The Wizards beat a desperate team in the Hornets, who is playing as well as any team in the East at this point. Does that mean the Wizards are back? Back to playing at a high level like they were in December and January? Does that even matter?
The beauty of the NBA is that the playoffs is not a single elimination game, but rather a 7 game series, which is going to be of benefit to the Wizards this post season. Any given game I think any team in the Eastern Conference playoffs can beat any other team in the East. Where I think the Wizards have an edge is I don’t think many teams can beat the Wizards in a 7 game series. If you go back and look at the Wizards record by month they aren’t as bad as some fans have made them out to be. Sure they have dropped a few games that they should have won, but that is not to say they peaked too early or they are slipping as a team. The Wizards are 1-1 in 2 games this month, 11-7 in March, 7-3 in February, and 12-4 in January.
Sure, if you just look at the records the Wizards are on a slight decline, but if you look at what the Wizards can do when they put all their pieces together they can be a dominant team.
I was very encouraged by what I saw last night from a few key players, not named John or Brad(ley). The Wizards front court starters and key bench players finally had a great game. The front court only had 31 points but you saw Marcin play some exceptional defense and block a couple of shots. You saw Markieff with a positive performance scoring, and you saw Otto hit a clutch 3 at the end of the game. The bench scored 45 led by Jason Smith’s 17 point, season high in 3 pointers, performance. I said this on our DTC Podcast earlier this week that the Wizards are going to need players other than John and Beal step up. I specifically called on Otto porter to return back to 2015 playoff form, that seems like it’s starting to take place.
In addition, the Wizards weren’t necessarily flying high into the 2015 playoffs where they swept Toronto, and probably would have beaten Atlanta if it wasn’t for the John Wall hand injury. My point is that I don’t think its a big deal that the Wizards aren’t flying high into the playoffs on a 10 game win streak, or a long home win streak. This team has proven that they can play and win against any team, especially in the east. I am more encouraged by the little things that I saw in yesterdays game, like Kelly Oubre’s play, the team defense, and Keiff getting back on track. Besides, if the Wizards get to 50 that is probably all the mental confidence, momentum you can ask for.
Let’s get 50!