The Washington Wizards’ team issues have been well-documented. Lack of defense, lack of bench scoring and lack of leadership are just some of the obvious trouble spots.

Apparently, it’s not just the fans who are frustrated as reflected at a team meeting hosted this past week that allegedly went terribly awry after player reports surfaced of fighting and loud talking during the discussion. The meeting, according to guard Bradley Beal “didn’t accomplish what we needed to accomplish.”

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots as Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) defends during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Washington hasn’t been accomplishing much on the court lately but did manage to send Beal, for the first time, and running mate John Wall to the All-Star game as both players were voted in this past week. Another week, another set of highs and lows for the Washington Wizards.

Back-to-back road losses to the Dallas Mavericks (98-75 on Jan. 21) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (121-112 on Jan. 25) flashes the spotlight on Wall. Washington’s squabble with the Mavericks was highlighted by an opposing player claiming that Washington’s players don’t like Wall. And, the team’s meeting with the Thunder on national television underscored Wall’s defensive efforts or lack thereof as Russell Westbrook exploded for 46 points. Wall has been at the center of criticism recently for his leadership skills. At 27-22, Washington isn’t in horrible shape, but considering their past playoff failures, the onus is on them to make more progress and the pressure is on. Especially with Wall.

The Wizards return to action with a home game against Westbrook and the Thunder again on Jan. 30. With Beal being elected to the all-star game for the first time in his career, Washington officially has an all-star backcourt along with five-time selection Wall. It hasn’t been the most inspiring season so far but Beal’s selection does outfit Washington with some additional prestige to pair with the emergence of high-energy reserve Kelly Oubre. A trade could still be on the horizon before the NBA trade deadline expires in February. And, if the Wizards elect to blow up the current regime, then they definitely have some ammunition that they can use to push the reset button.

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO