With the roster changes the team has made over the past several seasons, everyone knew that the Wizards would compete for a playoff spot this year. For the first time in over 4 seasons, the Wizards have found themselves at .500 and third in the lowly Eastern Conference. If the Wizards continue to play .500 basketball, a playoff spot is essentially guaranteed but they have to stay the course.
Washington had a rough start to the season, but have quickly turned it around before the losses piled up. Even though the Eastern Conference is historically bad with only two teams with winning records, the difference between the 3rd and 9th seed are minimal. They’ll have three days off before they play their next game against the Milwaukee Bucks at home, and carrying the momentum over could certainly improve their chances of producing another winning basketball team in the east. The Wizards have won 6 of their last 8, and from the looks of it their upcoming games are a lot more winnable than they were at the start of the season.
- Dec. 6: Milwaukee Bucks
- Dec 9: Denver Nuggets
- Dec. 13: Atlanta Hawks
- Dec. 14: Los Angeles Clippers
- Dec. 16: New York Knicks
- Dec. 18: Brooklyn Nets
- Dec. 21: Boston Celtics
- Dec. 26: Minnesota Timberwolves
- Dec. 28/30: Detroit Pistons
From my count, the Wizards could potentially win 7-8 games of their next 10, which would put them well ahead of any other team below them in the standings. Washington has a legitimate chance to separate themselves from the rest of the conference if they continue to play .500+ basketball over the next few weeks. Washington’s offense has improved since last season, but their defense which was ranked last after the first week of the season, has also improved. The Wizards are currently ranked 12th in defensive efficiency, and they need that to continue improving since most of their offensive opportunities start on the defensive side of the floor.
For the first time in the John Wall era, the Wizards are starting to play winning basketball. I haven’t had this much fun watching the Wizards play in a very long time, and now that Bradley Beal and Otto Porter will hopefully return sooner rather than later, the product could improve even more.
It’s a great time to be a Wizards fan, but they have to stay the course.