The hope is that young Wizards, especially the likes of John Wall, Chris Singleton and Trevor Booker, never get used to losing. That the current doldrums are helping shape their future focus toward doing the little things to win. Of course, in the interim, in the locker room environment after loss eleven in a 12-game old season, defeat seems to be more and more accepted than frustrating.
There’s talk of trust, talk of turnovers, talk of John Wall getting down on himself. “I get down on myself for making a mistake, but I know how to move on to the next thing, just keep playing basketball. It’s just tough when you make three or four in a row,” said Wall after Saturday night’s 103-90 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. What’s unknown at this point is how much Wall openly getting down on himself after mistake one or two affects the rest of his team. Maybe they take cues from him, maybe they are getting down on themselves for their own mistakes.
“He’s our point guard, we gotta feed off of him. He’s the guy that leads this team almost like the captain of a boat. We have to feed off of him, and he has to get everybody involved in the game as well as get himself involved,” said team veteran Rashard Lewis, a guy who could stand to get himself involved as well in hitting open jump shots to help Wall’s cause. Lewis is 6-26 from three-point land this season, a 23.1-percent that’s his career worst, aside from his rookie season when he went 1-6 from deep as a 19-year old. “He’s still a young player learning how to play the game, but at the same time, he’s the floor general,” said Lewis of Wall.
“When you get your butts kicked pretty bad, and we’ve lost a lot, the tendency is sometimes you start feeling sorry for yourself,” said coach Flip Saunders.
“You got to find something to get your spirits going and stay focused out there, because ain’t nobody going to take it easy on us if we’re pouting,” said starting guard Nick Young.
At many times the Wizards seem close to putting together intangibles like trust and body language — the small, less noticed things that have added up to make Washington a band of losers. But at more times, the Wizards too quickly forget what it means to be a team made up of players, not players who make the team. Question is, if some key Wizards can’t find the answers within, where are they going to find them? And more importantly, what is organizational leadership going to do about it?