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Little is going right for the Wizards
The Wizards are in the middle of a five-game west coast road trip. Here’s how things went down so far:
- Washington did get their first win of the season with an overtime win over the Trail Blazers last Monday!
- They followed that up by allowing Stephen Curry to score 51 points in a 144-122 loss to the Warriors on Wednesday. That loss also showed just how far away the Wizards are from being a championship contender.
- And then they lost to the Kings Friday night, 116-112. SAME OLD WIZARDS, Ben Mehic writes. I don’t blame him.
- And for an outside link, Albert Burneko of Deadspin would concur.
- Jake Whitacre also adds that the Wizards are becoming worse passers and rebounders. Their rebounding is historically bad.
I don’t think many of us expected the Wizards to start the season with a 5-0 record. But they are 1-4, and they are allowing games to slip away again and again. In light of all the losses and the negative commentary, I just have to ask this question:
Should the Wizards start to rebuild now?
The Wizards are firmly on the dreaded Treadmill of Mediocrity. It’s nice to see that they are winning more than 40 games a season each season since 2013-14 and aren’t among the NBA’s doormats. But they have yet to crack 50 wins in a regular season or make the Eastern Conference Finals. Like Burneko noted in his column on Deadspin, this quote describes the Wizards very well:
They’re not the East’s bushy-tailed young upstart anymore; they’re the upstart’s wayward elder cousin who shows up to the cookout unexpectedly and everyone looks at each other nervously and says “I didn’t know he was out already” and then you hear sirens in the far distance and realize that he has broken out of prison again.
John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter still have much of their prime ahead of them, but all three are eating up most of the Wizards’ salary cap room, and their remaining 2016 signings, Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith, are overpaid and not producing what the Wizards initially hoped. Even Dwight Howard, the Wizards’ big addition this year, has yet to play a game. He is literally butt hurt.
Other teams in the Eastern Conference like the Celtics (Hi Kyrie), Bucks (Hi Giannis), 76ers (TRUST THE PROCESS), and the Raptors (... JAKE!) have surpassed the Wizards this past season and show little signs of slowing down. Meanwhile, the Wizards and their deepest roster ever, are 1-4 this season. Sure, we are just five games into this season, but this team is clearly showing signs that it’s time to start over. Players are thin skinned when they say they wouldn’t be, and they lost three games in quite similar fashion.
Of course, Ernie Grunfeld would like us all to believe that once Dwight comes back, the team will be rocking and rolling. But at the same time, shouldn’t this team be better than 1-4 WITHOUT Howard?
I get that the Wizards feel pressure from the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup and the Mystics who made the WNBA Finals after being on the Treadmill of Mediocrity for several years themselves. The Capitals were bound for a deep run at some point, and fortunately it happened.
But for the Mystics, without Elena Delle Donne requesting to come to Washington in 2017, they would have had to blow up their squad at this time once Emma Meesseman decided that representing her country was more important than WNBA commitments. Given that she is likely paid more to represent a Russian team where there are no salary caps and an open transfer market than an American team where there are salary caps and a restrictive trade market, you can’t blame her. We talked about that in depth earlier this week as well.
But unlike the Mystics, it’s unlikely that the Wizards will find an Elena Delle Donne of their own where they can just nab a superstar because that said star wants to play just for D.C.. LeBron James is with the Lakers for the next four seasons and as for Kevin Durant, let’s just forget that #KD2DC was a thing.
Of course, there are some reasons why the Wizards want to see the Wall-Beal-Porter trio see things through. They may be eating up the salary cap, but they are still under 30 years old. And the Wizards certainly don’t want to admit that certain moves they made in the past, like bringing in Mahinmi and Smith, were costly mistakes.
That said, the Wizards’ peak is probably the second round of the playoffs, and nothing more. Currently, I don’t see the Wizards making the postseason given how poorly they rebound and how they lost most of their games.
Maybe I’m wrong, and I’m willing to eat crow about it. But given how this season is going, I just don’t see the Wizards making the playoffs at all given how they are losing games.
Sorry to end this weekend on a sour note, but it’s worth discussing. Should the Wizards blow it up now to help themselves more in the future? Or should they pray that everything works out? Let us know in the comments below.