Going by how they have performed this season, there is little chance that anybody in the Washington Wizards team will be happy about how the 2020-21 NBA season has unfolded. The 17-28 Washington Wizards find themselves 12th in the supposedly easier NBA Eastern Conference and have struggled for momentum all season.
They showed signs of life with a 5-game winning streak. However, bad luck with injuries, a difficult run of fixtures and some poor defensive displays mean they have a huge task to qualify for the playoffs.
Nevertheless, let's take a look at three reasons why the Washington Wizards can still reach the postseason this campaign.
Three reasons why the Washington Wizards are not out of playoff reckoning:
Regardless of their inconsistent displays, there are a few reasons why the Washington Wizards would fancy their chances of making the playoffs this season.
While they might struggle to make it to the top six seeds, the Washington Wizards could make the play-in tournament. On that note, let's take a look at three reasons why that could happen.
#1 Improved team chemistry
The Washington Wizards are steadily but surely improving. Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook appear to be clicking well together, with the latter turning into his usual self and producing triple-doubles on a regular basis. They have shown defensive improvement as well, with the likes of Brook Lopez and Rui Hachimura impressing in recent weeks.
Furthermore, the addition of Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchinson has brought forth immediate returns. Both players have impressed in the handful of minutes they have been given so far. Thus the Washington Wizards look set to at least challenge for the playoffs as the second half of the season progresses.
#2 The scoring form of Bradley Beal
With Bradley Beal combining well with Russell Westbrook, the two have put together some classy displays of late.
Bradley Beal’s numbers have made him the hottest property in the NBA right now. He could be keen to lead his side to the playoffs, regardless of where the Washington Wizards are right now.
Beal is currently averaging 31.3 points and has a very healthy shooting efficiency of almost 54%.
Overall, the Washington Wizards look like a better outfit due to the addition of new players, as Daniel Gafford has helped out defensively, registering five blocks in two games. The Washington Wizards should have enough fuel to make it to the playoffs, although the next few weeks could be crucial to their postseason hopes.
#3 A comfortable run of fixtures
According to Tankathon.com, the Washington Wizards have the easiest remaining fixtures of any playoff-contending team in the league this season.
That comes as welcome relief after the plethora of difficult fixtures they have had till now. The Washington Wizards are currently 12th in the Western Conference, with the Chicago Bulls and the Toronto Raptors at 10th and 11th, respectively.
Both the Raptors and the Bulls have comparatively tougher fixtures than the Washington Wizards. That should translate to more points for the Washington Wizards, especially as they look stronger after the NBA trade deadline.
They have won their last two games and will hope to gain some momentum in the coming fixtures. If they are able to do so, their progress to the postseason could get relatively easier.