The Washington Wizards Lack Leadership And Intangibles


The Washington Wizards need to find the leadership they’ve been missing this season.

It’s been a recurring theme in the Washington Wizards‘ season. Just when you think they’ve got it figured out they take two steps back.

The Wizards lost another crucial game against the Chicago Bulls Wednesday, 109-104. The game told a lot of stories about the Wizards’ lack of defense, as they allowed seven Bulls players to score in double figures.

A potential season sweep of the Bulls could’ve meant passing them for a playoff spot if both teams were vying for the eighth place spot. Even without Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose, they couldn’t manage to find their groove on the road in the United Center as the Bulls’ improvised lineup changes stumped the Wizards.

The consistent inconsistency that the team has shown is starting to have a negative effect on players. “They played with a sense of desperation,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal said, according to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post.

Beal lead the team with 19 points and John Wall contributed 16 points and seven assists. They also outscored the Bulls in bench points (55-35), but still managed to let the game slip through their fingers.

It seems that the veteran presence of Paul Pierce is sorely missed in the locker room. Pierce was a tried and tested champion who had been through many battles as a Boston Celtic. He was the guy younger players could go to and also instill words of wisdom to players such as Wall and Beal. Now that he is gone, it feels like that role has not been filled by the current players on the team.

The Wizards are only three games back of the eighth seed in the playoffs with a 26-30 record. However, it seems like a sense of urgency is needed to start making a run towards that spot is absent from the team. Players such as Wall and Beal can only carry the load so much and motivate their guys to the point where they are tired of repeating themselves. Although injuries have also plagued the team’s success, at a certain point a next man up mentality should be instilled in Washington’s players.

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It’s more than just guys deciding to be more vocal in the locker room and yelling when things are tough. They need to be able to hold each other accountable on the court as well. “If you don’t learn from it, then it’s our fault. This happens all the time with this team with this group of guys. Last year, the year before that, last week,” said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman, according to Jorge Castillo.

It’s a cycle the Wizards must break immediately if they want to have a chance at turning their season around.