With the NBA restarting very soon, the battle for the playoffs spots will continue. In the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics all secured early qualifications for the playoffs before the suspension of the season in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the focus will be on the five remaining playoff spots in the Eastern Conference as the level of competition intensifies. One of the teams who will be hoping to make the late push for a playoff spot is the Washington Wizards. At the moment, the last playoff place in the Eastern Conference, which is currently occupied by Orlando Magic, looks to be the only option for the Wizards if they can somehow record a lot of wins from the remaining games of the season. However, it will be a steep mountain to climb for the Wizards, who are 9th on the Eastern Conference table and third in the Southeast Division with a 24-40 win-loss record and a .375 win percentage. The Wizards’ current position puts a lot of pressure on them to have a strong finish to the end of the season and hope that some of their rivals in the playoffs fight will go on bad runs in their remaining games. Failure to qualify for the playoffs in two consecutive seasons will be a big blow for the One-time NBA Champions who have made regular appearances in the playoffs in recent years.
We take a look at the Washington Wizards’ season so far along with their key performers this season and expectations for the remainder of the season.
Washington Wizards’ season so far
After a summer of numerous additions and outgoings from the roster, Washington Wizards went into this season with a lot of excitement and expectations. However, the team failed to get the perfect start to the season that they had wanted as they lost their season opener on the road at Dallas Mavericks. Washington Wizards managed to recover from opening day loss in their second game of the season as they won 97-85 on the road at Oklahoma City Thunder. Their victory was short-lived as they lost their next six of their next seven games. The poor run of results would eventually come to an end as they won three of their next four games. After the opening 13 games of the season, the Wizards had won just five and lost eight times, giving them a 5-8 win-loss record. At that stage of the season, it had become apparent that inconsistency would be a recurring theme in the Wizards’ performances. Failure to address the discrepancies at the early stage of the season would go on to affect Washington Wizards as they recorded five wins and 16 defeats in their next 21 games. After 34 games into the season, Washington Wizards had an abysmal 10-24 win-loss record. Three wins and one loss in their next four games at the beginning of January saw the Wizards gain a little momentum and put together significant wins. However, the good run wouldn’t last long as the Wizards lost three straight games against Utah Jazz, Chicago Bulls, and Toronto Raptors afterward. Those defeats provided the turning point for the Wizards as they claimed seven wins and five losses in their next 12 games. Since then, the Wizard has found themselves in a slump once again as they have only managed to pick up four wins from their last 11 NBA games.
Key Performers on the Washington Wizards’ roster so far this season
Washington Wizards’ poor form in the current season hasn’t had any massive effect on the performances of some of their top players. Amongst the Wizards’ talented roster, the standout player has been Shooting Guard Bradley Beal. The 26-year old Shooting Guard has enjoyed his best-ever season in his 8th year with the Wizards. This season, Beal has averaged 30.5 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per game and 6.1 assists per game in 57 games. Also, he has an average of 1.2 steals per game, 0.4 blocks per game, and 3.4 turnovers per game. Beal was also rewarded for his impressive showings in October with a 2-year, $72 million contract extension.
Aside from Bradley Beal, the likes of Small Forward Davis Bertans, Power Forward Rui Hachimura, Point Guard Isaiah Thomas, and Center Thomas Bryant have also made meaningful contributions to the team so far this season.
What’s next for Washington Wizards?
At the moment, Washington Wizards’ chances of qualifying for the playoffs at the end of the season don’t look realistic. It will only take a miracle for Washington Wizards to grab a late playoff spot. The odds are against them in the race for the remaining playoff places. However, they will still retain a glimmer of hope when the NBA resumes.