Fifty two games into the 2014 NBA season the Washington Wizards find themselves in the middle of an identity crisis. They currently hold the 6th place in the eastern conference with a mediocre record of 25-27. Their record isn’t indicative of how this season has transpired thus far. They have shown flashes of brilliance beating the Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat and Portland Trailblazers, but continually lose to teams they are “supposed” to beat.
Getting to the playoffs has been the mantra of this season and it remains a very attainable goal. While getting back to the playoffs is a great starting point, the time has come that we must hold this team to a higher accountability. What happens if they get swept unceremoniously in the first round? Does pedestrian coach Randy Whitman keep his job? Are the players and fans content with just being there?
These are all questions that will be answered in time but for now let’s recap the season thus far. John Wall has been an absolute stud this season and second year guard Bradley Beal is progressing nicely. Beal is going to be a force to be reckoned for years to come, possessing one of the purest shots in all of basketball. Elsewhere, Trevor Ariza has been playing out of his mind and the Gortat trade has worked out nicely. At the same time the Wizards have gotten absolutely no production from their bench. Eric Maynor, who was signed in the offseason, was supposed to hold down the backup point guard spot and shoulder some of the offensive responsibility. Instead, he has proven to be one of the worst guards in the NBA and has regulated himself to the end of the bench. Rookie third overall pick Otto Porter Jr., got injured before training camp and has been very unimpressive in the limited action we’ve seen from him thus far. If the Wizards can’t get production from their bench their post season prospects look grim. This team is laden with young talent ready to make a statement and it will be interesting to see what type of team shows up the rest of the season.