This is your Morning Commute. Additional links after the jump.
I will never get down on a team that isn't winning because they don't have enough talent to compete. I watched a lot of Washington Nationals games for this website, and they lost most of them. But they played hard every night, so I found myself starting to root for them.
But there is no excuse for a team not giving maximum effort night in and night out, no matter how badly you may be over matched. And in a game where there isn't that much of a discrepancy in talent, there is no way the Wizards should come out like they did against the 76ers last night. They looked pretty awful throughout a 27 point blowout loss to Philadelphia, who should make the playoffs, but aren't an elite team by any means. Even more disturbing then their effort on the court were their actions off of it.
According to Michael Lee of the Washington Post, JaVale McGee was pulled out of the game last night and began yelling at Flip Saunders and assistant coach Randy Whittman, who yelled back at him. McGee explained after the game.
"We're tired of losing. Tensions build up when you're tired of losing. Coaches and players, we're tired of losing. That's it," McGee explained. "It's very embarrassing. We've just to figure it out. We've really got to figure it out."
I never like to see a player yelling at his coach, but I do like to see that losing is affecting McGee so much. But when he reacts like he did, it just makes the team look worse, and a blowout loss seem even more disheartening. Speaking of heart.
"Nobody has heart," Wall said.
Well that doesn't sound very good. Like I said, I would never get on the Wizards if they played hard and lost to a team that was better than them. There are certain losses that are tolerable. But they continue to lose in ways that force their center to act out on the sideline, and their point guard to question the team's heart. That is not a good way to go out.
There won't be very many teams that the Wizards are better than on a given night. But they can at least be competitive in almost all of the games they play. Even if they continue to lose, the losses might go over a little bit smoother if they play hard. I'm not expecting them to turn the whole season around, I'm just hoping they start to play with a little bit more pride.
Must reads from around the SB Nation Newtork:
- Mike Prada explains why he is lukewarm on the Kirk Hinrich trade at Bullets Forever.
- Japers' Rink with a round up of NHL Power Rankings from around the Web.
- What Testudo Times learned with the win over Florida St. last night.