The Wizards still have sole possession of the worst record in the NBA. It has been a rough season, but with John Wall back, the team has gone 4-3 in their past 7 games. Not too shabby, considering they went 0-12 to start off the year.
After the OkAriza trade, Ted Leonsis's mantra for this team was playoffs-or-bust. Then John Wall got injured, and it was downgraded to let's-just-not-embarrass-ourselves. And then when they were embarrassing themselves, we all just prayed for John Wall to come back. Well, he's back, and the team's defense is still strong (10th in the league) and their offense is finally picking up (still 30th, but not nearly has horrible). That (largely because of Wall and increased confidence across the board) has resulted in more wins. Leonsis is kidding himself that this team can make the playoffs this season, but he thinks playing .500 ball is a definite possibility.
The Post's Sportsbog, Dan Steinberg, has more:
"I really want to see what the team can do," he told WRC's Dan Hellie last week, on the day of the Caps' open practice at Verizon Center. "And we obviously have to add to the team, bring more talent in. We can do that through the draft, we can do that through trades and free agency.
"I did think we could compete and be a .500 kind of team, and if we had played .500 we'd be in the playoffs right now, or at least the playoff hunt. So I'd like to see us play .500, playoff-caliber like basketball for the next 45 games, 48 games, whatever's left this year, and just see what we've got.
"Yeah, it's been disappointing, but now we see John, and we see what he's capable of. But he can only play 20 minutes. We've got to ease him back in. And Nene's just up to 25 minutes. So we are playing a lot better, but I really want to see what the team's like when everyone's healthy, [when] we add another piece here or there. And my bet is that going into the rest of the year, that we'll be much improved, and we can have a lot of upside for our next season."
Next season, indeed.