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Daily Digits: It’s the defense, stupid.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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 number of teams since 2000 that have allowed over 110 points per 100 possessions and made the playoffs, which is...


After Friday’s blowout loss to the 76ers, the Wizards now have the second-worst defense in the NBA, allowing 113 points per 100 possessions. The only team behind them is the 4-17 Cavaliers, who are allowing 114 per 100 possessions.

To put it in another context, Washington is allowing their opponents to score like the fourth-best offense in the league. The Bucks, Raptors, and Warriors are the only teams this season averaging more than 113 points per 100 possessions of the offensive end this season.

That’s why it’s so hard for teams that defend so poorly to get in the playoffs. When you look at the eight teams that made it with such a high defensive rating (The 2017 & 2018 Cavs, 2018 Timberwolves, 2018 Bucks, 2017 Blazers, 2011 Knicks, 2010 Suns, and 2007 Wizards) they all had remarkable offenses driven by most dynamic offensive players in recent memory — guys like LeBron James, Steve Nash, Gilbert Arenas, and Carmelo Anthony.

As good as John Wall and Bradley Beal have been, they have never reached that level. Even if you took the Wizards during their best offensive season during the Wall era in 2016-17, they’d still be getting outscored by 2.6 points per 100 possessions if it was paired with this defense.

So regardless of whatever issues the team has with Dwight Howard out, backbiting in the locker room, and whatever else is going on with the team, it’s all secondary to the team’s inability to get stops this season. Until that gets fixed, there’s no point in trying to address anything else.