The first signs of John Wall and Bradley Beal being leaders of the team is their comments immediately after a loss that should be in the win column. They know they blew it against the Memphis Grizzlies, and both starting guards didn't wait to point the finger at themselves.
"We just didn't finish the game. It's tough on my part. It's my job as the leader to finish the job," said Wall, who led the Wizards with 22 points and 13 assists but had five turnovers and made a bad read on the final play in regulation with the score tied at 100. "I got to do a better job of closing out for our team. We should've won this game. I should've closed it out for us."
The Grizzlies went on a 12-0 run in overtime to put the game away, led by four three-pointers from center Marc Gasol.
The candor for them isn't unique. They have spoken their mind in the past, most notably after Beal was agitated from a loss last season in Sacramento he said, "if guys don't want to play they need to sit down."
In this loss to Memphis that dropped the Wizards to 0-2, Beal was just 5 of 17 shooting and had some key mistakes down the stretch as well. Scoring 13 and 14 points in the first two games won't cut it for a starting shooting guard, especially one who just signed for $128 million.
"We let it slip out of our hands. Didn't play a great game. I definitely didn't," Beal said of his team squandering a 96-88 lead. "I'm going to take a majority of the blame for it. I didn't show up on the offensive end.
"We just got to figure out a way to close out games. We had a chance to win in regulation and we let Gasol get a wide-open three. We can't have breakdowns like that at the end of the game. Then in overtime, those first couple of minutes are crucial. Once you have that momentum it's prettty tough from there. They got a big lead on us and we couldn't score at all "