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The Wizards still haven’t solved their early deficit issues

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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

Today’s stat is the number of teams that have spent more time down by over 20 points than the Wizards this season, which is...


There was a neat graphic on the NBA Reddit page on Thursday, showing what percentage of possession each team has spent both ahead or behind by 20 points this season. It shouldn’t come as a surprise the Wizards are near the top of the chart in time spent down by 20 points or more. They’ve been behind by 20 or more for 8.5 percent of their possessions this year. The Suns, Hawks, Cavaliers, Bulls, and the Knicks — you know, the five teams that have already conceded they won’t make the playoffs — are the only five who have spent more time trailing by such a large deficit.

Even though Washington has played better lately, they’ve still had issues with early holes. They trailed the Raptors by 23 in the first half before pulling it together to force double overtime. They also spent a big chunk of last week’s game in Philadelphia down by over 20 before they made a late run to make the final score less lopsided.

The Wizards deserve kudos for clawing their way out of big deficits to make games competitive and even win in some circumstances, but it’s no way to go through an entire season. They’re already chasing enough as it is just to get back in the playoff hunt without the extra complication of overcoming big deficits. The Wizards will need to spend a lot less time the second half of the season making in-game comebacks if they want to make a meaningful in-season comeback.