For the seventh time this season (including the season opener), the Washington Wizards failed to get over the .500 mark. After defeating the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night, they then lost to the Los Angeles Clippers 110-103 on Thursday night.
This hasn’t just been a problem for the Wizards this season. It has been a problem throughout the John Wall era. Since Wall was drafted by the franchise first overall back in 2010, the Wizards have never been above .500.
Thursday night’s effort was a valiant one. At one point, Washington was down by 16 points in the third quarter. They then regrouped and pulled to within one with just a few minutes left. The Clippers then tightened up defensively and pulled away for the win. Bradley Beal finished with 20 points and John Wall added 19 of his own.
The Wizards’ inability to get over the .500 hump is reaching a sickening level. They can win in impressive form one night, but then look ugly the next. While they played a solid third quarter in Los Angeles, the first half and fourth quarter left something to be desired.
In two of their attempts to become a winning basketball team (record-wise), they lost in overtime to the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. They’ve come very close, but has come up just short. They are having a serious problem trying to finish basketball games. There’s just something about going a game above .500 that makes life more difficult for them.
When they need the shots to fall, they don’t. When they need to other team to miss shots, they don’t. On Thursday, Washington intentionally fouled DeAndre Jordan to put him at the line since he shoots just 40 percent from the charity stripe. Instead of following the trend and missing, he sank four straight free throws to close out the game. Lady luck certainly isn’t on their side either.
Will Washington ever get over the .500 mark? Probably. They are a good enough team to do it. However, rather than making it interesting and having to play from behind, they’ll need to put together a complete game, something they are more than capable of. They’ll also need to get some bounces going their way.
Washington will now head home to begin a five-game homestand. The next time they could get over the .500 mark will be Monday night against the Portland Trail Blazers. Before they can make that attempt, they’ll have to get past the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.
In many ways, the Wizards are a team that just needs to get over the hump. They have a lot of good things going for them and can be competitive. They just need a little bit more of something to make that happen (basketball magic, maybe?).