There wasn’t much to say after the Wizards 102-80 drubbing by the hands of the Brooklyn Nets. It was the worst loss of the season at home, where the Wizards to that point had the most home wins in the East. Given that it was a travel night and the players decided to cut the interviews a short as they could.
However, Randy Wittman in probably one of his shortest press conference of the year summed up the loss as perfectly as anyone could.
"We had no focus, no energy, no urgency, lack of respect for your opponent and the game and that’s what happens. Lesson learned hopefully. You guys always talk about let down. There is NBA players on every team whether it's a good team or bad team. We came out like all we had to do is show up and we got what we deserve. That's exactly what we deserve. For our guys what to continually talk about being or becoming an elite team, if you want to become an elite team, you don't lose games like this. You beat a San Antonio and a Chicago in a back-to-back then come home and lose by 22 to team that had lost seven in a row. "
Last season, the Wizards had a bad habit of losing letdown games after big wins. They lost to teams like the Celtics, Bucks, and Sixers, often after big wins. Thankfully this year, we have not seen as much of that aside from last night, and those same losses aren’t keeping us from going over .500. Still, after a successful back-to-back against San Antonio and Chicago, as Wittman mentioned, you expect to see more. Obviously, every NBA team has good players, and every NBA team will give you their best shot especially if you’re the 2nd best team in the Eastern Conference. However, it is those elite teams that are able to overcome all of this, as Wittman indicated, and the Wizards did not show that tonight.
These are the ebbs and flows of an 82 game season, however. The best part about it is that the Wizards play this same team tonight, for a chance to get revenge. It likely isn’t fair to say this team is in huge danger after one game, or that we should question their resolve. Games like this happen a lot. Still, it’s inexcusable for the fans, the players, and the coach for an effort like last night. It’s a loss that they deserved and maybe needed for a reality check, as Paul Pierce indicated. "Tonight is over with and we have to bounce back tomorrow. Everybody is disappointed in the way we came out, maybe this will be a wake up call for the rest of the year."
The Wizards for the most part have avoided disappointing losses like this one, and John Wall himself acknowleged this "I think this year, our ups and downs haven’t been bad. We lost to teams that were top in the East or top in the West. That’s the difference. This the first time we’ve played a team and lost to a team that is below where we’ve been in the past and hasn’t won a lot of games." It’s largely their performance against below .500 teams that has led them to the point they’re at right now. The Wizards are taking care of teams that are inferior to them and have been doing so all year, so last night’s loss was certainly not something we have been accustomed to.
However, it still doesn’t make last night’s performance okay. A good team should not lose to a 16-23 squad after a successful string of wins, and be able to get a pass. If the Wizards truly want to prove themselves as contenders and not pretenders, it’s time to bounce back and truly show us that last night was in fact an anomaly.