WASHINGTON — Guys.
The Wizards are the No. 5 team in the NBA according to John Schuhmann’s latest NBA.com power rankings. The Wizards are the No. 4 team in the NBA according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. The Wizards are the No. 3 (three!) team in the NBA according to CBS Sports’ Matt Moore.
Does anybody else not know what to do with their hands?
“The Wizards are 8-2 in their last 10, and have the fourth-best winning percentage since December 1. They are for real. They jump here in part because they have wins over the Celtics and Hawks in the past week. If they keep playing like this they are not going to be a team you want to see in the playoffs.”
That’s what Moore had to say about the Wizards in his Monday morning power rankings, which had Washington below just the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.
“The all-black funeral look for last week’s showdown with the Celtics was a bit much, but the Wizards haven’t done much else wrong in 2017. At 11-4 this month, they sport the league’s second-best record since the calendar flipped, behind only the Warriors’ 12-2. In that same span, Washington is one of only three teams in the league to rank in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, alongside Golden State and San Antonio. John Wall is one of just three players in the league averaging at least 20 points and 10 assists — James Harden and Russell Westbrook are the others — while Bradley Beal has rumbled for seven 30-point games after posting just four in his first four pro seasons. We had a chance to visit with Beal on Sunday’s “NBA Insiders” show on ESPN Radio and ask him for the latest on the state of his partnership with Wall.”
That’s what Stein had to say about the Wizards in his Monday morning power rankings, which had Washington below the Warriors, Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers.
“With double-digit road wins in Charlotte, Atlanta and New Orleans last week and having backed up their all-black silliness against the Celtics on Tuesday, the Wizards have graduated from “really good home team” to “really good team.” They have the league’s second best record, sixth best offense and eighth best defense over the last month and a half and, with three games against below-average offenses this week, could soon be the only East team in the top 10 on both ends of the floor for the season. They’ve won 14 straight games at home, where they’ll be for 10 of their next 14.”
That’s what Schuhmann had to say about the Wizards in his Monday morning power rankings, which had Washington just below the Warriors, Spurs, Houston Rockets and Cavaliers.
What a time to be alive.
The Wizards have won 11 of their past 13 games, with their only two losses since Jan. 3 being a buzzer-beating tip-in on the road against the Detroit Pistons and a nine-point loss in Boston against the Celtics. Five weeks ago on Monday, the Wizards were 13-16 and preparing to host the Milwaukee Bucks, who had just routed them by 27 points three days earlier.
Now, they’re 27-20. Not bad for a team that at previous points in the 2016-17 NBA season held records of 2-8, 6-13 and 9-14. Throw in the Wizards’ current four-game win streak that features road victories over the 23-25 Charlotte Hornets, 28-20 Atlanta Hawks and 19-29 New Orleans Pelicans, as well as a home win against the 29-18 Boston Celtics.
Are the Wizards one of the five best teams in the NBA? Almost definitely not. But are they playing better than 25-27 NBA teams right now? Absolutely.
Cherish it while it lasts.