The Washington Wizards had a five game West Coast road trip which many people thought would be difficult for them, but the Wizards were able to come out with a 4-1. After that hot streak, however, the Wizards have been inconsistent. They are currently only 1-2 since the road trip and they have struggled against sub-par teams. The Wizards have lost against the Charlotte Hornets and the Dallas Mavericks, the one against the Mavericks at home. They were able to beat the Chicago Bulls at home with a good victory. But the team has not been able to play as well as they would like.
The Wizards have been struggling defensively even when they were in a five game win streak but their offense was very good, so they won those games. In their last eight games, only twice has the team allowed less than a 110 points. In one of those games they beat the Bulls and in the other they struggled offensively and lost against Charlotte. The Charlotte game was the first game they have played good defense In a long time. Washington lost 98-93, allowing just 98 points is well below what they were allowing recently.
Washington’s last game was a loss against the Hornets and they did not play badly according to their head coach, but they struggled to get the ball in the basket. The Wizards have not been able to play as well as they did before the All-Star break because they have not had a game they have dominated both defensively and offensively, they have done one or the other. That is concerning because they still have a tough schedule ahead of them. Washington still has to play the Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors. These are all tough games, but the hardest part is that they will all be played on the road.
The Wizards have gotten much better on the road, but in order to win those difficult games they will need their offense and defense to play in tip top shape. It will be very hard for them to win these games if one of the sides of the ball is not playing well. Their next game is against the Boston Celtics. This is a crucial game because the Wizards are 3.5 games back of the first seed and only two games behind the second seed. The Boston Celtics are currently the second seed and they have become one of the Wizards biggest rivals. The Wizards will be looking to defeat their rivals to close the gap on the second and first seed.
All remaining games are important for the Wizards, but the biggest responsibility they have is to play well and maintain at least the third seed. The Wizards need to be the third seed as a minimum because the last thing the Wizards want is to have to play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round. The third or second seed can give the Wizards home-court advantage in the first round and it will avoid an early second round matchup with the Cavaliers(assuming the Cavaliers hold on to the first seed, which is not automatic). The Wizards need to get back to playing on both ends of the ball because their biggest mission right now is to line things up to be able to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
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