play. There's no concept of, or rhyme or reason, understanding of what's going on, or concept of the game. We don't play the game well, at times, as a unit."
The Wizards shot 29 percent from the field and 16 percent from the 3-point line against Charlotte, which was among the statistically worst defensive teams in the league. The Bobcats surrender an average of 102 ppg., which made Tuesday's output of 76 all the more maddening.
And things don't get easier when looking for a first win.
The Wizards have lost six of their last seven to the Mavericks and three out of four in Dallas.
The Mavericks are mired in a losing streak, but it's only half as long as the Wizards'. Dallas dropped two in a row on the road, then came home and fell by 12 to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
Against the T-Wolves, the Mavericks trailed for the first time at the half. They only committed 10 turnovers and it was the first loss this season with 12-or-fewer, but Dallas had trouble finding frontcourt scoring.
Chris Kaman came in and dropped 12 points, but the starting front line (Jae Crowder, Elton Brand, Brandan Wright) combined for nine points and four rebounds. Crowder and Wright didn't grab a single board, although head coach Rick Carlisle cut their minutes.
The Mavericks rank fourth in the NBA in scoring, so ultimately, that won't be their problem, especially when forwards Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion return. Dallas guard O.J. Mayo ranks seventh in the NBA in scoring at 21.4 ppg.
Defensively, they fall in the bottom third of the league, and they get beat, on average, by five boards a night.
"I might sound like a broken record. Defense and rebounding. Defense and rebounding. Defense and rebounding. Containing dribble penetration. Defense and rebounding," Carlisle said after Tuesday's practice.