Washington Wizards continue to be the only NBA team with no clutch wins

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We are 25 games into the season for the 2023-24 Washington Wizards, and they have shockingly not won a close game so far. In fact, the Wizards are the only team in the league that lost every single clutch game they played this season.

NBA.com defines clutch as the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime when the score is within five points. The Washington Wizards, regularly suffering blowout losses, have only played eight clutch games this season, tied for the fewest number in the league. In these games, they are 0-8 with a point differential of -66 in 30 minutes of clutch action. That is 25 points worse than the second-worst clutch team; the Detroit Pistons.

The game against the Phoenix Suns last night was the latest example of the Washington Wizards' late-game struggles. After leading by double digits for most of the game, the Wizards' offense came to a screeching halt in the fourth quarter. In the last five minutes of the game, Washington shot 4/16 from the field and 0/5 from three. If it wasn't for Daniel Gafford's four offensive rebounds in that stretch, the Wizards would have struggled to put any points on the board. The poor decision-making process in this stretch was best demonstrated by Jordan Poole's ill-advised shot selection late in the game.

The Washington Wizards don't have great isolation scorers to take over in late-game situations. So, the team needs to have a few offensive sets and actions they can go to when the game slows down in the half-court offense. Tyus Jones and Daniel Gafford had good pick-and-roll chemistry last night, but the Wizards didn't utilize it enough, instead choosing to trust Poole and Kyle Kuzma to close the game. Neither of them was having a great game, which in turn caused the Wizards to only score 19 points in the fourth quarter.

In 30 minutes of clutch action all season, the Washington Wizards have more turnovers than assists. They shoot 31% from the field, and 12.5% from three, while having only taken five free throws in these situations. These numbers perfectly illustrate the poor decision-making and shot selection in late-game situations. The Wizards fall into a hero-ball trap of taking difficult shots instead of attacking the rim, and getting to the free-throw line.

Coach Wes Unseld Jr has plenty of things to improve with this team. Holding onto leads by fixing the clutch offense is a big one.

Next. 4 head coaches. 4 head coaches who can replace Wes Unseld Jr. . dark