Washington Wizards start 4-game gauntlet versus Denver Nuggets

(Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards probably aren’t too thankful for this hellish road trip out West.

The Washington Wizards are kicking off one of their toughest stretches of the season tonight when they take on the Denver Nuggets. Over the next week, the Wizards will play four games. Three will come against the top three teams in the Western Conference.

The trip will be full of reunions for this Wizards roster. They’ll get to see (and regret trading) Kelly Oubre when they visit the Suns. Isaiah Thomas will get three cracks at former teams in just four games. Thomas had a cup of coffee with the Lakers in 2018 before being shut down due to injury and spent all of last season in Denver despite playing in just 12 regular-season games. Way back in 2014, Thomas had an impressive but short run with the Suns before heading to the Boston Celtics.

Thomas Bryant, Moritz Wagner, and Isaac Bonga will look to get a little revenge against the Lakers, too. All three floundered in the purple and gold before coming to Washington and thriving. For next to nothing, the Wizards may have found their frontcourt of the future in Bryant and Wagner.

Davis Bertans already showed his teammates how to pull off the proper revenge game. There’s a chance we see one or two on this road trip.

Can the Washington Wizards Win out West?

Getting wins in any of these four games will be tough. Tonight, Action Network has the Nuggets favored by ten. Realistically, the Wizards’ best chance at a win is against Phoenix, but that’s the second half of a back to back so the Wizards might not be at their sharpest. Maybe we can hope LeBron extends his Thanksgiving celebration an extra day and invokes some load management for Friday.

The Wizards have been a scoring machine this season, still ranking as the NBA’s second-best offensive unit (per Basketball-Reference). Luckily, traveling hasn’t hindered their scoring.

While the Wizards do average six more points at home than they do on the road, they still score in bunches outside of D.C. In seven road games this season, the Wizards have averaged 117.0 points per game. That total would rank 5th in the entire NBA.

Hitting the road hasn’t hurt the Wizards’ offense, yet, but they haven’t faced defenses like these, yet, either. The Lakers currently have the NBA’s best defensive rating, and the Nuggets — who are holding opponents to fewer points than any other team in the NBA — aren’t far behind. Denver’s defensive rating is third-best in the league.

While you might have to scroll down a bit to find the Clippers on the list of top defensive ratings (they’re 10th), Those numbers don’t quite do them justice. The Clippers have defensive studs up and down the roster and can disrupt any offense, no matter how efficient or explosive. Scoring against Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Patrick Beverley is no small feat.

Next. 2020 NBA Draft: How top prospect could fit with the Wizards. dark

The Wizards offense has taken everyone by surprise. If they can find a way to keep up this scorching scoring clip on the road against some of the NBA’s best defenses, they’ll prove their impressive offense is no fluke.

Coming up with points will be tough. Coming up with wins will be even tougher.