The Washington Wizards were marked as one of the teams expected to contend for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference this season, and it appears they might be able to do exactly that.
Today, the Wizards took another step towards a probable postseason return with a win against the New Orleans Pelicans, doing so on the road 102-96. They are only a game shy of having a .500 record that practically guarantees a place in the playoffs in the East right now.
The Wizards have the advantage of having established players like Marcin Gortat and John Wall that can take the bulk of the offensive game on any given night, but it wasn’t needed in this game as Washington was very balanced in terms of scoring, something that proved to be decisive. Six Wizards, including all the starters, scored on double-digits and aside from Trevor Booker, who ended with only two points.
Not everything is sunshine and daisies for the Wizards though, as they have to learn how to close out games more effectively. Washington lost the fourth quarter 30-15, and they will end up losing the majority of the time when that happens. So, they need to execute better down the stretch. At least it wasn’t needed tonight, and the team came away with a huge win against a top opponent.
Today was definitively a step in the right direction in many ways, but there is still a lot of work left to do in Washington. If they can keep winning these close games more often than not, then the Wizards will finally return to the postseason led by their young guns Wall and Bradley Beal.