The Wizards Finding Magic
*Photo via USA Today
The Wizards came into the second half of the season sluggish; making many critics and fans think the Wizards were falling apart. However, since the 2-7 record after the All-Star break, the Wizards have won 5 straight and are looking to keep up this new momentum. During this short win streak they’ve beaten the Grizzlies and Blazers, both premiere Western Conference playoff teams. This last stretch will be important for the Wizards, if they wish to have home court advantage come April. In their final 14 games, 9 of them are against teams in the playoffs or in the hunt for the final seeds.
The key down the stretch will be if John Wall can continue to put this team on his back, on this 5 game win streak, John Wall has been close to perfect. He’s averaging 22.4 PPG, 8.8 AST, 6.4 RPG, while shooting 61.8% from the field with a +/- of 12.4 per game. Now it isn’t all Wall on this stretch, Gortat has been very effective and has been a threat down low. Bradley Beal has been the major issue for the Wizards this season, since his surgery prior to the season, he just hasn’t been the shooter we saw in the past. Now his shooting percentages are up, however, his scoring is down 2 points and he's taking fewer shots per game. For a longer run into the playoffs, Bradley Beal will need to notch it up another level. As for John Wall and the Wizards as a whole, these next 14 games are the start of your playoffs and should be treated like so.