Predicting the Washington Wizards’ Regular Season
Mar 10, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) drives to the basket as New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) defends in the third quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Wizards are currently five and a half games behind the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic, and they must narrow that gap to at least four games to compete for a playoff berth. If the Wizards are within the four games of the eighth seed, both teams will play a one-game series to who reaches the postseason. To make this happen, Washington must win more than half of their games while the Brooklyn Nets or Magic win less than two games.
July 31st vs. Phoenix Suns: Win
This will be the Wizards’ best chance to secure a win during this final stretch of the regular season. Bradley Beal will use this game to show why he is one of the most elite guards in the league, leading his team to a win despite the absence of John Wall and Davis Bertans.
August 2nd vs. Brooklyn Nets: Win
Although the Wizards will win this game, it will be at this point that the team will start to realize their long and seemingly impossible road to making the playoffs. Beal will dominate again, and his numbers will flourish in these first two games. Rookie forward Rui Hachimura should also have a great game with the Nets’ best defenders either injured or sitting out the remainder of the season.
August 3rd vs. Indiana Pacers: Loss
Though Victor Oladipo will be sitting out of the remainder of the season to recover from his injury, the Pacers will still take this game from the Wizards. Even with Beal producing big numbers on offense, nobody on the Wizards will be able to stop Indiana’s team-oriented approach, especially in the paint.
August 5th vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Loss
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid of the 76ers will have their way with the depleted Wizards, who will find guarding the two All-Stars to be difficult. After this loss, it would be in the Wizards’ best interest to sit Beal for the remainder of the season. Risking a long-term injury could damage not only his career but the relationship between Beal and the organization.
August 7th vs. New Orleans Pelicans: Loss
With Beal potentially benched for the remainder of the season, the Wizards will have to rely on their rotation players and Hachimura, which doesn’t give them the best chance to win. The team will definitely struggle to stop rookie Zion Williamson as well.
August 9th vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Loss
The Wizards have continued to rely on Beal’s volume scoring, especially with Wall on the bench. But with Bertans sitting out and Beal possibly benched, Washington will have to find someone else to run the offense. Hachimura was having a respectable rookie season, and their next best scoring option is Moritz Wagner, but the team will suffer if either of them becomes their number one option on offense.
August 11th vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Loss
This should not come as a shock to many. Giannis Antetokounmpo is arguably the best player in the NBA, and nobody on the Wizards will be able to guard him or score on him with consistency.
August 13th vs. Boston Celtics: Loss
With this sixth consecutive loss, the Wizards will officially end their 2019-2020 season eliminated from playoff contention. This will be a blessing for the team because they’ll have time to rebuild and scout for their lottery pick.