To say the Washington Wizards have come out of the gate this season under-performing, relative to expectation, would be quite the undersell. With a 5-9 record thus far, they currently sit at 11th in the Eastern Conference. This trajectory is far off from where Wizards’ owner, Ted Leonsis, set the bar prior to the start of the season. Expressing a desire to hang 50 wins on the year seems unlikely for this Washington team and is something that hasn’t happened in the franchise in four decades.
The return of their number one free agent acquisition, Dwight Howard, has helped them get rolling on a three-game win streak. While that is good news, it is no call for celebration or sign that their troubles are over, especially considering all three wins were against losing teams in the Eastern Conference. Even though they have notched a few wins, this team is still showing signs of serious concern moving forward into the season.
Through their first 14 games of the season, Washington holds the 16th-best offensive rating in the league and the third-worst defensive rating. They not only have serious trouble shooting the three-point ball, ranking 27th in the league with a team 32.9 three-point percentage, they also can’t guard it, allowing opponents to drain 38.8 percent of their threes for a league wide second-worst ranking, per NBA.com. The only thing Washington does well is get to the free throw line, where they are fourth in the league for both attempts and made free throws, and create turnovers, where they are inside the top 10 for both steals and blocks.
As Washington continues to skate by, not just for this season, but year after year now, the thought of a fresh start may be worth more than consideration and exactly what the franchise needs.
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