Washington WizardsMarkieff Morris Sounds Off on Wizards Teammates' Effort in Game 2 vs. CelticsJoseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2017David Zalubowski/Associated Press
The Washington Wizards are down 2-0 in their Eastern Conference semifinals series with the Boston Celtics, and Markieff Morris isn't happy with his team's performance.
The Wizards were up by 14 points with a little under eight minutes left in the third quarter Tuesday night before losing 129-119 in overtime. After the defeat, Morris criticized the collective effort of his teammates, per USA Today's AJ Neuharth-Keusch:
We're not playing tough enough. We had the advantage late in the game and all we had to do was just play tough. We didn't have to make shots. We didn't have to get stops. All we had to do was play tough. We let them get offensive rebounds late in the game. Guys [were] just walking to the basket and we're just worried about our own personal (expletive). It's about the team. At the end of the day it's about winning and we didn't care too much about that tonight. We let them back in the game. We've got to regroup and get the next one.
An ankle injury limited Morris in Game 2, but he still finished with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists before fouling out with 1:07 left in overtime.
While it's too early to write off the Wizards' chances of erasing their series deficit, Charles Barkley was among many arguing Washington threw away a golden opportunity to steal a road win Tuesday, courtesy of NBA on TNT:
NBA on TNT @NBAonTNT
"This game is going to hurt for the Wizards… the Wizards should have won this game." – Chuck #InsidetheNBA #NBAPlayoffs https://t.co/48YXnQCDVE
5/3/2017, 5:23:51 AM
The first two games easily could've gone the Wizards' way. Prior to building a comfortable lead in Game 2, Washington got to within four points of Boston in the fourth quarter before the Celtics pulled away.
Morris' criticism is perhaps a tad too harsh, but the desperation his comments elicit is more than warranted given the stakes of Game 3 Thursday. No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in a seven-game playoff series.
No matter how tightly contested this series has been, losing Wednesday night would be a near-fatal blow to Washington.