Fans booed the Wizards off the court following a 134-111 loss to the Thunder on Friday — but the players aren’t panicking, despite a 1-7 start.
“I’m not hitting the panic button … and I don’t think we are either as a team,” guard Bradley Beal said (per ESPN). “We understand it’s still early, it’s not perfect. We understand patience is running low from everybody, from ourselves. Nobody is more disappointed than us. I’m definitely going to say that.
“I’ll never give up on this team. What are we going to do about it? Just fold up early in the year and give up on the year or fight back and try to compete like we know we’re capable of doing? And I refuse to let the ship sink, so as one of the captains on the team I put a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. I’ve got to be better leadership-wise on the floor, giving more, leading by example, and hopefully guys will follow.”
The boos started in the second quarter and got louder as the Wizards walked off the court down 29 at halftime. The Wizards showed some fight in the third quarter, but Oklahoma City ultimately outplayed Washington for the victory.
Dwight Howard was a highlight of the night as he made his Wizards debut, scoring 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting in 23 minutes. Beal led the team with 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting, but Washington struggled defensively.
“Offense has never been a problem for us,” guard John Wall said. “We score the ball very well. It’s just what can we do on the defensive end. Until we figure that out, we’re going to have these same problems.”
Wall added: “It just looks like nobody is on the same page.”
The Wizards will host the Knicks (3-6) on Sunday with tip-off set for 6 p.m. ET.