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The Wizards just can’t stop starting slow

Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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 games in which the Wizards have trailed by double-digits after one quarter this season, which is...

8

Remarkably, Washington is 3-5 in those games, even after Tuesday’s loss to the Hawks. That works out to a .375 winning percentage, which isn’t much different from their record in games where they don’t start in such a big hole (they have a .387 winning percentage on the season).

The way Wizards start games hasn’t necessarily been predictive of how the team will finish a game, but it’s certainly indicative of the malaise the team still appears to be stuck in, even after acquiring Trevor Ariza. Last season, the Wizards only trailed by double-digits at the end of the first quarter eleven times all season long. In 2016-17, it only happened six times. If Washington maintains their current pace, they’ll face these early deficits 21 times, which would average out to once every four games.

Everyone has their share of blah performances, but when you’re coming out flat that often it sends a clear message something just isn’t working, no matter how hard you fight to overcome the deficit later in the game. If Washington can’t get to the root of why they start games so poorly, it’s hard to see how they’ll finish the season on anything close to a high note.