The Washington Wizards are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference standings and the inconsistency of other conference foes is giving the Wizards a chance to establish themselves as a legitimate playoff team.
With a 29-28 record, the Wizards would be in the tenth spot if they were in the Western Conference. Fortunately for them, that is not the case. As many NBA followers know, the East is abysmal in terms of records and that plays in favor of the Wizards. Now is the ideal time for head coach Randy Wittman and his squad to take the opportunity to leave many other teams behind in the dust. The fact of the matter is that the Wizards are on the cusp of being very good. Consistent basketball is on the horizon. Is this the dawn of a new era for the franchise?
The Wizards have a chance to climb up the standings and possibly capture the third spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They most likely will not catch the Miami Heat (40-14) or the Indiana Pacers (43-13) before the playoff picture is completed but every other spot is up for grabs.
Washington is a half-game behind the Chicago Bulls (30-26) and also trails the Toronto Raptors (32-25) by three games. Yes, the Toronto Raptors are in third place. Get the memo! This isn’t the same Eastern Conference that fans are used to seeing, which makes this is an ample opportunity for Washington to look like the cream of the crop in the East.
A huge problem with the Wizards is that they look as if they are afraid to be good. They have been dilly-dallying all season and their numbers are a testament to that. Mediocrity describes their season in a nutshell. A 15-14 record at home. They also have a 14-14 record on the road. Washington scores 99.6 points per game but turns right around and gives up 99.2 points on defense.
Despite the aforementioned statistics, there is a bright side to their mediocre play this season and that is the thought of them actually playing on a consistent level. That is where the magic comes into play. With 25 games left, imagine if the Wizards improved their home record of 15-14 or even went on the road and picked up a couple of key upsets before the regular season came to a close. The momentum that could be gained would be tremendous for the Wizards.
Although these last 25 games have yet to be played, the Wizards’ path looks somewhat smooth for the time being. During this stretch, the Wizards can really make some noise and show the rest of the NBA what they are made of. Thanks to upcoming games against the Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks, the Wizards can pick up some easy wins as they hope to gain ground in the standings. A contest on March 10th against a Southeast Division foe in the Miami Heat will give John Wall and the rest of the gang a chance to play with the big boys and possibly pull of an upset victory.
This season has been all about chances for the Wizards. First, they kept on blowing their chance to get over the .500 mark and they finally overcame that obstacle. Now, the Wizards must solidify a spot in the playoffs and ultimately become a respected team in the NBA. Will they go for barbeque or mildew? It comes down to wins and losses, so the Wizards better continue to pick up wins in any way they can if they want to put together a nice playoff run this season.