The season is almost over. There are roughly two months left before the playoffs begin and the Wizards, despite having Bradley Beal back in the lineup and John Wall stacking strong performances, aren't any closer now than they were a month ago to getting back in the picture.
"It's not pressure," Wall said after Saturday's 108-104 loss at the Charlotte Hornets when they blew a 19-point lead. "It's just simple."
Yes, it is. Make shots. Get stops. The Wizards (22-27) go through long stretches when they fail at both simultaneously.
They practice this morning at Verizon Center before leaving to play at the New York Knicks on Tuesday and Thursday at the Milwaukee Bucks. At best, they'll be three games under .500 entering the All-Star break.
Wall had a season-high 41 points in an understandable loss to the Golden State Warriors, the NBA's best team, his first triple-double of the season vs. the lowly Philadelphia 76ers and his 28th double-double of the season in Charlotte.
Despite the Wizards riding Wall heavily going into the break, they're not getting results. He has played 40-41 minutes three times since Jan. 28, including the entire second half against the Hornets when he finished with 23 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.
"I wanted to," Wall said of never leaving the court in the final 24 minutes. "Just keep me in the game. We got to win this game. We got to get in the flow. I thought we had the opportunity."
Last season, with Wall batting sprained ankles, the Wizards were struggling heading into the break and couldn't rest him. And they were losing games, too.
The difference was because of a 22-8 start, they were well above .500 then and could've risked sitting him. Not now.
It's difficult for anyone to say anything new about their problems not only closing games but playing with leads despite the efforts of Wall and Beal is eating at them. And it should.
"We're too complacent," Beal, who played back-to-back games for the first time since a stress injury to his lower right leg in early December. "The game is never over. Teams have come back from 30 before."
But will the Wizards come back from this? It's not impossible. They're only four games back in the loss column from the No. 4 seed in the East but the goal going into this season is the conference finals.
They've yet to show anything to suggest this team can meet that expectation.