What is there left to say about the Wizards twelve game losing streak?
Currently the Wizards record stands at an abysmal 0-12. They’re the worst offensive team in the league (90.0 ppg) and a middle-of-the-pack team defensively (giving up 98.2 ppg) For the second straight year the Wiz haven’t just failed to meet expectations, they’ve been the worst team to watch in basketball. How the Bobcats, a team built by Michael Jordan (GM Rich Cho deserves the bulk of the credit) has surpassed the Wiz in one short season is beyond me, but there’s no beating around the bush now, the Wizards are the worst team in basketball.
Even with starting C Nene back in the fold (back in the fold might be premature, his foot problems will plague him all season) this team can’t put enough points up on the board to win a game. And when they do score (they’ve held the lead in the fourth quarter or overtime in over half of their losses) they have been unable to hold leads and keep the pressure on their opponents. It’s like the perfect storm of losing in the NBA, let me break it down for you:
- No Star Player: John Wall, if you want to call him a star, continues to rehab his leg injury but there has yet to be a target date set for his return. Without him the Wiz can’t get to the foul line (one of the few offensive talents Wall brings to the court), they haven’t been able to push the tempo (fast-break points being another strong-suite for Wall), and as mentioned before they have no closer down the stretch of games.
- Terrible Offensive Efficiency: Without their star point guard to set the teams’ role players up, the Wiz have had to rely on efficient scorers to carry the load thus-far. I could throw all sorts of efficiency figures at you that would make your head spin, or I could simply say: I’ve watched nearly every minute of Wizards basketball this season. Jordan Crawford, Trevor Ariza, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Booker are all some of the worst shot selectors in the NBA…and they all started for us a few nights ago.
- Lame Duck Coach: Listen, I like Randy Wittman as much as the next guy. It’s clear the players respect his input and play hard (at times) for him. But it’s no secret that, with this being the last year of Randy’s contract, he will not be back as coach. Odd’s are Wittman doesn’t last until Christmas, honestly. When building a team from the ground up young players need continuity and a coach who helps build a personality for the team, Wittman isn’t that guy.
- Front Office Debacle: How or why Ernie Grunfeld is still a NBA GM is beyond me. Why this organization decided to re-sign him a year ago still makes zero sense. The trade for Ariza and Okafor tied up the teams short-term cap space, took the Wiz out of the running for impact free agents, and turned a young exciting team into an old, boring team to watch. Like Wittman we have to assume (Hope) that Grunfeld is a lame duck GM. A complete change in culture is what got us to this point, now we have to turn around and do it again.
Tonight the Wizards will face Portland (6-8) at home. This is it guys…this looks like the last game until (gulp) MID DECEMBER that the Wiz have a chance of winning before Wall’s return. I want to see urgency out of these guys tonight, maybe some passion to not become the team with the worst start in NBA history (0-18 is the all-time worst).
In my last post I predicted they’d win two of their next five, now I’m just hoping they don’t go out there and embarrass the proud people of the Nations Capital anymore.
Coming Up: Portland tonight, @ NYK Friday, vs. Miami 12/4, @ ATL 12/7, vs. GSW 12/8, @ NOLA 12/11
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.