Speaking yet even more truth, Paul Pierce put the Wizards' 46-win regular season and No. 5 seed, which was a disappointment to many, into perspective. They should've been a 50-win team but there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes that contributes to lackluster play.
By deduction, you should be able to read between the lines exactly what he means. Pierce, 37, didn't name names after Friday's 106-99 win vs. the Toronto Raptors as they took a 3-0 series lead:
"During the regular season you always have your ups and downs, that's just the way it is. I always felt we were a better team than our record showed. We could've easily been a 50-win team. But sometimes that's the way the regular season goes. ... We're locked in, we're focused. Being with a young team sometimes throughout the 82-game season the focus isn't always there on a night-in, night-out basis. You're going to have your mental lapses. The young guys, a lot of them don't have any kids, they have good times on the road, they go out, party sometimes, that's the way it is. When I was a young guy I did those things. Sometimes you'e not locked in for the full 82. That's what it is. That's what the whole NBA is.
"I told them last week of the season, let's throw all that stuff out the window. It's time to focus on the job at hand. It's the playoffs. You got all summer to party, to go out with your friends and all that stuff. Right now it's the playoffs, it's serious business. I think that's what everybody is doing."
Remember the string of three losses by 14, 23 and 31 points in March? Falling to the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors wasn't the problem. It was how they lost. Then the blowout to the Sacramento Kings was more alarming.
Every time a team loses or underperforms or looks uninspired isn't a reflection of coaching or Xs and Os. Pierce is correct, he just peeled back the curtain a little. The Wizards aren't worse than any other team in this regard, but this is Pierce using his carefully chosen words to put his teammates on notice in case they get too excited about this victory.
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