Wizards, Kings Talk It Out

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HANG TIME NEW JERSEY BUREAU – After 12 days of the 2011-12 NBA season, the Washington Wizards remain the only team without a win. In fact, the only other team with less than two wins is the New Jersey Nets, who came back from 21 points down to beat the Wizards on opening night.

The Wizards’ schedule has been tougher since then, with road games in Atlanta, Milwaukee and Orlando, and a home-and-home with the Celtics. But they’ve had little chance to win any of those five games.

Offense has been problem No. 1 for Washington. They rank dead last in the league, scoring an anemic 89.5 points per 100 possessions. They’ve also been an awful rebounding team, ranking 26th in defensive rebounding percentage, 28th in offensive rebounding percentage and 30th overall.

Things have been bad enough after an 0-6 start that veteran forward Maurice Evans felt the need to call a players-only meeting on Thursday.

“We have to be real with ourselves,” Evans said. “The sense of entitlement that’s here sometimes, I’ve never seen before.”

So the players hashed things out for 15-20 minutes or so, discussing leadership and players’ roles. Evans, who has seen a lot playing for seven teams over nine NBA seasons, felt teammates needed to be reminded that playing time is earned, not given.

“I almost got a sense of relief from the players that it was finally said,” Evans said. “It was almost like something that was taboo or Pandora’s box and no one’s never really touching or addressing the issue. It was just enough dancing around the issues, enough of going through the motions.

“You could tell just in our actions that the guys are competing and they want to get better and they want to win … but one thing goes wrong and we’re so fragile at that point that we’re not on the same page.”

Leadership and accountability are certainly lacking in Washington. They’re also lacking in Sacramento, where Chuck Hayes organized a players-only meeting on Thursday as well, according to Matt Kawahara at the Sacramento Bee:

At the meeting, said DeMarcus Cousins, players “had our heart-to-hearts, we all discussed what we need to do better, we all held each other accountable. Chuck, he got on the bigs. I got on the bigs. (Francisco Garcia) got on the guards.

“It showed tonight,” Cousins said. “We went over film and showed our mistakes, just rotations and how in the offense we catch (the ball) and just stop. So we went over a lot and we got a good thing out of it.”

Francisco Garcia said he addressed the team, not just the guards, about the need to play together on the defensive end.

Guard Marcus Thornton said the main message players took away from the meeting was that better effort was needed.

That, along with a coaching change and 23 offensive rebounds, sparked the Kings to a 103-101 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night.

Will Evans’ meeting similarly help the Wizards? On Friday, they host the New York Knicks (7 p.m. ET, League Pass), a team that’s dealing with its own crisis. They’re two desperate teams who feel like they can use a weakened opponent to get back on track. It will be bad offense vs. bad defense, so something’s got to give.

11 Comments

  1. mattman says:

    chuck hayes was a great pick up for a kings team that needed a proven veteran leader..i admire his decision to hold a meeting for the kings who started out well, but have gone backwards since then..demarcus cousins should play in the nba, but head cases can get in the way of a team winning..if he isn’t able to get his act together and just play ball, the kings are going to continue to have problems

    mindofmattman.blogspot.com

  2. FAIR-BUT-TOUGH says:

    The Wizards are clearly lacking some leadership and Rashard Lewis is no leader! Andray Blatch is a liability in this team and needs to be traded for an older veteran type player. Blatch is a walking headache that might believe that he is too good for a role player. The Wiz should take a page out of Chicago’s book and see what the Bulls did to bring along Rose and do the same for young Wall. They need a veteran power forward and I say Lamar Odom for Blatch straight swap. That way Odom would start alongside McGee & Lewis as their frontcourt and allow the rookie Vesley Singleton to come along slowly of the bench & in couple of seasons time would eventually take over as starters. Getting a veteran PG to come of the bench for John Wall wouldnt hurt either hence why getting rid of Kirk Hinrich hurt them!

    • Badgers says:

      Odom is on a one year contract which the Mavs will want to keep for cap space in the summer, hoping to lure Dwight Howard. Not sure about Blatche’s contract but if its longer than one year, Mavs won’t be interested.

  3. allaroundballer says:

    wolves need a meeting too!

  4. BullsFan#1 says:

    I think the kings have great young talent. I actually like the intensity Cousins bings to them. The Kings also added John Salmons and are 3-5. Last time I checked that’s good for them… The real team that has a problem is the winless wizards…

  5. Harv says:

    I feel bad for the wizards, maybe it will all change when Vesely comes into the lineup but its pretty unlikely.

    As for the kings, its like OKC a few years ago. LOADS of potential but will it come to light? I am really not sure until they get a decent coach & Keith Smart certainly isnt the man that will do it.

  6. Jay Moslehi says:

    Let me say one more comment, that better convince some fans out there that the kings are hard working….

    Tyreke Evans stayed in the practice facility until 2 in the morning just shooting free throws and working after a blowout vs the bulls. Then he and thornton met and discussed how they must get their act togther…

    there is a difference between sac and washington: “We work hard, our fans are dedicated, and we have great chemistry”

    Kings are like brothers

  7. Jay Moslehi says:

    I can’t take u people outside of sacramento. COUSINS AND MY KINGS are getting along fine now. Our new coach smart has influeneced our team to bond as a family!

    I have the pleasure of attending many sacramento games and see everything that goes on. I was at the kings game last night and all i saw was hugs from demarcus cousins with the coach and our GM was hugging everyone!

    Please stop callng cousins a thug. He is by far one of the hardest working centers this season and is able to do work on both sides of the ball!!!!

    Sacramento knows about worth ethic and it will take time to lower cousins ego but with time he will learn each night!!

  8. Dean says:

    The one difference between the Kings and Wizards: The Kings at least can score points. They also don’t have an ego problem like the Wizards players who have a problem on BOTH ends. I feel bad for John Wall. The Wizards prove that going young doesn’t always work. Wizards need more than a discussion–They need VETRANS. Sacramento has more potnetial on their side at this point.

  9. KINGSFAN says:

    I hate watching NBA players like DeMarcus Cousins, what a puck this guy is! Him and Metta need to have ego checks and get on with basketball! As for the Wizards they better find a way to win or it’s going to be a long season!

  10. lakershater says:

    Sacramento needs to get rid of that punk!