A week ago I wrote my first Wizards piece of the season. Back then the Wizards were mired in a five game losing streak, but even then with the team sitting at 0-5 I found myself preaching patience and understanding while the young team took their lumps. Now, after what has turned out to the be the worst start in franchise history and the two worst consecutive starts to a season in NBA history, the 0-9 Wizards have gone from bad to the worst.
It’s not just that the team is the worst offensive team in the league, shooting a league-worst 39% from the field as a team while averaging a paltry 86.9 points per game, it’s also that they simply do not know how to close games out. In other words, this team has no idea how to win and they can barely score enough points to keep these games competitive. They shoot the worst percentages in the league, have the worst point differential to date (-7.7), are without their two best players, and they’re beginning to lose fan support. Head Coach Randy Wittman knows his job will be on the line these next few games, few head coaches survive a losing streak longer than ten games. After the home loss to the Pacers Monday night (96-89, a game that finished closer than it really was), the head coach was asked what he could do to stop this streak and move forward:
“I believe these guys can win,” Wittman said. “I don’t have any doubts. … I come in here every day, thinking this is the night. I feel good.” Soon after that though, Wittman expressed a level of frustration with his team. “I don’t know who to start, who to play, who not to play…I’m looking down the whole roster, and if I had a cellphone, I’d be calling the waiver wire, trying to find another body. I mean, I’m just searching right now, searching for people to give me consistency.” Harsh words from a coach who is now sitting squarely on the hottest seat in the league.
If you’re wondering if I’ve actually tortured myself and watched the bulk of these games, I have. And the question now is a very simple one: Can this team win? Is this current roster capable of not only defending and rebounding enough to get a W, but can they put enough points on the board to compete? Looking at the numbers one has to skeptical of the teams chances, especially after these first nine games, but after rooting for the franchise for years and years I’ve grown more patient and hopeful that they can in fact turn it around. Sure, they’re shooting numbers are some of the worst the league has seen in the last decade, they have no one player who can carry them on a given night, and they’ll be looking for a new coach come Christmas time, but I still firmly believe that this team is not as bad as their record suggests; that doesn’t mean they’ll win a game, but someone’s gotta keep hope alive.
Coming UP: @ ATL Wednesday, vs. Charlotte Saturday, vs. Spurs Monday 11/26, vs. Portland 11/28, @ Knicks 11/30
Bold Prediction: The Wiz will win, not one but TWO of their next five games!
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.