Defense is Key To Washington Wizards' Playoff Hopes

By Jack Bolesta
Washington Wizards
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Wizards are currently having a good season. The franchise looks playoff bound for the first time since Gilbert Arenas was in the starting lineup, and the team is currently 25-25. One of the Wizards’ biggest accomplishments in 2014 has been the resurgence of a dominant and stable defense.

Trading with the Phoenix Suns for Marcin Gortat appears to have been a smart decision by the Washington franchise. The Wizards’ frontcourt duo of Nene Hilario and Gortat have been a dominating presence inside thus far. Both players have developed strong chemistry and a great style of playing with each other

The success of every game this year has without a doubt come down to Washington’s defense. The Wizards have been stuck around the .500 mark because Washington was stuck in defensive slumps during the beginning of the season.

The best defensive game of 2014 came against the Portland Trail Blazers. Washington held the top scoring team in the Western Conference to about 20 points lower than their average points per game. Starting at center, Gortat has been a foundational piece for this defense to succeed. Washington finally found a core interior defender they can rely on.

John Wall is leading the Wizards averaging 2.1 steals per game. The Wizards are currently holding opponents  under 100 points per game but just barely. The Wizards’ defense is extremely important to their playoff run this season. For Washington to keep winning and have a successful postseason, the Wizards need to keep defense a top priority.

Jack Bolesta is a Washington Wizards writer for Follow him on Twitter @JackBolesta, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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