Could Washington Wizards Usurp '11-'12 Charlotte Bobcats as the Worst Team Ever?

Martin Bater@@MartinBaterSPContributor IIDecember 7, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 21:  John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards lays back on his chair during the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 21, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The 2-14 Washington Wizards’ season could be summarized in a hypothetical newspaper ad. That ad would say the following: “WANTED: Winning Streak. Two games or more. Style points not needed. Pistons, Cavaliers and Raptors preferred. Title contenders should abstain."

Odds are that the Wizards will not threaten the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, which accumulated the fewest amount of wins in an 82-game season by finishing 9-73.

The Washington Wizards will probably be just be a run-of-the-mill bad team that finishes 15-67 or thereabouts once John Wall comes back from his injury.

The only problem is that nobody knows when Wall will be available. His timetable was still uncertain as of Friday, December 7.

The fact remains that the Wizards possessed a .153 winning percentage after winning only two of their first 15 games. They could be in danger of taking over the record for worst winning percentage ever, a distinction that currently belongs to the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats. The 'Cats went 7-59 with a winning percentage of only .106, and started with a record of 3-12 after 15 games.

Let’s remember that the Wizards finished last season with six straight victories. This took the Wizards from 15-46 to 20-46. (Impressive, I know.)

Better late than never, even if the notion of the momentum acquired from that streak went down the drain after Washington lost the first 12 games of the 2012-2013 season.

Nowadays, seeing six straight wins seems as feasible as the Capitals playing hockey.   

Granted, Nene and company did just beat the Heat at home, something that not even the most ardent Wizards fan could have seen coming. Then again, the Heat seem as interested in playing defense as the Wizards are in scoring points, with Washington being dead last in the league with an average of 90.4 points per game this season.

The Washington Post actually joined forces with Nate Silver and predicted that the Wizards would finish the season with a historically awful 5-77 record.

This is the same Nate Silver who correctly predicted the outcome of this year’s presidential elections in all 50 states. Which is why I am beginning to feel less optimistic about what I said earlier regarding my hopes for a run-of-the-mill bad team rather than one that is historically awful.

Silver and the Post said Randy Wittman’s team would only win on “December 22 vs. Detroit, December 26 vs. Cleveland, January 28 vs. Sacramento and April 3 at Toronto."

This accounts for only one road win all season. How charitable of them.

However, that prediction was made when the Wizards were 1-13, so they didn’t see the Heat win coming.

That would still put the Wizards at 6-76.

Granted, no prediction is flawless. Games are played on the court for a reason.

Let’s take a month-by-month look at the Wizards’ schedule for the remainder of the season and see which could be their most—and least—winnable stretches during each month.


Most Winnable Stretch: Dec. 21-28. At Detroit Pistons, vs. Detroit, vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, at Orlando Magic.

Silver had the Wizards winning two of these four games, and I agree with the genius. (Shocker.) Washington could even take three of four if the team feels particularly inspired to nab a win on the road, where they are 0-7 so far.

The Sacramento Kings are the only other team that hasn’t won away from home yet this year and are currently sporting an 0-6 mark. Misery loves company.

Least Winnable Stretch: Dec. 12-15. At Houston, vs. Los Angeles Lakers, at Miami Heat.

This is a good week to spend some time with family if you are a Wizards fan. Buy Christmas gifts, watch RG3 and the Redskins—do anything else, but refuse to watch the Wizards.

Sure, the Verizon Center will probably be packed to witness a possible upset against the Nash-less Lakers, but that is just not going to happen this week. Move on, be happy, and live life.


Most Winnable:  Jan. 12-16. Vs. Atlanta Hawks, vs. Orlando, at Sacramento Kings.

This month is brutal for the Wizards with a five-game West Coast swing included, so wins could come few and far between to start 2013.

However, mid-January provides a glimmer of hope as the Wizards face a Hawks team that they almost beat in Atlanta, a Magic team that inspires fear in absolutely nobody and then the Kings come as the first game of the road trip when the legs are still fresh.

Least Winnable: Jan. 1-Jan 7. Vs. Dallas Mavericks, at Indiana Pacers, vs. Brooklyn, at Miami, vs. Oklahoma City.

Happy New Year, Washington! The Wizards have a back-to-back set against the Dallas Mavericks on January 1 and the Indiana Pacers in Indiana on January 2.

Then they come home to face the Brooklyn Nets, they visit Miami and welcome the Thunder. These three teams had a combined record of 38-16 as of December 7.

Lovely schedule.


Most Winnable: Feb. 23-Feb. 27. Vs. Houston Rockets , at Toronto Raptors, vs. Detroit.

Another month full of tough games, but with no long stretches on the road or at home.

The Rockets were 9-8 overall but 2-5 on the road as of December 7, so there is a possibility that Jeremy Lin, James Harden and company could fall flat in Washington.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons boast a combined 10-30 record, so beating those two, even if one of those wins comes on the road, is doable.

Least Winnable: Feb 1-Feb. 6. At Memphis Grizzlies, at San Antonio Spurs, vs. Los Angeles Clippers, vs. New York Knicks.

This will be a promising stretch of ineptitude for the Wizards, as they will face four of the best teams in the NBA.

The two road games against the Grizzlies and against the Spurs smell like blowouts, especially considering that San Antonio already defeated them in Washington earlier this season by a score of 118-92.

Their only hope is that Gregg Popovich rests his starters. Even then, they would probably still lose.

The home games against the Clippers and Knicks are matchup nightmares for a team that is mediocre defensively and will be facing the sixth and fourth-highest scoring teams in the league, respectively.


Most Winnable: March 15-March 20. Vs. New Orleans Hornets, vs. Phoenix Suns, at Charlotte Bobcats, at Phoenix.

These three teams have a combined record of 19-36 so far, which is why the Wizards might be ripe for a modest win streak to happen.  Unless the Wizards suffer a sudden bunch of mysterious injuries that it just so happens would ensure that Washington has the best odds to grab the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, of course.

Least Winnable: March 1-March 8. Vs. Knicks, vs. Philadelphia 76ers, at Minnesota Timberwolves, at Brooklyn Nets.

The Knicks and Nets will be trying to top each other for the divisional lead and playoff seeding, so don’t expect them to come out flat in either of those games.

Meanwhile, the Sixers could have Andrew Bynum back and Ricky Rubio should be healthy enough to help Minnesota sneak into the postseason.


Least Winnable: None. Every game is winnable, and every game could also be a loss. It's a total tossup.

Most Winnable:  April 10-April 17. Vs. Miami, vs. Philadelphia, at Brooklyn, at Chicago Bulls

The Wizards defeated the Heat twice during their six-game winning streak at the end of last season.

That happened because Miami rested its starters. LeBron James didn’t play in either game and Wade played just three minutes in the first one before suiting up for the regular-season finale.

I expect the teams listed above to employ the same approach. So maybe, just maybe, the Wizards can finish the season on a high note.

May: Just kidding.



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