NBA Legend Isiah Thomas has Valuable Advice for Washington Wizards and Bradley Beal

Published 01/10/2021, 6:00 AM EST
Dec 31, 2020; Washington, DC, USA; Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards reacts after being called for a foul during the closing seconds of the Wizards 133-130 loss to the Chicago Bulls at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Carr/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


It has not been smooth sailing for the Washington Wizards. One could have predicted a lot of different outcomes for them when they traded for Russell Westbrook. But lying rock bottom in the Eastern Conference table with a 2-8 losing record was not one of them.

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Washington Wizards need to pay attention to defense

While they have been firing on all cylinders on the offensive end, their struggles are more glaring on the defense. Though they rank 19th overall in overall defensive rating, they are 30th in the fourth quarter.

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Dec 29, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) gestures during the first half against the Chicago Bulls at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Former NBA champion Isiah Thomas feels they need to work on it if they want to overcome this unfortunate spell –

“I think the players and the coaching staff really have to start focusing on defense. I guess they still call me old school because I believe defense wins and you have to be able to stop the opponent and to be able to score on the opponent.”

The former Detroit Pistons‘ guard knows what he is talking about. His ‘Bad Boy Pistons’ team was notorious for its toughness, and rarely allowed the opposition to score easily.

“You have to come together on a game plan with the coaching staff… when you get the reputation of being a weak defender, then guess what, you’re going to get attacked every single night,” said Thomas.

“And even the not so great scorers are going to believe that they can score on you. So if you don’t stop this right now, this is going to be a problem throughout the rest of the season.”

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Was trading John Wall for Westbrook a poor decision?

It is certainly not a good look on the Wizards’ front office that Wall is having such an impact with the Rockets. He was superior to Russ in protecting the rim. While Bradley Beal is leading the scoring charts with 35.0 points per game, they need someone else to hold the other end.

Dec 29, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts after a shot against the Chicago Bulls during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

It is still not too late for the Wizards, considering the talent that they have at their disposal. Maybe they can turn their season around and make the Playoffs. But for that to happen, they must start playing some defense too.

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Bharat Aggarwal

753 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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