Previous Pivotal Moments: October 2013 - Gortat arrives in D.C.
The Washington Wizards have been notorious for horrible starts in the last several years. In the 2011-12 and 2012-13 years alone, the Wizards had franchise-worst starts of 0-8 and 0-12 respectively. Those starts effectively knocked them out of the playoffs early in the regular season.
In the 2013-14 season, the Wizards once again started poorly, going 2-7 in their first nine games. I guess compared with the previous two seasons, that's a great start. But given everyone's expectations, especially from ownership, let's be honest. 2-7 is bad. What if the Wizards missed the playoffs this season as well?
Before their November 19 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, The Wizards had a players'-only meeting to discuss what was going wrong once again. They eventually went 42-31 the rest of the season. That's a winning percentage of 57.53%, or the equivalent of about a 47 win season if they played this way over 82 games.
During a March 2014 interview with Shams Charania of Real GM, John Wall detailed that the meeting was in a classroom-type setting where he finally began to realize that he was the leader of the team. It also included a moment where Nene told him to direct what others' roles should be.
In March, we definitely were convinced that the players'-only meeting and the acquisition of some veteran players like Nene, Gortat, and Ariza have helped Wall become the leader that he is now for the Wizards. But what if this moment didn't happen at least at that time? Given how weak the Eastern Conference was for the 2013-14 season, the Wizards perhaps could have still made the playoffs as a sub 41-win team. Or perhaps they could have went 2-7 in their next nine games, which could have resulted in a change at the head coach position. Then there could have been a players'-only meeting later on that could have had a different tone.
Do you believe that this players-only meeting in November really changed the Wizards' season for the better? Could the team have still performed at the same level for the rest of the season without it? Or do you think that there was a different moment in November that was pivotal? Share your thoughts in the comments below.