Harrell, Caldwell-Pope Speak Out About Wizards’ Slide

The mood in the Wizards‘ locker room continues to sour, and Montrezl Harrell let his frustrations boil over after Saturday’s lopsided loss to the Suns, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. The Wizards, who have now dropped seven of their last eight games, trailed by as many as 36 points and registered their lowest point total in four years.

“It sucks, bro. That’s the mood of the team. It [expletive] sucks. Coming in here and teams are basically beating our [expletive] from start to finish. So, it sucks, man,” Harrell said. “Nobody likes losing. Everyone in our locker room is competitive-minded people and love to compete and get after it. But it just sucks right now because over the last eight games we’ve played, we lost seven of them. That’s tough for anybody to withstand or have on their plate. So, that’s the energy in the room right now, it just [expletive] sucks.”

The numbers were terrible across the board for Washington Saturday night before a late rally brought the final score to a deceptively close 95-80. The Wizards managed just 11 points in the second quarter as they trailed by 27 points at halftime. For the game, they shot 35.3% from the field and made just 5-of-24 three-point attempts.

Although he didn’t single out the coaching staff, Harrell suggested that his team wasn’t ready to play when the game tipped off. First-year head coach Wes Unseld Jr. has been emphasizing the need for more energy and effort, but Harrell doesn’t believe that should be a concern.

“I don’t know, but I’m tired of hearing the energy thing, bro,” he said. “If you can’t energize yourself or fire yourself up to be able to come here to play the game of basketball, bro, which is your job and you make a lot of money to do it, brother, then you’re in the wrong field, man. I’m tired of hearing that.”

Washington’s 10-3 start seems like a long time ago for a team that’s now 24-28 and in danger of missing the play-in tournament. Hughes points out that the Wizards have just one game left before Thursday’s trade deadline and the front office might consider Harrell’s comments as it discusses potential deals.

With a $9.72MM expiring contract, Harrell is among the candidates to be moved. After Thomas Bryant returned from an ACL injury last month, the Wizards have been trying to find playing time for three centers.

Harrell wasn’t the only player to speak out in frustration after the loss, Hughes adds in a separate storyKentavious Caldwell-Pope, who was acquired in the same trade that brought Harrell to Washington, said the team doesn’t have a defensive identity and isn’t talking enough on that end of the court.

“A lot slips with communication, I don’t know what it is,” he said. “We love talking to each other, but when we get on the court, no one talks to each other. That communication, it helps a lot. It helps on the defensive end, getting guys in position to defend or help. Offense, just talking everybody through it. …We just don’t have that consistency in the communication and playing hard.”

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