The Wizards practiced what they have been preaching for weeks on Thursday night in their 92-85 win over the Denver Nuggets. For one night, there were no complaints about their focus and effort on the defensive end. It's a subject that John Wall and Scott Brooks, in particular, have harped on recently.
Wall himself saw improvement, afterwards saying: "I think we just played harder in the second half, that's the reason we came out with a win."
The Wizards saw against the Nuggets what can happen if they lock down on defense despite not having a great shooting night. The Wizards scored just 92 points and at times were cold on the offensive end. They shot just 36.5 percent in the first quarter.
"We've talked about us not playing hard, but it's really about being in the right spots," forward Markieff Morris said. "Some nights guys are just not gonna have it and other guys have to step up. That's what a team is."
While on the subject, Morris further discussed how the Wizards veteran core helps hold the team accountable. Brooks said earlier on Thursday that he likes seeing players communicate their differences and Morris considers himself a part of the leadership structure in a very specific way.
"It's a collective group. We're kind of a relatively young team. So, it's like Wall is the voice and I'm like the muscle. What he says, I will press it to them. Him and [Bradley] Beal, they're the leaders of the team and we just go as they go," Morris said.
"We talk about accountability all the time. At the end of the day, this is your job. You've gotta come to work just like everybody else. That's what you've gotta do on great teams is hold everybody accountable. Everybody's gotta do their job."