Jan 15, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) celebrates with Wizards power forward Trevor Booker (35) against the Miami Heat in the fourth quarter at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 114-97. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards must take advantage of their upcoming schedule, could go over .500

The Wizards are coming off their most impressive win of the season, 114-97, over the LeBron James led Miami Heat at home. Despite being one game below .500, the Wizards find themselves sitting comfortably at the 5th spot in the Eastern Conference. Now that they’ve beaten the defending champions at the Verizon Center where they’ve surprisingly struggled to get wins this season, the Wizards have some great momentum continuing their 5-game homestand. Here’s a look at their next six games, four of which take place at home:

  • Jan. 17th: vs. Chicago Bulls
  • Jan. 18th: vs. Detroit Pistons
  • Jan. 20th: vs. Philadelphia 76ers
  • Jan. 22nd: vs. Boston Celtics
  • Jan. 24th: at. Phoenix Suns
  • Jan. 25th: at. Utah Jazz

Washington has already beaten four of the six listed teams, all of which are sporting records below .500. The Wizards only have 2 victories against “winning” teams, so they shouldn’t have much trouble beating the struggling Eastern Conference clubs. They’ve already beaten the Bulls, Pistons, 76ers, and Celtics on the road, but they’ve yet to play against either the Suns or Jazz. If all goes well, the Wizards could potentially string together quite a few wins this month, putting them a few games above .500 and ultimately higher in the standings.

Without Derrick Rose or Luol Deng, the Bulls will inevitably struggle to get wins on the road, especially against a team carrying momentum like the Wizards. Washington has beaten Detroit twice this season, while the 76ers and Celtics are comprised in hopes of landing a top pick in this upcoming NBA Draft.

The Phoenix Suns have been the most surprising team in the NBA this season, but they’ve also lost Eric Bledsoe to injury and have since lost some very winnable games to struggling teams. Like Philadelphia and Boston, the Utah Jazz are also in the beginning stages of a rebuild and should be considered the underdogs against Washington.

With all of that said, I think it’s pretty clear that the Wizards have a shot at finally getting over the .500 hump this season. After this upcoming weak stretch of games, Washington’s schedule really begins to pick up, so it’s important that they secure enough wins to remain atop the playoff picture. John Wall has talked about making the playoffs before training camp even begun, and if the Wizards are serious about potentially making some noise in April, they’ll have to find a way to win games they’re supposed to win. We could be looking at a decent winning streak for the Wizards.

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