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Daily Digits: Teams usually don’t get blown out this bad, this often

Calbert Cheaney

Daily Digits is a new daily feature we’re doing at Bullets Forever this year where we take a look at stats about the Wizards. We’ll dive into the numbers, add some context, and discuss how they affect the product on the court.

Today’s stat is the franchise record for most losses in a season by over 20 points, set by the Bullets in 1993-94 with...


That Bullets team—the one led by Don McLean, Rex Chapman, and Tom Gugliotta, and the final one Wes Unseld ever coached—went 24-58. One of out of every four losses was a blowout by 20 points or more, and nearly one out of every five games fit the criteria.

Washington made some drastic moves over the next few months to try and correct the course of a franchise that wasn’t going anywhere. They hired Jim Lynam to replace Unseld and made an aggressive trade early the following season to pair Juwan Howard with his college teammate Chris Webber. The moves didn’t bear immediate fruit (Washington went 21-61 the following season), but it set the foundation for an eventual playoff team.

This year’s squad has lost three of their first eight games by over 20 points. If they keep this rate up all season, they’ll lose 30 games by over 20 points. The NBA record for most 20+ point losses in a season is 26.

Something is going to have to break at some point. There’s a reason why teams don’t lose this badly for long stretches of time. Either the team is going to have to figure something out, or there are going to be some personnel changes to make things work. The nature of the NBA won’t allow a team to stay this uncompetitive for long.