All year long, I originally anticipated that the Washington Wizards would not seriously contend for a playoff berth. The injury to John Wall and the focus on young player development all indicated that this would be a sub-30 win season.
However, the Wizards have punched above their weight. As bad as their team defense is, and as bad as last night’s loss was to the Memphis Grizzlies, Washington’s offense has also helped them get an 18-33 regular season record.
They are also just three games behind the Orlando Magic, the eighth place team in the Eastern Conference, as of the time I’m writing this piece (around 9:30 p.m. ET on Sunday).
At this point, the Wizards’ roster is set, though there is an outside chance that they may pick up someone on the “buyout” market. It is certainly possible at this point in the season that the Wizards could get on a win streak and get the eighth seed. Is a playoff run worth it, even if they are almost guaranteed a first round loss to the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors?
As I mentioned last week, it depends. If the Wizards somehow make the playoffs with their current roster, it wouldn’t be a bad thing. This year’s NBA Draft class isn’t perceived to be particularly strong. And furthermore, it’s like that their younger players, like Rui Hachimura and Moritz Wagner would play a major part toward that success.
However, if the Wizards over-prioritize playing veterans that don’t have much of a long-term future in Washington (like playing Isaiah Thomas when he was on the roster), then such a run isn’t worth it.
It will be interesting to see if the Wizards can get a longer win streak going with their roster looking set for the rest of the season.