Quick Links

Wall: Wizards are failing at 'simple basketball'


Wall: Wizards are failing at 'simple basketball'

The failure to communicate in a new system is responsible for some of the Wizards' turnovers, after their second embarrassing performance in a row when they had 26 turnovers in a loss at the Atlanta Hawks. But it's a cop-out to continually blame it on that and even John Wall has acknowledge that much.

The Wizards' backcourt of Wall and Bradley Beal were on different pages in a 114-99 loss Saturday, and when that happens the turnovers become contagious. They're the two primary ballhandlers who set the tone.

"Not being in the right positions a couple times when we drove baseline, the guy supposed to be drifting to the corner. He wasn't there," Wall said afterwards.

It happened at least twice on Wall's seven turnovers. He drove into the paint and was expecting Beal to continue sliding to the deep corner. Instead, Beal stopped and it was a throwaway. That was turnover No. 12. Beal led the way with eight turnovers before exiting the game with a left shoulder injury.

Given that this is a new offense, moments like this have been explained away since the preseason. Having 50 turnovers in their last two regular-season games, including 24 in Friday's 118-98 loss at the Boston Celtics, is inexcusable.

"Some of them, just careless turnovers. Some of them you give credit to their defense for getting deflections and being in the right situations and making gambles," Wall said. "We showed what it can do when we do it the right way. We also showed how bad it can be when we don't do it the right way.

"Some of the turnovers we have have nothing to do with the process. It's just knowing simple basketball."

MORE WIZARDS: By the numbers: Wizards committing turnovers at alarming rate

Quick Links

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

This weekend was already going to be special for Washington Wizards fans. Now they will get souvenirs to remember it.

As part of their celebration of Phil Chenier's legendary career and the 40th anniversary of their 1978 NBA championship, the Wizards are handing out emoji signs on Friday night and commemorative t-shirts on Sunday. All fans in attendance will receive a giveaway.


The emoji sign has Chenier's face on it and will be handed out for the March 23 game against the Nuggets. Chenier will have his jersey retired at halftime during the game. 

The emoji sign is presented by NBC Sports Washington. You're welcome, Authentic Fans.


The shirts will be given out on Sunday when the Wizards host the New York Knicks. 

Here's the front...

And the back...

Let's take a closer look at that back...

As a reporter who has received many giveaways over the years at pro sports stadiums, these are uniquely awesome. Should be a great weekend for Wizards fans. See you at the arena.


NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!


Quick Links

Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

As if they needed a reminder, the Wizards saw firsthand on Wednesday night just how much can change in a short period of time in the Eastern Conference playoff race where just two games separate the No. 3 and No. 6 teams.

That No. 6 team is now your Washington Wizards, who began the day in fourth place but lost their first game in four days on the same night both the Cavs and Sixers won theirs. 

The Wizards lost to the Spurs on Wednesday and managed only 90 points, their fewest since Jan. 22. It was a lackluster performance in a game the Wizards needed to treat with urgency. 

The Spurs sure did.

"We've gotta have a better mentality coming into games," guard Bradley Beal said. "The Spurs were fighting for playoff seeding just like we were."

The Wizards have now lost six of their last 10, yet all those games have come against teams currently holding playoff spots. Considering John Wall remains out with a left knee injury, it's hard to fault them too much when they are staying afloat just fine in the big picture.


The problem is that the closer they get to the end of the season, the more these losses are magnified. They amount to missed opportunities, some bigger than others.

That was not lost on Beal, who considered the alternative. If the Wizards had beaten the Spurs, they would be sitting in fourth, two spots higher, and just a game-and-a-half out of third.

"Every time we have a chance to move up, we take two steps back," Beal lamented.

The Wizards are in a high stakes part of the standings where plenty is in the balance. They are fighting for home-court advantage, something they would get in the third or fourth spots. And who they match up with will be paramount.


By falling to sixth, the Wizards are currently in line to play the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though the Pacers and Sixers are also good teams, they don't have LeBron James. Avoiding him and the Cavs would be ideal for the Wizards.

Beal has even bigger worries than that. He noted after the loss in San Antonio that they could fall even further if they aren't careful. They are now just a game-and-a-half up on the seventh-place Heat. 

"We've gotta realize what's at stake, man. The way we're going, we could keep dropping and mess around and be eighth. We've gotta do whatever it takes to win," he said.

The Wizards should be fine if the previous two months are any indication. But Wednesday night was another example of how precarious things are for them this season in the tightly-packed Eastern Conference.


NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!