Even with the addition of Russell Westbrook and No. 9 overall pick Deni Avdija, expectations weren’t exactly super high for the Washington Wizards heading into the season. Still, they would have hoped things would be going better than this. On Tuesday night, the Wizards lost to the Chicago Bulls, 115-107, to fall to 0-4 on the season.
They’re now one of only four teams in the league without a win, and are off to their worst start since the dreadful 2012-13 campaign, when they dropped their first 12 games. It’s hard to imagine things will get quite that bad this time around, but right now the Wizards don’t seem to have any answers, and the poor start is already taking a toll on the team’s stars.
Westbrook is one of the most competitive players in the league and was seen sulking on the bench after Tuesday’s loss. Assistant coach Robert Pack eventually came over to say a few words, before Westbrook finally made his way to the locker room.
Afterward, Westbrook noted how difficult the losing streak has been on him. He’s been on winning teams his entire career, missing the playoffs just once since his rookie season.
“It’s a tough time, but you gotta figure it out, especially for myself,” Westbrook said. “I really, really hate losing so it’s tough for me to kinda reset. But as being a leader, you can’t lead just when things are going well. You have to lead when things aren’t going your way.”
As for Beal, he simply declined to speak to the media on Tuesday night, which makes it pretty clear how he’s feeling. It’s worth noting that Beal took a hit to the head during the loss to the Bulls and had to be checked for a concussion, but he did return and finished the game.
What’s worse for the Wizards is that they haven’t had some sort of brutal schedule — losses to the 76ers, Magic (twice), and Bulls — and there’s really not too much more that either one of their stars can be doing. Beal has been stellar, putting up 32 points per game, which is good for third in the league, while Westbrook is averaging a(n inefficient) triple-double at 19 points, 13.7 rebounds and 12.7 assists.
Between the pandemic, shortened training camp and no fans at games, this is a strange season on multiple fronts. And as the Wizards are showing, it’s going to take a while for some teams to adjust.