After three straight road losses, the Washington Wizards have now come back down to Earth. Their terrific start to the regular season came as a bit of a surprise. Though they are stacked with talent, and have a very explosive point guard leading them, they played the first 13 games without starting shooting guard Bradley Beal in the lineup and still managed to win nine of those games.
When Beal returned, the Wizards showed how dangerous of a team they can be for not only this season, but for years to come. They posses of one of the top young backcourts in the league, featuring Bradley Beal, and all-star point guard John Wall.
Wall has had an MVP-type season up to this point, averaging 17.2 points per game and a league-leading 10.3 assists. He has also shot 46 percent from the field this year, which is a career-high for the former number one overall pick out of Kentucky.
Valley of the Suns
However, even with this extremely talented backcourt, the frontcourt poses as the Wizards key to success. Starting center Marcin Gortat has had a very productive season so far, averaging 12.3 points and eight rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the field. However, his good buddy Nene, who starts at power forward for Washington, has had major durability issues. He has had them throughout his career, and injuries have continued to plague him this season.
Without getting into too much roster-depth, these four guys, plus the future hall-of-fame small forward Paul Pierce who was acquired this past offseaosn, have been a major reason as to why the Wizards started off the season with a 22-8 record. For a while, it did not look like this team was going to lose any games any time soon. However, after losing three straight to three tough teams, we now see just how tough it is to win consistently in the NBA.
No team starts off as hot as the Wizards did and continues it throughout the whole entire season. They came out victorious in 22 of their first 30 games, which is an incredible way to start off the season. As great as that start was, they did not play many difficult teams. The only victory’s that stand out are the ones against the Cleveland Cavaliers at home and in Houston against the Rockets. With that being said, when they traveled west to take on some of the toughest teams in the NBA, they were bound to lose some of them.
After sneaking out an impressive one-point victory in Houston, they went into Dallas and got destroyed by the Mavericks by a score of 114-87. They then played in two close games against the now-healthy Oklahoma City Thunder and the mighty San Antonio Spurs. However, they fell short by single-digits in both games.
Despite dropping three straight games, there is no need to panic in the Nations Capital. This is an extremely young and talented team, and it will take time for them to have the ability to consistently beat the upper echelon of the league. The only advice I have for you is this: Grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show; because it’s going to be a fun rest of the season here in Washington.