The Washington Wizards (46-31) have been one of the best teams in the NBA this year, but they’ve hit a rough patch over the last three weeks or so. The Wizards started 41-24 but are 5-7 in their last 12 games. In fact, they’ve lost three straight – all on the road – to the Clippers, Jazz and Warriors.
Still, Scott Ferrall doesn’t think a West Coast swoon is cause for concern. Neither does Chad Dukes.
“No, it’s not,” Washington’s WJFK afternoon drive host said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “They’ve beaten the Warriors this year, they’ve beaten the Cavaliers this year – they’ve shown no fear in big games at home and on the road. It’s tough. The Jazz are a bad matchup for them.”
The Jazz (47-30) beat the Wizards, 95-88, in Utah last Friday. Still, Washington remains one of the best home teams in the league with a 29-10 mark at the Verizon Center. Only the Cavaliers (30-8) have a better home record in the East.
“(The Wizards are) really good,” Dukes said. “Everyone is looking at LeBron here having this mini-swoon, and through no fault of his own, he’s playing ridiculous minutes. It’s a difficult grind. It looks like the Eastern Conference has never been more open.”
Boston (50-27) leads the Cavs by a half game in the East, with Toronto (47-30) and Washington following closely behind. As it stands, a Celtics/Wizards second-round matchup seems likely.
“They really have this budding rivalry with the Boston Celtics that’s been so entertaining,” Dukes said. “They’re probably going to bump heads in the postseason. Toronto is dangerous. There’s teams that can beat (the Wizards) in a seven-game season, but this is clearly John Wall’s best season. Otto Porter is three times the player that he was last year. Bradley Beal is a top-three shooting guard by some of the metrics I’ve seen. I love this team. I love the moves they made to give them some depth along the bench before the trade deadline. I don’t think anybody in the Eastern Conference wants to see this team, and I think they could beat Cleveland in a seven-game series if it came down to it.”