The Washington Wizards are making a move up the Eastern Conference standings. After starting the season with a dismal 2-8 record and with whispers of a trade that may need to happen, John Wall and Co. decided enough was enough and started to play like a team instead a bunch of iso individuals.[Mark]
In doing so they have gone from the bottom of the Conference to third place and only five games behind the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers. But, is this just a case of the Wizards catching fire or have they finally figured it out?
Last season the Wizards finished 41-41 and missed the playoffs after two straight trips to the Conference semifinals. It looked to be a repeat performance early on until Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter kicked it into gear. Some may point to the weakness in the SouthEast division where the Wizards are 23-14 but they have done what they’re supposed to do. Beat the teams they are looked upon to be.
Wall has been outstanding so far with per’s of 23 points and 11 assists. Beal has been a perimeter sniper with 22 points while shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc. Porter has chipped in with 15 points and seven rebounds but the big difference has been Marcin Gortat with his 12 points and 11 rebounds and Markieff Morris with 15 points and seven rebounds.
The Wizards have one of the most versatile starting lineups with Wall’s dribble penetration, Beal’s shooting, Gortat’s and Morris rebounding and Porter’s slicing Scottie Pippen like all-around play. But, are they threats or will they eventually cool off?
To put it bluntly, the Cavs and the Boston Celtics should be worried. The Wizards have already beaten the Celtics twice and they have played the Cavs tight. During this improbable run when they’ve gotten back into the thick of the race they have managed to beat the Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers (twice) and lost to the Cavs in OT after an amazing shot by Lebron James. So yes, the Wizards are a legit threat to win a title this season.
If they can manage to add some scoring to their bench like a Monta Ellis and Al Jefferson then it may push them past the Celtics and right on the heels of the Cavs. The Wizards are for real and the rest of the NBA is officially on notice.