Washington Wizards: 5 reasons why the Wizards keep winning

Washington Wizards. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Wizards Daniel Gafford.
Washington Wizards Daniel Gafford. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The defense has gotten a lot better.

Defense has been an issue for the Washington Wizards for a while. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is a saga that spanned across multiple seasons. But wait! Have the Wizards finally figured out their defensive deficiencies.

As the Wizards approached the trade deadline and the second half of the season, it looked like it would be just another season of piss-poor defense. On March 24, the Wizards ranked 27th in the NBA in defensive rating. Pretty similar to where they had been the last two seasons: 30th and 29th, respectively. Then something changed.

Since the trade deadline, the Wizards have the sixth-best defensive rating in the NBA. Most, if not all of that credit, should go to Daniel Gafford.

Since he was given a chance in Washington, Gafford has been much better than advertised, and it really makes you wonder why the Bulls never used him more. But their “trash” is the Wizards’ treasure.

Gafford has only played 12 games with the Wizards, but his presence has already changed the way this team plays. Gafford is averaging 2.2 blocks per game since the trade. The last time the Wizards had a player averaged over 2.0 blocks for a season, the year was 20111, and the shot-blocker was JaVale McGee. This type of rim protection has been a long time coming, and it’s made an immediate impact.