Wizards Held Players-Only Meeting After January Slump: Latest Details, Comments

Joe PantornoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC -  JANUARY 28: The Washington Wizards are seen against the Denver Nuggets on January 28, 2016 at Verizon Center in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Things just aren't going well for the Washington Wizards this season. After a 2014-15 season in which they finished 46-36 and fifth in the East, the Wizards are 20-24, sitting in 11th place. They have lost five of their last six games.

On Thursday night, after a 117-113 loss to the Denver Nuggets, the team held a players-only meeting to try to right the ship.

"It's kind of similar to the past years. We've been through the same thing," Wizards guard Bradley Beal said to the media after the loss, per ESPN.com. "It always takes a team meeting or two to figure it out, but we're at the point now where we know what we need to do."

Luckily for the Wizards, they are playing in a weak-enough Eastern Conference, where they are only three games behind the eighth-place Indiana Pacers entering Friday night.

One solid week of play, and they could be back in the postseason picture with the majority of the season remaining ahead.

However, their defense needs to be addressed. In eight of their last nine games, Washington has allowed 100 points or more. They are currently 24th in the NBA, as they are giving up 104.4 points per game this season.

It's gotten so bad, All-Star guard John Wall told reporters, via ESPN.com, "We just can't guard a soul."

Forward Jared Dudley echoed those sentiments.

"For us, let's be honest...except for this game, none of the games have been close. ... This team can't score 80 points. This team is in the 100s. We have to be able to defend the three and stop turning the ball over."

For head coach Randy Wittman, it probably wasn't easy waiting for his players to conclude their exclusive meeting, but it could be the kick the Wizards need. It's one thing to have coaches throw adjustments and criticism a player's way; it's a completely different thing to receive it from his peers.

A Saturday night game in Houston against the Rockets will be the Wizards' first opportunity to turn things back around and start a charge toward the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.


Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.