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Washington Wizards Ready To Set An Embarrassing Team Record

The Washington Wizards (9-52) fell to the Utah Jazz (28-34) 127-115 on Monday night as the losing streak for the Wizards reached 15. Washington currently has the longest active losing streak in the association along with the most losses in the season at the time of writing. And to cap it off, they are ready to set a new team record that no one wants! Can the season get any worse for the Wizards?

The Wizards’ Losing Streak Reaches 15

Infamous History

The Wizards have dropped fifteen consecutive matchups and have only won 3 games since the calendar turned to 2024. Washington is one loss away from tying the franchise record for the most consecutive losses in a season in franchise history with 16.

The 2009-2010 Wizards team currently holds that infamous record, as the stretch went from March 3, 2010, to March 31, 2010, respectively. The 2009-2010 Washington team was led by Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison. Arenas was suspended for gun possession and Butler and Jamison were traded which further contributed to its downward spiral that season.

As for the 2023-2024 Wizards team, its last victory came against the San Antonio Spurs on January 29, which means Washington failed to win a game in the month of February. However, the Wizards have a good chance to not be on the wrong side of history with a matchup against the lowly Charlotte Hornets (Friday) after their game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.

It’s hard to win games when interim coach Brian Keefe’s team has a league-worst 119.9 defensive rating and is one of the worst interior teams in the league. As of this time of writing, Washington allows 59.5 points in the paint per game which ranks second to last in the league. On the glass, Washington has a league-worst 45.7 percent overall rebounding percentage, 29th in offensive rebounding percentage at 20.2 percent, and is 30th in defensive rebounding at 37.1 percent, respectively. Due to their poor interior play, opposing teams can impose their will for second-chance points and dominate the glass.

Jordan Poole’s New Character Plot

Jordan Poole seems like a different player since being benched after the All-Star break. Against the Jazz, Poole tallied 32 points and shot 6/10 from three-point range and 11/18 from the field, respectively.

Poole’s recent performances (34 points, season-high vs Lakers) have opened eyeballs from fans around the NBA community, as Poole seems more confident and relaxed in his new role. However, Poole is the highest-paid player on the Wizards. Washington perhaps expected him to somewhat turn the franchise in the right direction based on his prior success. It’s fair to say maybe it was too much pressure for Poole as the full-time, face of the franchise starter for Washington.

Poole playing with the second unit has done wonders for his play style and confidence. As the primary option on the second unit, Poole’s game can breathe. Fortunately, he’s starting to look like the player he was coming off the bench for Golden State. Poole is bringing a high-energy and aggressive yet finesse approach to the court and the move to the bench has done wonders for the former Michigan Wolverine thus far.

Tyus Jones and Kyle Kuzma Continue to Ball Out

Jones and Kuzma have been bright spots for Washington, especially since the All-Star break. Jones has averaged 10.5 assists over the past seven games while Kuzma has averaged 24.8 points during that stretch, respectively.

The Washington forward frequently uses his 6-foot-9 frame to either take defenders to the basket (10.4 drive attempts per game) or he can shoot overtop of them to garner his points. The former Los Angeles Laker is not only just the Wizards top scorer. Kuzma also serves as the veteran mentor to guys such as Corey Kispert, Deni Avdija, and Bilal Coulibaly.

Jones has benefited since Poole was moved to the bench. The former Duke guard is now the primary playmaker and oversees the offense to make the most out of each possession. In addition, his decision-making and low-turnover play style bodes well for a team aiming to be competitive in a lost season.

How’s the Young Trio Doing?

Coulibaly returned to the starting lineup on Monday night. The rookie missed the previous three games due to a bruised right pelvis. Against Utah, Coulibaly had a +/- of -19 and contributed only 7 points in 33 minutes. However, Coulibaly having remained a key starter will do wonders for his development going forward.

Avdija tallied 16 points and 11 rebounds against the Jazz (tenth double-double of the season). However, Avdija committed five turnovers and shot 0-4 from three-point range. The Washington forward contributed effectively off the glass and defensively as a help defender. If Avdija can reduce his turnover rate (5 turnovers in 3 of his last 7 games), his overall game will be much improved, as it has already been.

Kispert didn’t contribute much in the loss to the Jazz (2-9 from field, 5 points), but his stock is still high after recently having tallied three straight 20-plus point performances post-All-Star break. Kispert currently shoots 47.18 percent from the field over the past five games. The 25-year-old forward stands at 6-foot-7 and is a respectable defender who can stay in front of athletic wings. Should Kispert be a starter?

The Last Word on Wizards Losing Streak Reaches 15

Bagley III subbed out of Monday’s game against the Jazz due to a lower back spasm and did not finish the game. The Washington center recently missed consecutive games last month due to a back injury, which doesn’t do one of the league’s worst rebounding teams any favors. If Bagley is out for an extended period of time, Washington will be forced to play small ball. As a result, Washington is prematurely losing the battle in the trenches to opposing teams.

Washington faces the sixth-seed Orlando Magic on Wednesday night and are surefire underdogs. If Washington loses, they will tie the franchise record with 16 straight losses. In all likelihood, infamous history will be on the line against the Hornets on Friday night.

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