The Washington Wizards had 15 of their 39 regular season losses come at the hands of teams that finished the season with a losing record. Only six teams, all lottery bound, had more defeats at the hands of sub-.500 teams. If they had won a hair more than half of those games, 8, then they would have finished as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and won 50+ games for the first time in nearly four decades. But, they did not and some of the players had some reasoning as to why that is during their exit interviews.
Markieff Morris on the inconsistency this season:
“Sometimes it felt like it was immaturity. The team not coming to play against those easier opponents. It kind of hurt us in the long run. We did step up and play against the better teams to a tee. The playoff picture would have been a little bit different. [Don’t mean to] talk down to an organization, but we had to beat Atlanta, Detroit, Orlando. [The Magic] didn’t play any of their starters in the second half. We basically lost to a [G]-League team. That could have positioned us from eight to seven. We could have played Boston. I don’t know how that would have gone even though I didn’t want to play Boston. I think it was immaturity even though we’re a veteran team. I just think we didn’t prepare ourselves every night, come out and play our brand of playoff basketball.”
Kelly Oubre Jr. on the team’s lack of consistent effort:
“But at the end of the day, in the NBA, man, you’ve got to respect everybody the way you respect yourselves or want to be treated. So we kind of didn’t do that in some games, and we paid for it. At the end of the day, we learned from that. I don’t think that will ever happen again.”
Bradley Beal on the up-and-down season:
Probably our approach, our approach to the game and our focus. There were a lot of times that we were would just show up and think we were just going to win the game. You can’t do that. You have to respect everybody. You’ve gotta respect the work that you’ve put in and respect the work that they have put in and respect the game. I don’t think we did that and especially against .500 teams. The majority of those games could have put us in a better seeding position in the playoffs.”