The Washington Wizards are in a situation where the team and many fans don’t see eye to eye.
The team is probably feeling optimistic about tonight’s game against the Chicago Bulls, who they also play on Thursday. The Bulls are 0-3 and are on a road trip after a heartbreaking 129-128 loss last Sunday to the Golden State Warriors.
Chicago is not expected to be a playoff team. So if the Wizards win both games convincingly, they’d be 2-3. Not a perfect start, but they’d head into 2021 with some positive momentum.
Many fans, myself included, aren’t so sure about the Wizards sweeping the Bulls tonight and Thursday. We see “Everybody Eats” darlings Otto Porter and Tomas Satoransky coming back to face against a team that they were once arguably underutilized, or in Sato’s case, misused on.
A “WizKiller” game by one or both would be poetic justice in some ways. And beyond that, the Wizards have been prone to losing games against “lottery candidates” for years that go beyond the current coaching regime and players.
If the Wizards go 0-2 against the Bulls, or even 1-1, I can hear the panic calls get even louder.
I’ll be honest with you all. I was in panic mode even before the season started. I remain optimistic about a playoff berth, but I also think that’s contingent on a midseason coaching change.
Why am I panicking? As some of you have noted, the Wizards have only won two games since fans were allowed in Capital One Arena on Mar. 10. They include:
- 0-3 in the Orlando scrimmages
- 1-7 in the Orlando bubble, or the 2019-20 NBA season restart
- 1-2 in the 2020-21 NBA preseason
- 0-3 so far in the 2020-21 NBA regular season
I get that we can’t simply add these records up. And I get that the bubble games didn’t feature Bradley Beal. But losing has its unique way of being contagious in all levels of competition. So it’s important to note that the Wizards are 2-15 record in all games they played in since last July.
And even if you just want to look at the current regular season, the Wizards have blown fourth quarter leads every single time. All despite Russell Westbrook’s triple doubles and Bradley Beal’s 30-point outbursts. The coaching rotations are questionable too, like Raul Neto playing very well for nine minutes in the first half of last Saturday’s game, and not playing for the second half!
The Wizards have had poor starts many times in franchise history. Sometimes, like in 2007-08 or in 2016-17, things turned around and the team made the playoffs. But more often than not, we see a season like 2011-12 where things keep getting worse as the season goes on.
So ladies and gentlemen, I leave you with this question. How much should we panic about the Wizards’ poor start? To me, I’ve been panicking for awhile, though I’ve tried not to show it too much, until today at least. Let us know in the comments below.