Veterans Trevor Ariza and Al Harrington are both sidelined with injuries and will miss the Washington Wizards’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night at Verizon Center. But they don’t want their teammates to lose focus of the task at hand as they seek to rebound from their underachieving 2-7 start. Before the team’s morning shootaround, Ariza and Harrington organized a players-only meeting to discuss what needed to be done to turn around the season.

“We try to put everything together. All the leaders came together and now we try to find a way to win,” Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin said. “Everybody speak up, John [Wall]. That was a good thing for us. My first year, we never had this. We was losing all the time, by 30, 20, and nobody tried to fix it. But this year, we can see, we have some leaders on the team.”

Ariza, an eight-year veteran, has already won an NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers and Harrington is a 15-year-veteran who has played for both contending teams and lottery teams in the past. Neither want to see the Wizards continue to slide.

Despite their slow start, the Wizards haven’t lost much ground in the Eastern Conference. Indiana, Miami, Chicago and Atlanta are the only teams with winning records, and the Wizards are only two games behind Charlotte (5-6) for the fifth-best record in the conference.

“The team is still in high spirits,” Bradley Beal said. “I would say on paper and by the way we’re playing, we’re definitely a better team than we were last year, it’s just a few mishaps that we have at the end of games. Of course we had the same problems last year. You can kind of expect it in certain situations but we can’t have it every single game and it’s something we’re going to be able to turn around in due time and hopefully we’ll do that” against Minnesota.

Harrington did not participate in the shootaround as he is still recovering from a sore right knee, but he mentioned last week that the Wizards are in a different position from past seasons, when they were expected to struggle. Owner Ted Leonsis has already expressed his desire to reach the postseason.

“I just think this team is under pressure and we want to win,” Harrington said. “Guys said playoffs and when you’re 2-6, that’s not playoffs. Instead of being negative, we have to be more positive with each other and be more of a brotherhood and that’s the only way we can get through this.”