Wizards' Glimmer of Hope Fading Fast

Shaun AhmadSenior Analyst IDecember 18, 2008

Turmoil in Washington Extends Beyond Capitol Hill

With more than a quarter of the season on the books, the Washington Wizards have limped to a 4-19 start, changed coaches, and spent the season without their superstar point guard. 

With 59 games remaining, the Wizards would need to win nearly 65 percent of their games just to finish at .500. The task may not sound daunting for some teams, but when you consider how dismal the Wizards have been so far this season, losing 65 percent of their remaining games would be a much more realistic expectation. 

Under new head coach Ed Tapscott, Washington has stressed defense more than ever before. The effort has been present, especially from the younger players. Unfortunately, the results have not been as pleasing. Washington has given up more than 100 points in six of their last 10 contests. To no one's surprise, they have lost each time.  

With three of their
 next five games coming against teams with a combined record of 21-56, the opportunity to reel off some victories and build confidence will be available. It all starts with the suddenly-vulnerable Philadelphia 76ers.

All in the same week, the Sixers fired their head coach—Maurice Cheeks—and lost their biggest star—Elton Brand—to a  dislocated shoulder for at least a month.

Like the Wizards, the Sixers are less than stellar on offense, averaging a mere 93.7 points per game.  However, their defense ranks ninth in the league in opponents’ scoring, giving up 94.6 points per outing.

Washington on the other hand, ranks 26th in the league while giving up 103.5 points per contest.  

Following the matchup against Philadelphia, the Wizards will take on Dallas, go on the road for games against Charlotte and Cleveland, and finish the Christmas weekend with a game against the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder.  

Though winning 65 percent of their remaining games may be setting the bar a little too high, the Wizards can take a positive step forward by taking three of their next five matchups, and hopefully build some momentum to carry them into the New Year.


Shaun Ahmad covers the Washington Wizards for Examiner.com.