Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NBA ; Thanks in Part to Defensive Chaos, 1-5 Wizards `Frustrated'

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NBA ; Thanks in Part to Defensive Chaos, 1-5 Wizards `Frustrated'

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - After the Washington Wizards lost for the fifth time in six games under new coach Scott Brooks, shooting guard Bradley Beal stood in the home locker room and spoke in hushed tones, trying to wrap his head around what's gone wrong so far. "We don't want to be 1-5 right now. Everybody's frustrated. Everybody's mad, Beal said. "At the end of the day, we all got to look at ourselves in the mirror individually first, before we start pointing fingers. Just try to figure out how we can get better. We all got to play better individually, one through 15.

The problems are adding up already for a club that made two consecutive trips to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs before going 41-41 and missing out last season, costing Brooks' predecessor, Randy Wittman, his job.

A .500 record would sound great at this point; only the Philadelphia 76ers, at 0-6, are worse in the East. Heading into Wednesday's game against the visiting Boston Celtics - and things don't get any easier after that, with LeBron James and the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers in town on Friday - the Wizards are among the league's poorest defensive teams, and they're not scoring all that much, either.

Hardly an ideal combination. And Brooks thinks there's a connection, because when his players aren't putting the ball in the basket, he senses that they lose the will to keep opponents from racking up points.

"That happens, and that's not a good trait for a basketball team. You can't ride the roller coaster of making shots, because if you have a great night, you're (still) going to miss half your shots. And in order to have a great defensive night, you can't have that dictate your defensive intensity, your defensive disposition, Brooks said Monday night after Washington's 114-106 loss to James Harden and the Houston Rockets.

The Wizards allowed the Rockets to make 52 percent of their field- goal attempts, including 46 percent of their 3-pointers. …

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