If you were holding on to any hope the Wizards could make the playoffs, Tuesday's 120-111 loss to the Kings should have put the final nail in the coffin. Washington is now 3.5 games behind the eighth-seeded Pacers with 7 games left, and the Pacers hold the tiebreaker over the Wizards, so it's really more like a 4.5 game lead at this point.
With the season now essentially over, Bradley Beal took some time after the Tuesday's game to air his grievances with the Wizards' performance in a game they needed to win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, calling out their lack of urgency and their hunger, which you can watch here.
"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, who has had heated exchanges with Nene on the bench. "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.
Here's an example of the "dumb stuff" from the game, as noted by Mike Prada:
In case you’re wondering, here’s one example of the "dumb stuff" Bradley Beal was referring to in his comments. pic.twitter.com/MnxCTGXTrn— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) March 31, 2016
Because Kieff trailed the play, Gortat asked him to switch. Morris instead slowly sauntered back to his own man, led to Koufos floater— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) March 31, 2016
Clearly, things are beyond repair for this season, but after comments like this, you have to worry a little bit about how the team will try to pick up the pieces after such a disappointing season. Making moves at the coaching or managerial level could certainly help things, but even if change is necessary, it doesn't guarantee the Wizards will be discernibly better next season.
As we've seen in Chicago and Oklahoma City this season, sometimes a coaching change can't fix all of a team's issues the way it did for Golden State. If Washington can't get their core players on the same page, it doesn't matter how good the coaching and management is, there will continue to be roadblocks keeping them from reaching their potential. Hopefully, Beal's comments are the first steps toward trying to improve things ahead of what will undoubtedly be a very challenging offseason.
UPDATE: Well, this isn't going well.
@HoopDistrictDC No.....— Marcin Gortat (@MGortat) March 31, 2016
And just in case, Gortat deletes that tweet, here's a screenshot.
UPDATE 2: Gortat retweeted this from Bradley Beal's brother, so maybe everything's fine:
He said what a leader SHOULD say. As a leader, you too take some of the blame, that's what real leaders and winners do.— Brandon Beal (@BigDealBeal88) March 31, 2016