Wizards in jeopardy of making the wrong kind of history

Washington Wizards v Denver Nuggets
Washington Wizards v Denver Nuggets / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

Mired in a nine-game losing streak, the Washington Wizards will travel to the Paycom Arena to face off with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night in the second of back-to-back games for Washington. The road ahead for the Wizards is a rocky one, involving some tough matchups to close out the month.

OKC -16.5. 9-46. February 23, 2024. Wizards-Thunder (2/23/24). 38-17. 149. 142. Monumental Sports Network. 8:00 PM ET

Following their trip to Oklahoma City, the Wizards will return to the District for a quick two-game homestand against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors before going back out on the road for an intercalary day matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers. Having dropped each of their first eight games in February, another four losses to close out the month would be historically disastrous.

Wizards in danger of joining NBA history for worst month of February

According to the Stathead basketball database, there have been just eight instances of a team losing 12 games in the month of February in NBA history, most recently in 2000 when the Los Angeles Clippers went 1-14 in the month. The only team in franchise history to suffer this fate came in 1953 when the Baltimore Bullets posted a 2-17 record in February.

However, the list of teams to rack up 12 losses without recording a win narrows down to just two: the 1994 Boston Celtics and the 1999 Los Angeles Clippers. The 2024 Washington Wizards are in serious danger of becoming the first team in 25 years to join this club with only four games left in February to right the ship.

Against Oklahoma City, the Wizards will have to come better prepared to score inside than they were in Thursday's 130-110 loss against the Denver Nuggets. The Thunder boast the NBA's fourth-best defense in preventing points in the paint, allowing just 46.4 paint points per game to opposing offenses.

Coupled with their elite paint defense, the Thunder lead in the league in points per possession, playing smart, efficient basketball on the offensive end. The Wizards will have their hands full in Friday's matchup, looking to come out with better energy than they displayed in the altitude of Denver a night ago.