Wizards in turmoil as John Wall, Bradley Beal call out teammates following collapse vs. Kings
The Washington Wizards haven’t exactly gotten off to the start that they envisioned after losing for the fourth time in five games.
On Friday, despite leading entering the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings, Washington came out on the losing end in a 116-112 defeat. Following the game, guards John Wall and Bradley Beal made it a point to call out some of their teammates that were concerned about getting shots throughout the course of the game.
“We’ve got guys that’s worried about who’s getting shots,” Wall said, via The Athletic. “You should never worry about that. No matter if you’re missing or making shots, you gotta be able to compete on the other end. You can’t do it on both ends of the floor, you don’t need to be playing.”
In addition, head coach Scott Brooks admitted that Otto Porter Jr. “can’t worry about” the volume of shots that he is getting. Porter finished Friday’s contest with just 5 points on 2-of-6 shooting in 22 minutes despite drawing the start. It’s the fourth time in five regular season games that the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft has attempted single-digit shots in a game.
Porter, who signed a max contract in 2017 and is making more than $26 million this year, is struggling across the board this season, with all of his averages down from his 2017-18 career-best performance. Notably, his field goal attempts per game average has dropped from 11.5 to 9.4, and while he’s taking roughly the same four-plus 3-point attempts per game, he’s dropped from making more than 43 percent the previous two seasons to 23.8 percent this year.
Wall wasn’t the only Wizard to weigh in on his teammates being unhappy about their shot selection. Beal also wasn’t happy with the frustrations of some of his teammates during the game.
“Sometimes, we have our own agendas on the floor, whether it’s complaining about shots, complaining about playing time, complaining about whatever it may be,” Beal said, also via The Athletic. “We’re worried about the wrong s—, and that’s not where our focus needs to be. And it’s just going to continue to hurt us.”
The Wizards finished Friday’s loss shooting 46.5 percent from the field, but struggled from the perimeter as they only connected on 14 of their 42 attempts from three. Five players did finish in double figures, but only three players drilled multiples shots from long-range when it was all said and done.
The Wizards are already extremely shorthanded early in the season with their frontcourt being bitten by the injury bug. Dwight Howard, who signed with the team during the offseason, has yet to take the floor this season and backup Ian Mahinmi was dealing with a back injury that forced him to miss Wednesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors. Mahinmi was back in the starting lineup on Friday, but logged just 19 minutes on the night.
Washington’s only victory was a 125-124 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers earlier this week. The Wizards definitely have the potential to be a playoff team in a weakened Eastern Conference, but certainly haven’t gotten off to a very good start thus far.
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