WASHINGTON -- Having won five of his first six career games as an NBA head coach, Wes Unseld Jr. didn't have much to complain about as the Wizards opened this season. Wednesday's loss to the Raptors offered the first window into how he handles the messaging after a difficult loss. Though the Wizards had lost two of their previous games, Wednesday's marked the first time they have lost two straight under Unseld Jr.
It also featured a lot that the head coach didn't like. He opened his postgame press conference with a harsh assessment.
"I didn't like our effort or focus and it started early. I don't think we were prepared to get hit the way we did. I don't think the box score reflects it, but we didn't meet the challenge," he said.
The Wizards lost 109-100 in a game they trailed by as many as 16 points. The Raptors held the Wizards to just 8-for-32 (25%) from the 3-point line
There was no other stat that really stood out on the box score as an area Toronto had a major advantage. It was more intangible in Unseld Jr.'s eyes. He didn't like how his team responded particularly in the first half, which included a second quarter where the Raptors outscored the Wizards by 11 points.
Bradley Beal, who scored a team-high 25 points, saw it similarly.
"I think just the whole game they were more physical than we were. They were taking us out of actions, they were pushing us off our spots, just being more physical than we were. They kind of punched us and just kept punching," he said.
Beal added that it's expected anytime you play the Raptors to see physical defense. He tipped his cap to head coach Nick Nurse, who he says always has a new type of "junkyard defense" to throw at him. Beal didn't score in the final 4:36 of the game.
Unseld Jr. feels the Wizards may have let their hot start give his team too much comfort. Their 5-1 record was the best for the franchise after six games since 2005-06, a span of 16 years.
The Wizards had also beaten some good teams, including these same Raptors on opening night. But that strong beginning to the season may have also helped other teams to view them differently.
"I think we had some success, and it was great early, but it's a new month. We have to continue to buckle down and understand what we're about to face," Unseld said.