Over the past month, the Washington Wizards have been one of the best teams in the NBA. Since April 7, the Wizards are 14-4 and are poised to overtake the stumbling Indiana Pacers for the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference if they keep it up. Although the difference between ninth and tenth won’t make a difference in the play-in tournament — the Wizards will almost certainly play the Pacers in the first play-in matchup — having a home-court advantage can’t hurt. The Wizards are 17-17 at Capital One Arena this season and 14-19 on the road.
The Wizards’ recent success can be attributed to a lot of things coming together at once. The Wizards have a top-ten defensive rating over their last 15 games (110.8). Russell Westbrook is playing out of his mind, racking up triple-doubles with ease and closing in on Oscar Robertson’s career record. Bradley Beal’s season of buckets has continued as he races Steph Curry for the scoring title. If Beal can win it, it would be the first such title in franchise history. All in all, the Wizards are playing their best basketball at the best possible time.
But not everyone is wowing in Washington this season. While Daniel Gafford is winning over fans on a nightly basis, and the All-Star backcourt looks nothing short of unstoppable, there are a few Wizards who have not quite lived up to their preseason expectations.