Let's Visualize Washington's Bad Beats and Blown Games Thru 20% of the Season | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Let’s Visualize Washington’s Bad Beats and Blown Games Thru 20% of the Season

Updated: December 1, 2016

The woulda, couldas of the 2016-17 Washington Wizards are already being trotted out like proud poodles at the Westminster Kennel Dog Show. A defense of a 3-pointer here, a defense of a 3-pointer there, a made 3-pointer anywhere. It’s catch as catch can to find a way to lose for these lovable losers, who could very well be the Chicago Cubs of the NBA … if it were ever fashionable in a yuppie sense to root for the Wizards.

In a bizarro scenario, this team seems to make people love to hate them. At least those fans who actually stick around and express their exasperated fandom regarding Washington’s NBA team on Twitter. Unfortunately, team owner Ted Leonsis considers those from this set as static, mere blips on the radar, and insignificant to however he gauges the temperature of those he wants buying his product. Those he seems to care more about attracting, the casual to semi-non-casual fan located in the DMVA region, have … well, just stopped caring. It’s true. Many good, once-upon-a-time loyal fans of the Wizards have just stopped caring. One result: the Wizards are ranked 25th in the NBA in average “announced” home attendance (15,542) and 27th in average capacity per game (76.6%). Fans are selling off plummeting shares while the organization’s holding company keeps the management responsible for all of this in place.

We digress—just a tad. The point of this blog post: 20 percent of the season is over and done with, so we are compiling all game “lead trackers” from NBA.com in one place to better visualize all the all-too-familiar ways in which a 6-11 Washington team has lost (and won) this season. Let’s proceed…

OCT. 27: New season! Opening night in Atlanta! The gang’s almost all here (except Ian, pronounced “Jan”), and the Wizards want revenge for that playoff series loss back in the day. Here we go, NBA! …

Oh, oh my. That’s a lot of red at the end. It’s like the artery of a relatively competitive game was severed, spilling first blood all over the 2016-17 Wizards season as the professionalism of the team’s two stars was questioned.


OCT. 30: Game No. 2. Memphis, Beale Street, BBQ, the Blues, etc. The Blues! The Grizzlies generally dominated once Markieff Morris got into early foul trouble, throwing the whole team into a tailspin. The Wizards fought back after halftime and even took a lead late … before letting Marc Gasol bomb from deep and dance his way to victory.


NOV. 2: Hey, lookit! … the Wizards came out in their home opener (Marcin Gortat’s “must-win”) and dominated the beginnings versus the Raptors (no thanks to a less-than-capacity, sort-of-juiced crowd). What’s that you say? They play two halves in basketball?

And it’s NOT ideal that DeMar DeRozan outscored the Wizards by himself down the stretch? OK, well then.

20161102-wizards-vs-raptorsNOV. 4: Win No. 1: Washington dominated a weary Atlanta team at home, save for two little fangs surrounding the break between the first and second quarters. Those fangs represent the Wizards’ vampire bench that has been sucking the blood out of the season.

NOV. 5: So that first game in Orlando—little bit of a sleepy start, it being Washington’s first back-to-back of the season with John Wall being held out. Still with the talent advantage, the Wizards countered with a series of speed bumps … until they obliviously, and damn near belligerently, ran ramshackle into two potholes at the very end. Down two points, a Markieff Morris 3 at the buzzer would have won it.


NOV. 7: No other Wizards game this season to date has had more lead changes than that Rockets game (25). It was fun, it was competitive, both teams built double-digit leads at some point, and then James Harden won while John Wall, amidst an odd closing scene, was ejected for bumping (seemingly on purpose) into a referee.


NOV. 9: The Wizards, thanks to a career night from Otto Porter,  just thoroughly dominated an Al Horford-less Celtics team at home for their second win of the season. This pattern is what scientists call an anomaly.


NOV. 11: Talk about a tale of two halves—it’s like LeBron made a slash right through this thing with a breakaway dunk and/or chase-down block. Only one other game on the season’s charts trumps this discrepancy. At least this game was against the world champs.


NOV. 12: You could say that the Bulls game in Chicago—night after the Cavs game—out-#SoWizards‘d the tale above, but you see this is more of a late-third quarter (when the Wizards missed about eight layups in a span of 90 seconds) into the fourth quarter collapse. Totally different category. There are levels to this shit.


NOV. 16: Avert your eyes. The worst loss of the season. Don’t listen to what John Wall said about the recent Thunder game being the worst loss. That belittles Russell Westbrook, sorta. No, this was to an Embiid-less, Ben Simmons-less, Nerlens Noel-less, Sam Hinke-less, Jerryd Bayless-less Philadelphia 76ers team. It was quite embarrassing.


NOV. 17: So then the Wizards dominated the Knicks (after that embarrassment in Philly) because the Knicks are also pretty terrible at defending the 3-ball, and terrible away from The Garden, and the Wizards were at home, and for the first time in his career Otto Porter got the best of Carmelo Anthony.


NOV. 19: Now, this—against LeBron’s former team—is what truly leads the Tale of Two Halves, #SoWizards category … a game where Washington sounded like “old records.” I mean, come on. If you squint real hard and use your imagination, Miami’s second half looks like Scott Brooks throwing his hands up, one higher than the other (for some reason).


NOV. 21: Well look at this lil’ competitive thing here—second-most lead changes on the season, yes you are! It’s like the Wizards and Suns got into dinghies and paddled in a race against the current. Washington just happened to win.


NOV. 25: Now this lead tracker is pretty unique compared to the rest. The Wizards jumped out to an amazingly dominant first quarter, even against the Magic. And Washington generally held steadfast onto their lead into the second and third quarters … until they just let up and sputtered. Orlando even took the lead, but ultimately the Wizards walked backwards and salvaged win No. 5 in 14 games on the season.


NOV. 26: If you were looking at the audio levels as Spurs fans of Big Brother San Antonio in the Verizon Center chanted “Go, Spurs, Go,” then I’m pretty sure it would look like what’s below. If Washington were lucky, this would be spilt ink on all the bench contracts Ernie Grunfeld signed this summer, thus voiding them. Guess what: Washington is not lucky.


NOV. 28: John Wall and the Wizards jumped out on Boogie Cousins and the Kings, who had a game the night before in Brooklyn. In the process of the pendulum swinging back in Sacramento’s direction, it just became an ugly, foul-prone game. Eyes were averted, children were put to bed, and anyone caught still wearing a turtleneck unrolled the fabric so they could take the form of a headless, nameless, faceless fan of a team amidst the 5,000 or so who looked to be in attendance for this dreary Monday night affair. There were turnovers, missed free throws, and that empty space jutting upward into Washington’s tracked lead toward the end of the fourth quarter is like a hole stabbed in the empty heart of G-Wiz. Where were we again?


NOV. 30: And so on the last day of the first official month of the NBA season, the Wizards choke after leading 97-90 with nearly five minutes left in regulation. From there and into the overtime period (the game’s last 10 minutes), Washington was outscored 36-18 by all Thunder players and 21-18 by one individual named Russell Westbrook. Judging from the second and third quarters, when the prerequisite grim faces and dire straits infiltrated #WizardsTwitter with great familiarity, perhaps Washington never had much business being in the game during the fourth quarter, anyway. But there the Wizards were, with a chance to win in sight, to no avail. The end, for now.


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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.