Like the two interviews before him, Bradley Beal wasn’t able to summarize the Wizards’ shocking 116-115 loss very well.
The only word that kept coming to mind was the same one for he, Kyle Kuzma and Wes Unseld Jr.: Embarrassing.
The Wizards’ blown 35-point lead Tuesday at Capital One Arena against the Clippers was the team’s fourth loss in a row and second loss that fell in the “embarrassing” file. Sunday, the team lost by 29 points to the Celtics at home and allowed 51 points to Jayson Tatum.
Tuesday’s loss to the Clippers was worse.
“I really was sitting for the last 10 to 15 minutes trying to figure it out and I have no words — besides embarrassing,” Beal said of how the Wizards blew the lead. “I don’t know.”
Beal played 39:37 and scored 23 points, which led the Wizards, but was far too many minutes considering that the team led by 30 at halftime. What should’ve been a nice, comfortable night for Beal on the bench turned into a game they had to play their starters down the stretch.
“For whatever reason we were lax, like we could just flip on the switch and be great,” Beal said. “We haven’t proved that all year. But for whatever reason, we go back into this shell of thinking we can flip on this switch into the third and early fourth and it kicks us in the foot every single time. You give them life, they’re going to have confidence. There’s no other way of putting that. We’ve gotta be dogs. You gotta have heart. You can’t teach that stuff.”
The loss dropped the Wizards to 23-25 on the season with three tough road games (Memphis, Milwaukee and Philadelphia) on deck followed by three home games against the Suns, Heat and Nets.
Notably, the Nets game falls just a few hours after the NBA’s trade deadline. And after a loss like that to the Clippers, paired with the previous skid the team has been on (13-22 since a 10-3 start), tough questions will have to start being asked and answered about how to bounce back before the team’s next game Saturday. And that starts with Beal.
“They’re important,” he said of the next three days off. “Gotta understand who we are and what we are and what are we trying to achieve, honestly? What kind of team are we trying to be? I think that’s my biggest question to all of us as a unit. Who are we trying to be? Either we want to be a winning team or we don’t. We’ve got a couple days to figure it out. It doesn’t stop.”
With just over two weeks left until the deadline, Beal was asked about his future in D.C. He emphasized, as he’s done, that he wants to win above all.
“I have a lot of conversations with Tommy, we’re very transparent with what we want to do and what my future looks like,” Beal said. “Yeah, the deadline is coming up and I’m very well aware of how we’re playing and how other teams are playing and what my interests are. Granted I’m giving this organization an opportunity to prove that and show that, I’m a big factor into that too in producing and paying well.”
Beal added he cannot control trade speculation and what they might be as the deadline nears. But now, it stands to reason that those voices will only get louder.
“We got the pieces, we got the assets, we got the depth, everything that we bragged about at the beginning of the year,” he said. “Now let’s put it together and make it work.”