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Are Wizards Contenders With New Additions?

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The Washington Wizards have one of the greatest backcourts in the league. The argument for the Wizards’ backcourt being one of the best in the NBA has gained traction as both, John Wall and Bradley Beal have been enjoying career years this season. After the first dozen games of this season though, that wasn’t the dialogue in D.C.

The Wizards were a disappointing 3-9, including losses to the lottery-bound Magic and Sixers, and they looked like they would be missing the playoffs for a second straight season after making it to the postseason in back-to-back years in 2014 and 2015. Aside from John Wall starting off the year on a tear, things were looking bleak. 

Bradley Beal’s injury woes looked like they would plague him for another year after suffering a hamstring injury in an early November game against the Celtics. Even before that injury, Beal hadn’t been showing signs of evolving. He was getting off to an underwhelming start to the year. 

Aside from Beal, many other Wizards not named John Wall were struggling to find their groove. Wall was carrying the starting unit on his back, and the bench were doing very little to help. 

Beal is averaging 25.3 points per game over the last 30 days and is shooting an astounding 53% from the field. 

Beal’s dominance offensively over the past month has been a big part of Washington’s climb up the Eastern Conference ladder. 

Otto Porter Jr. is quietly having a career-best campaign this season. He’s averaging about 14 points and six and a half boards per game, as well as 1.6 steals. He’s beginning to seem worth having been a lottery pick back in 2013 when the Wizards selected him third in the draft. He’s been very consistent over the season, with a few bad games here or there. 

Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris have been benefiting from years of playing together in both Phoenix and D.C. Morris has been scoring an impressive 17 points per game over the last month, while normally he averages just under 15. Gortat has also been averaging a double double the past month. 

With the Wizards’ additions of veteran guard Brandon Jennings (who’s averaging 8.6 points per game and 4.9 assists per game during an average of 24.6 minutes nightly) and forward Bojan Bogdanovic, they could make a push for the top seed in the East. 

The Wizards have been on a tear lately and sit just six games out of first place in their conference. While the Cavs are dealing with Kevin Love’s injury, the Wizards could make a push for the number one seed; and if Love’s injury problems linger into the postseason, potentially past Cleveland in the playoffs. 

Their play lately has been noteworthy and with their new additions, it may not be that improbable to imagine Washington making a push to make it to the Finals with Cleveland’s injury issues. 

About Brandon Wentz

Mayor of the borough of Mt. Carbon, Pennsylvania. Disappointed fan of the Phoenix Suns. Humble narcissist. Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/thebighonch

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