It's that time of year, again. Actually, it's more than a bit earlier than usual, but it has officially begun.
"It" being the inevitable meltdown of Team Brain Drain, aka, the Washington Wizards.
The 2018-19 occurrence took only five games, but wow, the fuse on the annual Dumpster fire that is the Wizards' season has indeed been lit and after a 116-112 road loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
It's fully ablaze, as Washington's backcourt duo of Bradley Beal and John Wall confirmed.
“It’s talking. After the game, you hear it be loud as [expletive] in here, but during the game, it’s church mice," Beal said, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post.
"So we got to figure out — get out [of] that comfort zone. Sometimes we have our own agendas on the floor whether it’s complaining about shots, complaining about playing time, complaining about whatever it may be. We’re worried about the wrong [expletive], and that’s not where our focus needs to be and it’s just going to continue to hurt us.”
Wall, when queried about his thought's on Beal's comments on "agendas," pulled the second alarm bell.
“That’s the proof in the pudding. Everybody on their own agenda,” Wall said. “We showed glimpses when we do stuff as a team. We show how good we can be and then we go back to trying to do it individually, and that’s mostly on the defensive end. Not helping each other out, not team rebounding, and that’s what’s killing us."
Wall was just getting started, however.
“It’s just communication. Just putting effort," he said. "We got guys who’s worried about who’s getting shots, where the ball is going on the offensive end. We should never worry about that.
“No matter if we’re missing or making shots, we got to be able to compete on the other end and if you can’t do it on both ends of the floor, you don’t need to be playing.”
As is usually the case when a team is struggling, defense is a glaring indicator as to what's wrong with the Wizards (1-4) as it requires, as mentioned by Beal, communication and effort. Washington is allowing 122.8 points per game, 29th-worst in the league, ahead of only the Los Angeles Lakers (124.6), entering play Saturday.
In their five games so far, the Wizards have:
* Were beaten in their opener against Miami on a buzzer-beating putback by Kelly Olynyk.
* Allowed guard Fred VanFleet to hit the deciding hoop after another offensive rebound.
* Surrendered 124 points in a game in which they actually prevailed, in overtime, at Portland.
* Been kicked around like a rag doll by Stephen Curry of the Warriors, who somehow poked more holes in their defense by making 11 3-pointers in a 51-point explosion in Oakland.
* And to add insult to injury, permitted Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica to stand and shoot from the 3-point line and he cashed in, making 6 of 10 triples, prompting Washington coach Scott Brooks to say, “The big fella was wide open on too many of them."
Leave it to Wall and Beal, the focal points of the Washington franchise, to put a bow on what's gone down in the Wizards' first five games.
“It’s the simple things we talk about all the time,�� Wall said. “We know some guys are going to score. That’s the NBA. Guys are talented, but you have to have some type of pride.”
Talk, though, as the Wizards, who play Sunday night against the Los Angeles Clippers (3-2) on Sunday night (9:30) at Staples Center, seemingly prove every season, is cheap.
“It’s like, when are you going to put it all together?” Wall said. “We talk about it almost every game so far.”
Beal took it to even another level.
“We suck right now,” he said. “That’s all it is, and we’re not doing anything we’re supposed to do on the floor. On offense or defense.
"So, until we do that we’re going to continue to lose, unfortunately.”