- The Washington Times
Monday, January 24, 2022

Bradley Beal didn’t mince his words when talking about the Wizards’ 29-point drubbing at the hands of the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

Beal, the team’s leader who is having his worst statistical season since becoming a star player, called the 116-87 loss “embarrassing.”

“That’s probably the one and only word I have for it,” Beal said.

The Wizards are now below .500 (23-24) for the second time this season and are losers of four of their last five. After starting 10-3 for one of the best starts in franchise history, Wes Unseld Jr’s crew has gone 13-21 and is now in 10th place in the Eastern Conference — the final spot in the NBA’s new play-in tournament.

“Obviously, the result wasn’t what we desired, but nobody’s feeling sorry for us,” Unseld said. “So, whether we want to pout or feel bad and mope, or we can respond and change it ourselves.”

It wasn’t just losing by 29 points — the team’s largest defeat this season — that was tough to swallow, but that Celtics star Jayson Tatum, a good friend of Beal’s, went off for 51 points. The Celtics also made 19 3-pointers, the most Washington has allowed in a game.

On Monday, Kyle Kuzma, who has stepped up in recent weeks as the team’s No. 2 scorer, said the team has a “lack of urgency,” especially on the defensive end.

“Everything starts with the defensive mindset,” Kuzma said. “When we were 10-3, we played defense. We don’t play defense no more.”

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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