Washington Wizards: It’s Put Up or Shut Up Time

Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat talked about the team’s struggling second unit, but everyone on the roster needs to put up or shut up.

The Washington Wizards are entering Wednesday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers with the second worst record in the Eastern Conference (2-7), second only to their opponent (1-8).

Unfortunately, one of the teams expected to play competitive basketball this season and the other is still in the process of rebuilding.

With John Wall entering his prime, the Wizards can’t afford to waste another season.

Seven years into his career, Washington’s lone All-Star has only went to the postseason twice.

Put your fingers down

Recently, Marcin Gortat went on a mini-rant about the Washington Wizards’ second unit, calling them “one of the worst benches in the league.”

Has Washington’s bench under-performed? Absolutely.

The mix of Tomas Satoransky, Marcus Thornton, Kelly Oubre, Andrew Nicholson and Jason Smith hasn’t been productive, to say the least. Gortat wasn’t lying when he said Washington’s bench is one of the worst in the league, but openly talking about their struggles won’t help them put the ball in the basket.

More importantly, some of the starters – including Gortat himself – haven’t stepped up to make up for the difference.

Currently, the Wizards are in the bottom half of the league defensively. Gortat isn’t providing rim protection and opposing bigs have dominated the glass.

When the starters haven’t showed up, the team has let winnable games slip away.

Marc Gasol single handedly carried the Memphis Grizzlies to a comeback victory at the start of the season. Who’s to blame there?

Beal, on the other hand, has remained completely unreliable.

He missed the last two games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls with a minor hamstring injury. He’s shooting a career-low 36.6 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from three.

As Washington’s highest paid player, Beal hasn’t become the player the Wizards thought he’d be this season.

His off-season work, at last thus far, hasn’t resulted into much on the court.

Beal is a starter. If there’s anyone to blame for Washington’s failures – although the problem is much bigger than a single person – it’s him.

Have fun and change the attitude

Otto Porter and Markieff Morris are low-key having the best seasons of their respective careers.

Porter is putting up over 15 points and nearly 8 rebounds per contest on a 20.54 player efficiency rating, which is well above the league average.

Morris is shooting a career-high 43 percent from three and 86 percent from the free throw line. He’s become a go-to option for the Wizards offensively.

The two are the only players on the roster that actually look like they enjoy playing basketball right now. They’ve stayed quiet and performed their jobs. Everyone else, though, seems to be playing because they’re being paid to play – not because they enjoy the game.

Basketball is a simple game. Washington has the talent to win. The attitude has to change for that to happen, though. Scott Brooks has to refocus his core and get them to play basketball with passion. It’s not a chore.

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