The Wizards’ hopes of the post season are all but over after last night’s flat-liner in Sacramento. On a night where the Wizards desperately needed a win, they played the game with a “Las Vegas Summer League” intensity in a 120-111 loss to the now 30-win Sacramento Kings.
Once again, the Wizards appeared comfortable exchanging baskets and not locking in defensively. A consistent defensive effort has been a problem since the jump this season. A big part of defense is effort, and all too often the Wizards appear to be lacking in that area this season.
Following last night’s game, Bradley Beal let his frustrations loose.
“We didn’t have any sense of urgency. To me it felt like we just gave up,” Beal said via CSN Mid-Atlantic, following the game. “We’re just not hungry enough. I guess we kind of figure we’re already in the playoffs for some reason. It’s either that, or we just want to get to the offseason. As far as ‘why,’ I have no idea. If guys don’t want to play, they need to sit down.”
It might be “too little too late” for this kind of ‘real talk’ from one of the team’s young cornerstones. But Beal’s words are telling about this year’s team.
“We bark too much. We say what we need to do. We scream at one another. We can even try to blame Witt if we want to, but at the end of the day we still the ones playing,” said Beal. “We still beat ourselves. We do dumb stuff on the floor like just not having a man in transition or not knowing where a guy is at half court or not knowing personnel. We just do dumb mental lapses that just mess up the game and end up hurting us in the long run. Everybody is a grown-ass man. You either want to play, or you don’t.”
The big question that will be answered soon is who does Wizards’ owner Ted Leonsis blame? Randy Wittman? GM Ernie Grunfeld? Or both? Will this be like the Capitals two off-seasons ago?
This off-season was set to be one of the biggest in franchise history because of the “KD2DC” campaign. However, now that they won’t make the post-season it becomes even bigger. They have only John Wall, Marcin Gortat, Markeiff Morris, and Kelly Oubre under contract next season. They likely won’t have any draft picks, either. That’s a lot of holes to fill.
Sure, the Wizards will have lots of money to spend, but so will plenty of other franchises. The issue for the Wizards will be selling top free agents on a franchise that took a big step backwards this season.