Time to Break Up the Wizards | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Time to Break Up the Wizards

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Updated: October 27, 2018

washington wizards, best backcourt, NBA, truth about it, adam mcginnis, john wall, bradley beal

For countless times over numerous rosters, the Wizards have played down to competition perceived to be of a lower echelon. Even though you would be wrong to convince yourself that no other team does this, Washington most definitely is on a different scale. Accordingly, they fell to the Kings in Sacramento on Friday night, 112-116, after getting outscored 37-27 in the fourth quarter (and after starting it with a six-point lead).

Those entrenched in watching this team are forced to grapple between thinking these Wizards can never maximize their talents, and wondering if they’re just not that good. And to be clear, we’re talking about this team that exists as John Wall and Bradley Beal, and not the surrounding parts. Not even Otto Porter, who shot 2-for-6 for 5 points and zero free throw attempts in 21-plus minutes. Scott Brooks tagged him to the bench for good with 4:39 left.

The game featured the normal ebbs and flows of two similar, middle-of-the-pack NBA teams duking it out. Except one middler featured a veteran lineup — Wall, Beal, Porter, Markieff Morris and Ian Mahinmi (36 total seasons of experience). While the other was a cadre of kids — Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox, Willie Cauley-Stein, Nemanja Bjelica, and Marvin Bagley (9 total seasons).

There were 20 lead changes and six ties. The Kings led for most of the first quarter, Washington for the bulk of the second and into the third, Sacramento coming back and pulling ahead, the Wizards wrestling the lead back into the fourth, and the home team closing it out. What’s semi-wild is that the Wizards led for much of game but always seemed to be playing from behind.

How it fell apart offensively for Washington was more dopey and uncoordinated that you could imagine, especially after they didn’t score a point three minutes into the game.

They had the ball, down one point, with 23 seconds left in the game and Beal, unprompted, just lost the ball out of bounds. They had the ball down two with 9 seconds left, and Morris shuffled his feet and traveled. And finally, they had the ball, down two with two-plus seconds left — no timeouts and taking it out from the opposite baseline but still with a chance — and Jeff Green sailed a rocket pass way beyond a teammate’s reach and way out of bounds. Green just kind of shrugged his shoulders afterward.

Defensively, the Wizards were a mess. A poor reflection of their inability to care, a poor reflection of their coach’s ability to get them to care (or maybe just coach). It was only the first quarter and the Wizards were running into each other on screens, watching their fearless leader jog back on defense, and allowing Hield (22 points) to run circles around their efforts.

They played defense to be in a position, spot, in hopes of not being individually accountable for mistakes … instead of playing off each other as a team. Sacramento seemed to pick on one player’s defense in particular all night — Markieff Morris — because they knew it would bear fruit more times than not.

The second half was more of the same, and this writer is ashamed to even describe it. Hard to tell if Washington’s plan was to switch everything in this era of the 3-point ball, or if they’re just — again — that ‘lazy’ word. There was one Kings possessions where Wall was pointing and calling for every switch, so I guess it was supposed to happen when Morris wasn’t ready to jump out on Hield curling off a screen: 3-point bucket.

Sacramento immediately hit another 3 as Morris and Porter crossed wires in transition coverage: Nemanja Bjelica (26 points, six 3-pointers) trailing 3 from the top of the key.

And then it happened again, right away:

The necks of Wizards players twist to-and-fro after poor plays so much that it’s hard to tell if they are taking issue with the referees, or smirking at some teammates to complain about other teammates. This is both unsustainable and unwatchable.

Media reports after the game from the Washington Post and the Athletic relay a disjointed locker room with players snipping at each other. Wall and Beal seemed to lead the way — as if their shit does not stink. The reality is that they are starting to be the common denominator here (with all due respect to Ernie Grunfeld).

“That’s the proof in the pudding. Everybody on their own agenda.” —John Wall

“It’s talking. After the game, you hear it be loud as [expletive] in here, but during the game, it’s church mice.” —Bradley Beal

This looks like the same crappy team that lost to the Lakers and Suns early in last year’s failure of a season. The same team that has for years insisted on barking while their bite is incapable and misaligned.

It’s time to be honest here. It’s time to break up the Wizards.

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.