The Wizards already are immersed in self-doubt. They are out of sync and out of sorts, found wanting in purpose and cohesiveness.
They are not a pretty sight, whether it is Caron Butler missing three shots at the rim or Randy Foye, inexplicably, making an ill-advised move to the basket before halftime that allowed the Suns enough time to sink a 3-pointer.
The latter prompted assistant coach Sam Cassell to give Foye a quickie lesson in time management as the players made their way to the locker room.
That snapshot is emblematic of a team that is exhibiting a low basketball IQ and lacks a sense of urgency.
It is a team that provided only minimal resistance in succumbing to the Suns 102-90 on Sunday.
The Wizards never gave the impression that they were a threat to the Suns, even as they cut their deficit to 89-83 after Andray Blatche converted a layup with 6:11 left. Soon enough, the Suns were back on top by 13 points and cruising to the final horn.
Coach Flip Saunders knows there are no quick fixes to what bedevils the Wizards: poor shot selection, poor ball movement and a lack of trust.
“It’s never-ending,” Saunders said after the Wizards dropped their fourth consecutive game. “Our offense is stagnant. It’s one of those things where we’re going to have to keep on grinding.”
And keep preaching the basics, too.
“The formula is easy,” Saunders said. “The ball is sticking sometimes.”
The Wizards often are neglecting to make the extra pass. That is the pass that results in an open look at the basket. As it is, the Wizards are taking too many contested jump shots, with predictable results.
Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Foye combined to make 19 of 56 field goal attempts - 33.9 percent.
The lack of ball movement was one of the principal concerns in the locker room.
“As far as we go, we have to move the ball and trust one another,” said center Brendan Haywood, who finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.