We’re in March and spring time is almost here! Many Wizards fans have kind of wondered, “Is Washington headed for a regression to the mean?” After all, the rest of the schedule is very road heavy. But if anything, a regression to the mean this season means, playing toward a 50 win season if not better!
Let’s get to this week’s top stories.
The Wizards could be the #1 seed in the East
Those are the standings for the top four teams in the Eastern Conference before March 10’s games. The Cavaliers have been the paper champions of the Eastern Conference, but they lost four in a row, including yesterday against the Pistons. The Celtics and Wizards therefore could realistically be the number one team in the East if things play out their way.
If the Wizards have a tied regular season record against the Cavaliers or Raptors, Cleveland or Toronto will win the tiebreaker because they won the regular season series this season. The Wizards still have one more game to play against the Cavaliers, but it won’t be enough to break the ties. Washington has a 2-1 record against the Celtics, and could clinch the tiebreaker if they win on March 20 on the road.
Washington’s in contention for the #1 seed because they keep winning
In order to keep the Wizards’ #1 seed hopes alive, they’ll have to keep winning. And that’s all they keep doing as of late.
Last Sunday, the Wizards had their last home game before embarking on a five game road trip. They were losing most of the way against the Orlando Magic, but Bojan Bogdanovic caught fire, and the Wizards escaped with a 115-114 win.
Not all wins are created equal of course. Sometimes, they are emotional blowouts in tribute to a lost friend. Sometimes, they are blowouts because one team is just more talented than another. But on Sunday, the Wizards played quite listlessly but gritted their way to a win at the end. Sometimes, these wins spark a key winning streak.
And that’s what Washington needed. The Wizards traveled to Phoenix last Tuesday and scored their way to a 131-127 win despite blowing a 22 point lead. That win also included some extra curricular activities after Jason Smith gave a hard screen to a guard who’s the size of the average man.
After the incident, Brandon Jennings was fined $35,000 because he made some finger gun gestures at Suns players, while Phoenix wing (and former Wizard) Jared Dudley was fined the same amount for shoving Smith. Bojan scored 29 points in this game, after that 27 point outburst.
The Wizards traveled to Denver the next day to play the Nuggets. They won again, this time 123-113. Washington plays again on Friday and Saturday with a pair or real late games against the Kings and Trail Blazers respectively.
BOJANGLES! (BO- YANG-ELS!)
Bojan Bogdanovic has arguably been the best trade deadline pickup during the NBA trade deadline. He won a “Key to the Palace” for his play last week, and scored 29 points off the bench last Tuesday in Washington’s win over the Phoenix Suns.
We have a video below to show why he’s on fire, but here are some other takes:
- Neil Greenberg of The Washington Post wrote about the statistical impact Bogdanovic has as a Wizard, not only today, but in franchise history. Before his arrival in Washington, only two forwards in Wizards history shot 38 percent or better from the three point line in a season.
- Monumental Sports Network also has more analysis here.
The Wizards turnaround is unprecedented
With Wednesday’s win over Denver, the Wizards became the first NBA team to get to 15 games over .500 at some point in the season after a 2-8 start. They are also just the sixth team to get to 10 games above .500 in league history. Furthermore, the Wizards are further ahead than they were 10 years ago when the Gilbert Arenas-led Wizards team was once first in the Eastern Conference midway through the 2006-07 NBA season. Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post has more.
And more posts!
- Bradley Beal wrote a blog on his website that detailed how Scott Brooks has made his mark on the Wizards this season.
- Joe Biden is a Mystics fan now that Elena Delle Donne is in town.
- It’s not just Bogdanovic who’s improved the bench in the last couple weeks. Ian Mahinmi is now earning his paycheck too.
- Bryan Frantz of Truth About It writes about Scott Brooks’ willingness to experiment with rotations, unlike Randy Wittman, his predecessor.
- Markieff Morris was ejected from the Nuggets game on Thursday for apparently kicking Mason Plumlee’s testicles. It could get him suspended, but Keef’s Wizards teammates don’t think that should be the case. Candace Buckner of The Washington Post has more.
- Katie Baker of The Ringer wrote a column on Scott Brooks, who has been the “Wizard in Washington” this season.
- Wall is happy about getting “more respect” from the game officials as of late, but he also gets that that respect is on thin ice as the Wizards try to assert themselves as on of the NBA’s elite teams. Scott Allen of The Washington Post has more.
And that’s it from me for this week’s round up of links. If there’s another link you’d like to share, feel free to share it in the comments or as a FanPost.
Enjoy your short weekends everyone. That’s because we “spring forward” to Daylight Savings Time this weekend.