The Washington Wizards have been through the motions this season. And, while they weren't expected to challenge for honors in the east, it definitely wasn't supposed to be this bad.
Earlier this month, it was leaked that the team had a very "volatile" practice session in which players went at each other, while it was also reported that John Wall swore at head coach Scott Brooks.
That bit of news was followed by claims of management wanting to offload the entire roster, with stars Wall and Bradley Beal being made available for trade. Yet things have improved since then and the recent negative press has seemingly galvanized the squad.
The Wizards have won five of their last eight games, with their latest an impressive edging out of the Houston Rockets. And, per RealGM, team meetings are partly responsible for the turnaround.
“We’re done [with it],” forward Markieff Morris was quoted as saying. “Honestly, we don’t wanna take no backward steps. Just try to push past it. When you’re losing, there’s gonna be stuff like that, and you’ve gotta be the bigger man and push back.”
The team got off to an awful start and the fallout wasn't pretty as players got on each others' backs before pulling together.
“We’ve been embarrassed,” Morris added.
“We’re playing harder. It’s really simple,” Brooks chimed in. “There’s no coach, there are no players that can overcome not playing hard.”
“We talk about it all the time,” Bradley Beal, who has since indicated that he doesn't want to be traded, revealed. “We talk about our problems, what we need to do. It’s evident to a guy who doesn’t know the game. So for us, it’s just doing it. Stop talking about it. Do it. Focus on trying to move forward and doing it together. And it’s been working.”
What This Means
The bad publicity probably worked in the team's favor. They have been able to string some impressive performances together since the news of their fiery scrimmage and could make into the playoff picture later in the season.
They will look to win a third straight game when they visit New Orleans to play the Pelicans on Wednesday night, but they should not expect an easy game.