The 2021-22 NBA season has been full of surprises so far, and the Washington Wizards have been a huge part of that. They are one of four teams on a 5-1 run in the Eastern Conference. These teams are currently occupying positions one to four in the standings.
It has been an impressive run by the Washington Wizards, but can they keep it up? A few of their games have been close shaves, with two being decided in overtime.
There have been a lot of roster changes in the league and it is taking quite some time for teams to put their squads together. While a solid game plan is crucial, talent makes all the difference, and the Washington Wizards do not have elite-level players on their roster who can single-handedly impact games.
It is still way too early in the season, meaning there will be a lot of changes to the standings further down the line. If the Washington Wizards do not maintain their form, they could get knocked out of a playoff spot.
Without further ado, let's take a look at three reasons why the Washington Wizards might not make the playoffs for the 2021-22 NBA season.
#1 Lack of backcourt depth
Spencer Dinwiddie and Bradley Beal are top players and will be crucial to the Washington Wizards' success in the 2021-22 NBA season. They are the two leading scorers in the team, whose strength is in the quality of their backcourt duo.
Unfortunately, the Washington Wizards only have Raul Neto and Aaron Holiday as the only backup guards on the roster. Added to the fact that they are the only replacements, they are not significant contributors. In the six games played, both players have combined for 78 points, a little over half of what Beal has posted single-handedly.
Having Dinwiddie and Beal play more minutes will impact their performance down the stretch and put them at risk of injury. Losing either player will put a serious dent in their playoff aspirations.
#2 The Washington Wizards bench is not productive
Montrezl Harrell has been phenomenal for the Washington Wizards, showing why he won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in 2020. He has come off the bench in four of his six outings and dominated the game.
Outside of Trez, the scoring has been woeful from the Washington Wizards bench. In their 115-112 overtime victory over the Boston Celtics, the highest-scoring player off the bench was Davis Bertans, with seven points.
The bench players will have to step up if the Washington Wizards hope to maintain this run. While the starters will continually do the heavy lifting, they will need all the help they can get down the stretch.
#3 The Washington Wizards are struggling from beyond the arc
The Washington Wizards have done a great job defending their perimeter but have failed to punish the opposition on the other end of the court. They are currently ranked 16th in three-point percentage, shooting only 32.7% as a unit from beyond the arc.
Beal has made the most attempts from range, 7.4 per game, but has only converted 21.6% of his shots. Dinwiddie and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are shooting over 40% from the field but would need more contributions from their teammates.
The art of the mid-range is slowly being lost, and the Washington Wizards will need to shoot at a more effective clip to stay competitive. Unfortunately, they do not have the personnel that can shoot the lights out from beyond the arc.
Also Read: What is Bradley Beal's Net Worth in 2021?