The last twelve games of this Wizards season may be the hardest to watch. It’s fitting that after a 12-42 start, the trades that transformed the Wizards roster, the coaching change, and all of the other distractions this team has had to deal with, it’s fitting that their toughest stretch of games come when they matter the least.
Last night’s 109-96 loss at home to the Pacers is the beginning of what should turn out to be the end of the worst season in Wizards franchise history. The Wiz need to win at least three of their final twelve games to top the 22.3% winning percentage franchise low. Simply put: If they don’t win three games, they’ll become the worst team in franchise history.
I could dissect the game, tell you about Jordan Crawford’s career high 28 points, or the improving play of Kevin Serephin inside (19 and 10), or the troubling play from John Wall (13 points, 5 turnovers). I could talk about how the Pacers were once right where the Wizards are as an organization: struggling to find their identity, trying to develop their young talent and remain competitive. Now the Pacers are a playoff team with upside, they swept their season series with Washington 3-0, and they’ll start revving things up for the playoffs while the Wiz scratch and claw to win those three games.
Honestly, is winning three games and saving themselves the embarrassment of the “worst ever” tag worth anything? Not really. Another three wins puts less ping pong balls in favor of the Wizards in the upcoming draft lottery. Right now the Wiz are the second worst team in the NBA, behind only the Bobcats, they’ll get the second-best odds at winning the lottery and getting Kentucky’s Anthony Davis.
It’s definitely too early to start looking into the future. The draft, the lottery, the playoffs are still off in the distance, but it’s something to keep in mind as the team continues to build and grow these next twelve games. Winning three more games is a solid goal, it’s something the coaches can tell the players for extra motivation, but ultimately the Wiz need more talent, and a top three draft choice would be just what the doctor ordered.
Tonight the Wiz play the Pistons in Detroit, then the Nets in Jersey on Friday. Another back-to-back-to-back stretch for the young Wiz. Winning one, or both of those games would go a long way towards building confidence and not becoming the worst-ever Wizards.
I, for one am torn on how the Wiz should approach the last few weeks of this season (if you couldn’t tell). I want them to grow with each other, I want to watch and see Nene and Wall work together and learn each others’ games, I want to see the Wizards get better; but the flip side of that is the draft lottery and their chances of getting real, tangible talent from losing more games.
With the playoffs approaching half the league is gearing up for their first round battles while the other half is already thinking about next year and long term. The Wizards have twelve more games to show signs of life to their fans and the front office, who knows what’ll happen once those ping pong balls fall.
Coming Up: @Detriot tonight, @NJ Friday, @Charlotte Monday
About the Author
Written by Frank Sullivan
Frank is a graduate of Old Dominion University, sports fan, author, and founder of TheBloosh.com. He's been working with prosportsblogging.com since April 2011, and has covered the Chicago Bulls, Baltimore Ravens, Virginia Tech Hokies Football, and the Washington Wizards. Frank can be reached @franksullivan on twitter.