Late last season, when Bradley Beal called out the Wizards' locker room for lack of effort in an embarassing loss to the Sacramento Kings, he was angry.

This time, his emotions are more muted. He's unhappy with losing, and he relayed the vibe he's getting from coach Scott Brooks who may be at wits' end after a loss to the Orlando Magic that they had in hand entering the fourth quarter. 

"In the fourth we got hit and never recuperated from it," said Beal, who was held to 15 points on 6 of 17 shooting in a 88-86 loss at Amway Center.. "We got to find a way to be able to get stops and to be able to score the ball. We got to do one or the other.

"The biggest thing we can control is our defense and that’s all about effort and just wanting to play. I think coach, he’s pretty fed up with the way we’re playing. I think he’s going to start playing guys who want to play and guy who are going to show up."

The second unit has been a hindrance since the preseason and with Tomas Satoransky starting when John Wall sits its even more unstable.



The Wizards (1-4) tend to lose leads whenever Brooks has to pull starters. They certainly haven't been able to add any cushion for the starters for when they return, which has forced them to play heavier minutes:

  •  What had been an eight-point lead in the first quarter was a 29-27 deficit by 7:30 of the second quarter in Orlando. The starters returned and pushed it to 50-40 by halftime. In less than four minutes to start the fourth, a 70-61 lead was lost by the reserves. 
  • Trailing just 29-27 after the first quarter in the season opener in Atlanta, Brooks had to go back to his starters. After Kelly Oubre made a three-pointer, the Wizards went scoreless for three minutes as the Hawks extended their advantage to 38-30. The Wizards trailed 81-80 going into the fourth and in less than three minutes, they were down 91-82 as that game got away. 
  • With 3:32 left in the first quarter and a 27-15 lead in the home opener vs. the Toronto Raptors, the reserves allowed a 12-2 run. Brooks had to rely on starters so heavily that Marcin Gortat logged 43 minutes and his backcourt of Wall and Beal neared 40. And they still lost by 10.

If Beal is correct in suggesting Brooks is displeased, he could mix up things and maybe one of the Wizards' rookies, Sheldon McClellan, Danuel House or Daniel Ochefu, will get a shot soon.

Last season, the Wizards began 3-1 and ended up 41-41. So good start or not, the first few weeks of an 82-game can be deceiving, but the Wizards clearly have a lot of work to do.