Are the Wizards Really This Good?

WASHINGTON — Nothing makes any sense. Just, just look at this.

The Wizards (41-24) have the third-best chances to win the NBA title — this season! — per FiveThirtyEight. Immediately ahead of them, at 7 percent, are the San Antonio Spurs (27 percent) and Golden State Warriors (55 percent). That means the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers are below them, but they aren’t even directly below them. The Boston Celtics (6 percent) and Houston Rockets (6 percent) are ahead of the Cavaliers, who are given just a 4 percent chance to win the title.

Washington is also given a 15 percent to earn the top seed in the Eastern Conference, well below both the Cavs (42 percent) and Celtics (43%).

But FiveThirtyEight isn’t the only publication that likes the Wizards over the Cavs right now. ESPN puts the Wizards at third in its power rankings, above — get this — the Cavaliers (No. 4) and the Warriors (No. 5). Only the Spurs (No. 1) and the Rockets (No. 2) are above them.

NBA.com has Washington at No. 4 in its newest power rankings, above Cleveland (No. 6) and below the Spurs, Warriors and Rockets, respectively.

SI and USA TODAY each have the Wizards at No. 5, with the Spurs, Cavaliers, Warriors and Rockets ahead of them in various orders.

As 2017 has rolled along, the Wizards have become mainstays among the NBA’s top seven teams or so. At first it seemed like a fluke; with the team rolling, surely a momentum-halting skid was in store. But so far, that skid hasn’t yet matriculated, and Washington is one of the best, and most consistent, teams in the NBA right now.

Who saw this coming in November?

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