Are the Wizards a Playoff Team?

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Stefan Erwin, Staff Writer

The Washington Wizards started the season with a very disappointing record of 6-17 but recently went on a 5-game winning streak beating a few very competitive teams in that stretch, 3 of which were in the Conference Finals for their respective conferences last season (the Celtics, Lakers, and Nuggets).  Their 5-game winning streak was broken on Tuesday night in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers who are now the 2nd seed in the West.  After such a disappointing start it was nice to see the Wizards be competitive for once given the high expectations before the season.

This past offseason the Wizards acquired former MVP point guard Russell Westbrook in a trade with the Rockets.  Westbrook is a player who has never had trouble filling the stat sheet and is known to do it all on the court.  The trade paired Westbrook with all-star guard Bradley Beal in Washington.  There was a lot of excitement around this new duo and high expectations with some people saying the Wizards could be title contenders.  However, after the first couple weeks of the season, it was pretty clear that the Wizards will not be title contenders any time soon.  Granted they have dealt with some injuries, including their starting center, Thomas Bryant, being out for the year with a partially torn ACL.

Although they won’t be contending for a championship this year, they may be able to get into the playoffs.  The Wizards have some young players who are developing as the season goes on in Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija, Mo Wagner, and Cassius Winston.  These guys have shown a lot of promise, especially Rui and Deni.  If these players continue to develop and mesh with Russ and Beal they could definitely continue to compete at a high level and make their way to the playoffs.

With that being said, the Wizards are a team to watch this season.  So far, they have been very inconsistent, but within the next few months, they may be able to prove themselves as a playoff team.  There’s a wide range of outcomes for this team and all we can do is wait.