"Throw A Squirrel A Nut!": Wizards Players Frustrated With Offense

The Washington Wizards started the season on fire, going 10-3 and sitting near the very top of the Eastern Conference. Since then? Not so much. A 6-12 skid has left them just a game over .500, and some players are voicing dissatisfaction with their (lack of) offensive touches. 

Josh Robbins of The Athletic reports that "frustrations are high."

Certainly, as Bradley Beal goes, the Wizards' offense goes. And other players realize that. However, Montrezl Harrell put it bluntly after one recent loss:

It’s like the old saying, ‘You’ve got to throw a squirrel a nut'. We’re not saying throw it to us and let us clear out and iso and go and do our thing. No. But at the same time, let us feel it, not just off rebounding and then giving it to a guard. No, let us get a touch early to get a shot. Let’s give us something to let us feel like we’re involved in the game as well.

Spencer Dinwiddie, who got off to a rousing start to the season but has seen his production—and assertiveness, says Robbins—drop off in recent weeks, also noted that "the process has got to be right."

Even in an impressive road win in Utah this past weekend, led by Beal's 37 points on 24 shots, Harrel had only 6 shots, while Dinwiddie went 0-for-7 from the floor.

The other issue, says Robbins, has been that the general lack of involvement on offense has also hurt their defense. Until holding the Jazz to 103 points on Saturday, their defense had ranked 27th in the NBA over the past month+, giving up 115 points per game. 

Head coach Wes Unseld Jr. says one shouldn't affect the other. "Whether you feel like you’re involved or you’re not getting a touch or whatever it is — maybe you’re getting a touch and it’s just not going in for you — there’s frustration," Unseld told Robbins. "That’s a normal, probably human reaction to that. But it shouldn’t affect your energy and focus on the other end."

Perhaps the 109-103 win over the Jazz in Utah starts the Wizards headed back in the right direction. And in turn, those squirrels will start finding some nuts. 

Photo Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports