Washington Wizards: 4 goals for the second half of the season

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Wizards Russell Westbrook.
Washington Wizards Russell Westbrook. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

Here’s what the Washington Wizards need to do to ensure that the second half of the season is a success.

Nobody’s perfect. It’s an obvious fact of life echoed by the likes of Miley Cyrus and J.Cole and even spouted during the end of one of Marilyn Monroe’s most popular films. To this day, 62 years after the release of ‘Some Like It Hot,’ the line is still true. Nobody is perfect. Especially not the Washington Wizards.

Technically, no NBA team is “perfect.” There’s not a team in the league without a loss this season. But the Wizards are a whole lot further from “perfect” than the Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets, or Los Angeles Lakers. The Wizards’ 14-20 record through the first half of the season has them sitting at 12th in the Eastern Conference Standings. If the playoffs started tonight, the Wizards would be extending their playoff-less drought to three seasons.

Fortunately, the playoffs do not start tonight. The Wizards have time to turn things around. The fact that they entered the All-Star break with an 8-3 record over their last 11 games is encouraging, but there is still more to improve upon.

Here are four goals for the Washington Wizards as they enter the second half of the season.

Goal #4: Limit turnovers

The Washington Wizards aren’t known for their defense, but they do rank towards the top of the league when it comes to points scored off turnovers. The Wizards average 19.4 points off turnovers each game, the fourth-best mark in the NBA at the All-Star break. However, their carelessness with the ball keeps them from capitalizing on their ability to quickly flip the floor.

Of the 15 players with the highest number of turnovers per game, two are Wizards: Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal. Westbrook currently leads all players in turnovers, with 4.8 per game. It’s the second-highest turnover per game average he’s posted during his career.

While the Wizards’ two stars are busy coughing it up, opponents are making the Wizards pay. Despite their high ranking in points off turnovers, the Wizards aren’t benefitting because they’re allowing their opponents to score nearly as many points as they do. The Wizards currently rank 24th in opponent points off turnovers (17.7). All their success on the defensive end taking the ball away is ultimately worth less than a bucket. After factoring in all the points they give up, the Wizards only have a 1.7 point advantage when it comes to scoring off turnovers.

If the Wizards can find a way to hold onto the ball, they’ll find themselves winning more often in the second half of the season.