The Washington Wizards, a team that has gotten John Wall back and should be peaking heading toward the playoffs, has lost four in a row and 8-of-10. In those last 10 games, the Wizards have a bottom 10 offense and defense, and have been outscored by 4.9 points per game. It’s been ugly.
A frustrated coach Scott Brooks had enough after a sloppy loss to the Hawks Friday night (without Wall) and unloaded on his team, calling them selfish. From Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington:
“It’s embarrassing that we don’t play with the passion that we need to play [with],” Brooks said. “Selfish basketball is no fun to coach, it’s no fun to play with and it’s no fun to watch. We’re a selfish basketball team right now…
“It’s a simple game: you pass it to your teammate, you pass it because the game tells you to,” Brooks said. “If you don’t pass to your teammates, you’re not going to end up getting good shots. One-on-one players, there aren’t many in this league, and we don’t have one on our team.”
Wall averages 5.2 isolation possessions per game, third-most in the NBA (behind James Harden and LeBron James) and he scores less than a point per possession on them. However, Wall also moves the ball on those drives — he had 14 assists the game before, the Wizards had just eight assists as a team Friday night. The Wizards run a lot of pick-and-roll (42.2 percent of their offensive possessions vs. the Hawks) but without Wall the ball sticks on those plays.
The Wizards sit in the coveted seven seed in the East playoffs right now, which would mean facing a wounded Boston team in the first round. A series that should be winnable for the Wizards — but not the way they have played of late. Washington is stumbling into the playoffs and it’s going to be a short stay no matter who they face if the team doesn’t improve on both ends.