Scott Brooks bashes "selfish" Wizards following loss to Hawks, the team's fourth defeat in a row

Yahoo Sports

At a time when playoff-bound teams should be ramping it up for the postseason, the Washington Wizards are breaking down. The team has lost four straight games, and after Friday night’s 103-97 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks — the worst team in the Eastern Conference and the third-worst team in the NBA — head coach Scott Brooks lambasted his team for poor play on both ends of the floor.

In his post-game press conference, Brooks, in his second year in Washington, called his team “selfish,” per the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner. The Wizards recorded just 18 assists as a team, well off their season average of 25.3 per game, fourth-best in the league. With John Wall resting on the second night of a back-to-back, no perimeter player recorded more than three assists. Marcin Gortat — the team’s starting center — led the way with four dimes.

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It didn’t help that the Wizards — who were already without Wall and backup center Ian Mahinmi — saw forward Markieff Morris get ejected in the first quarter for arguing with official Leroy Richardson.

With no Morris for most of the game and no Wall, the Wizards struggled to create open looks and shot just 40.2 percent. Bradley Beal poured in 32 points, but no one else scored more than Kelly Oube Jr.’s 13 — and he shot just 3 for 13. Brooks did not mince words about the brutal performance on that end of the floor.

Unfortunately for the Wizards, offense wasn’t the only issue: They allowed the Hawks to shoot 48.1 percent, even though Atlanta was without Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore and Malcolm Delaney. Taurean Prince led the way with 23 points and Tyler Dorsey scored 22 off the bench. Six Hawks players scored in double figures. Again, Brooks didn’t hold back:

The four-game losing streak over the past five days has caused the Wizards to fall all the way to eighth in the playoff seedings heading into the final few days of the regular season. On Sunday, the Wall-less Wizards were completely listless in a 113-94 loss to the lowly Bulls. On Tuesday, they got outscored by 22 in the first half en route to a 120-104 loss to the Rockets. And on Thursday, the team blew a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead to fall to Cleveland 119-115 despite Wall’s 28 points and 14 assists. And while Brooks insisted his team is still together, it’s been a very difficult week for a group with high postseason aspirations.

The Wizards are guaranteed a playoff berth — the seed could range from six to eight — and Wall has looked terrific in stretches following his return from midseason knee surgery. Wall and Beal form one of the most dynamic backcourts in the NBA, and there’s enough around them to make a playoff run. When the Wizards are fully healthy and focused, they can challenge anyone in the Eastern Conference. But right now they are neither, and as Brooks pointed out Friday, there are basic issues plaguing his team and not much time to fix them.

Scott Brooks (left) talks to officials following Markieff Morris’ (middle) ejection Friday. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Scott Brooks (left) talks to officials following Markieff Morris’ (middle) ejection Friday. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

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