2014 All-Star John Wall and his gritty teammates have been maintaining a pretty good standing in the Eastern Conference but for some reason, they just can’t seem to get over .500 in the win percentage column.
The last time the Washington Wizards were over .500 dates back to October 31st, 2009. That’s going back to the old Gilbert Arenas days when he was yelling out “Hibachi” after a shot attempt. Nowadays, the fans in Washington, DC cheer to a different tune. The era of Wall, Bradley Beal and the hardcore frontcourt tandem of Nenê and Marcin Gortat fuels the franchise.
The Wizards (23-23) currently sit at the 5th spot in a tight Eastern Conference race. At times, they look like actual wizards out there on the hardwood with a mix of great passing and tremendous chemistry. Then there are those days where the team just shuts down or they come up a bit short of the win. Every team has its ups and downs, but it is evident that this squad is on the cusp of finding the rhythm they need to become a huge threat in the NBA.
Washington is not one of those teams that is going to drop a ton of games in a row or go on an astounding 20-plus game win streak similar to the Miami Heat of last year, but it is quite certain that the Wizards are going to come out and compete night in and night out.
The leadership of players like Wall is something that has really helped the Wizards become one of the most exciting teams to watch within the Eastern Conference. Wall was chosen as an All-Star reserve for the 2014 All-Star game. This marks Wall’s first All-Star selection in his career. The 23-year-old phenom’s play has skyrocketed and he has clearly taken on more of a leadership role on the court. Wall is out there talking it up with his teammates while averaging 19.8 points, 8.6 assists, and 4.4 rebounds on the season, while also digging in on defense by tallying 2.0 steals.
Washington doesn’t just possess the luxury of having a star like Wall. The play of Beal, Nenê and Gortat is helping the team out tremendously. Not to mention the deadeye shooting ability of Martell Webster. Webster is having a surprisingly good year by averaging 11.2 points off the bench.
Who can forget about Trevor Ariza? Ariza is like the glue guy for the Wizards. 14.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 steals for a 6-foot-8 small forward is a pretty solid contribution to a team and the Wizards can count on Ariza to do just that.
The Wizards are more than just a team of good players. They are a really good team that has the potential to be great. They have athleticism, speed, youth and strength. All the necessities are there. Washington just needs to find a way to mesh everything together and become a big threat. Once head coach Randy Wittman gets his players going in the right direction on a consistent basis, the Wizards will get over that .500 mark at some point and perhaps experience smooth sailing from then on.