Bradley Beal

Three things which must happen for the Wizards to make the postseason

Home » NBA » Washington Wizards » Three things which must happen for the Wizards to make the postseason

Before the season started many people had predicted that the Wizards will have finished in between 7th and 10th in the Eastern Conference.

However, they had a terrible start to the season. Washington lost their first five games and had a record of 6-17 after their first 23 games, leaving them bottom of the conference with the Pistons. Everyone was left to wonder if the Wizards were just going to be another punching bag in the East for a third season in a row.

The Wizards have also had serious issues regarding COVID health and safety protocols this season. They had six games postponed in the first half schedule. Starting centre Thomas Bryant was also ruled out for the season after tearing his ACL.

After this terrible start, the Wizards have since seen an up-turn in their form, going 8-5 in their last 13 games beating the likes of the Nuggets, Lakers and the Clippers.

There are a few reasons for why their form has changed. The first of which is that coach Scott Brooks has decided his starting five. Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal, Garrison Mathews, Rui Hachimura and Moe Wagner have all started the previous 14 games.


That is a step in the right direction for the Wizards, having been changing their line-up the majority of games prior to this stretch.

While that is a step in the right direction for this organisation, if the Wizards are to make the post season, a few more things are going to need to happen:

Russell Westbrook has to improve

Former MVP and 9-time All-Star Russell Westbrook is currently having a down year averaging, 20.4p, 9.4a and 9.8r per game, which are astonishing numbers for someone having a down year.

He is also averaging a career low in free throw shooting at 57.3% and for someone who is able to get to the line with ease this has been a big problem for the Wizards. He is also struggling from the 3-point line averaging a low 29.4% and also being sloppy in possession averaging 4.7 turnovers per game over the course of this season.


Partnered along-side the league’s top scorer in Bradley Beal, they have the ability to be one of, if not the, best backcourt in the league, but Westbrook needs to improve his efficiency and care with the ball if the Wizards are to make anything of this season.

3-point scoring 

The Wizards have been close to the bottom of the league in 3-point percentage all season.

Only three players on the roster are averaging a better 3-point percentage than the league average and that’s Garrison Mathews (41.5%), Raul Neto (38.5%) and Davis Bertans (38.2%) with rookie Deni Avdija flirting around that average.

Washington currently sit 21st in points per possession and the main reason is because of the lack of 3-point shooting which will be disappointing for the organisation after having a talented offence last season.

Mathews, even though he starts, only plays a handful of minutes and when Ish Smith is fit, Neto finds himself playing limited minutes as the third choice point guard. If the 3-point scoring is to be improved Scott Brooks will need to look at finding these guys more minutes.

Keep being scrappy on defence  

The Wizards currently sit 27th in defensive rating with a rating of 113.7 which isn’t great by any stretch of imagination but this doesn’t tell the whole story.

Washington have a real quality at drawing charges lead by Moe Wagner. Wagner is currently drawing 1.30 chargers per game which is by far the most by any NBA player, while Mathews and Smith are tied for fifth on the list which has led them to second in the league at drawing charges.

The Wizards are eighth in the NBA in points allowed per possession since they inserted Wagner and Mathews into the starting line-up. Mathews charges into screens and is an expert at drawing illegal picks along with Neto. These guys are tied for fourth-most offensive fouls drawn in the league which is impressive as Mathews only averages 16.3 minutes per game and Neto only 20.5.

Other factors show that Robin Lopez has helped around the rim which was a big problem last season and Rui Hachimura has shown some promising development with his ability to guard 1-5 he normally takes the opposing teams star player to defend most games.

The Wizards have the capabilities to make the post season but work still has to be done. They are lucky that they are part of a poor Eastern Conference. This sees them sat 12th in the conference two games back of the play in tournament and 2.5 games back of 8th, remarkably they are only five games back of 4th which would mean home court advantage in the play-offs.

[spreaker type=player resource=”show_id=4112709″ width=”100%” height=”200px” theme=”light” playlist=”false” playlist-continuous=”false” autoplay=”false” live-autoplay=”false” chapters-image=”true” episode-image-position=”right” hide-logo=”false” hide-likes=”false” hide-comments=”false” hide-sharing=”false” hide-download=”true”]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *