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The Wizards’ defense has been among the worst in the league during their losing stretch

The Wizards’ defensive rating is in the middle third of the NBA right now for the season. But recently, they have regressed.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Washington Wizards
The Wizards have been more efficient on offense in their last six games. But it hasn’t made up for their even worse defense.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Wizards are in the middle of a rough stretch. They have lost five of their last six games and are now 11-12 for the 2022-23 NBA season. Tonight, they will play the Los Angeles Lakers at home who are also struggling this season.

Like other recent seasons, the Wizards continue to perform mediocre at best on defense. So far this season, Washington has a team defensive rating of 112.4, 19th in the NBA. But in the last six games, they have a defensive rating of 120.5, 28th in the league.

With the exception of their 142-127 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, all of their losses have been in the single digits. That partially explains why Washington also had an offensive rating of 118.5, or seventh in the NBA. For the season, the Wizards have an offensive rating of 111.2, 18th in the league.

It’s encouraging to see that Washington’s offense has improved based on these metrics. But when the defense regressed by even more, that high ranking as of late is nothing more than “empty calories.” Hopefully, the defense improves over their next three games, given that the Lakers, Chicago Bulls (Dec. 7) and Indiana Pacers (Dec. 10) all but Indiana have sub .500 records.