Washington Wizards Odds, Calendar, Stats, Injuries 2022-23 NBA Season

Washington Wizards Last Season Performance

For the Washington Wizards, there was a lot of optimism to start the 2021-22 season. Wes Unseld Jr. was the new coach, and things were actually working out quite nicely to begin the season. In fact, through Jan. 17 (first 44 games), the Wizards had a winning record (23-21).

The defense excelled in the first part of the season, they won some tight games, and it looked like they might be able to hang around for some Play-In Tournament action. However, just because the record was good didn’t mean everything was great.

Players actually voiced some concerns over the offensive system, as it was a little too equal an opportunity for some of the better players on the team to get into a rhythm. The offense started to deteriorate, as did that defensive execution from the start of the season.

A six-game losing streak took the Wizards below .500 for the rest of the season, and things completely fell apart. In the first 49 games of the season, the Wizards were 6-3 in the nine games Beal missed. But he wouldn’t play again after Game 49 of the season. In those final 33 games, Washington went 12-21.

Before the trade deadline, the Wizards shook some things up by sending Spencer Dinwiddie and Dāvis Bertāns to Dallas for Kristaps Porziņģis. They wanted to pair Beal and Porziņģis together moving forward to see if that could spark a system and proper hierarchy for the Wizards to succeed. The Wizards had an abysmal second half of the season and missed the Play-In Tournament by eight wins.

A team’s win-loss record and playoff performance is the most definitive, clear-cut measure of its success or lack thereof. As the saying goes, “You are what your record says you are.” But there are other methods to evaluate a team’s season, and one of those ways is to assess whether it achieved its more narrow, more specific goals.

One of the reasons Sheppard hired Wes Unseld Jr. as the head coach was to improve the team’s defense. The 2020-21 Wizards allowed 112.3 points per 100 possessions and finished 20th leaguewide in defensive efficiency. Throughout training camp, the preseason and the regular season, Unseld and his assistant coaches focused on defense.

The Wizards’ defense plummeted after a strong start. The numbers don’t lie: Overall, the team’s defense was a massive disappointment. Were there some valid reasons for a drop-off? Yes. A COVID-19 outbreak, injuries and trade-deadline roster changes factored in. But they don’t fully explain the magnitude of the decline. As the season went on, players and Unseld himself often said the team didn’t focus enough or exert enough effort on defense.

The Washington Wizards remain a team in transition, though it’s unclear as to what they’re transitioning to. Bradley Beal is still here, having ranked second in the league in scoring in each of the last two seasons, though now they are hoping that, this season, the team will look better than the ones they’ve built around Beal the last few seasons.

Washington Wizards Off-Season Changes

Everything is going to hinge on two things for the Wizards. First and foremost, it’s about the Beal and Porziņģis duo. Talent-wise, it’s an exceptional combination that plays off each other well. Both guys can pretty much score from anywhere on the floor. Beal is excellent in the pick-and-roll as a scorer, and that means the defense has to swarm him.

If the primary pass option is for Porziņģis to pop to the perimeter or dive to the hoop, the defense has impossible decisions to make. The Wizards will need some balance on the perimeter though. They have to spread the floor to keep the operating space for that duo as optimal as possible.

They can be great offensively and just top-20 defensively to make the Play-In Tournament. However, the East isn’t as forgiving as it used to be, and that means the Wizards can’t afford to lose either of their oft-injured stars for a significant amount of time.

Washington Wizards Key Additions

Monte Morris is one of the Washington Wizards‘ newest additions. Morris should help on the offensive end. He’s a good shooter (career 39.4% from three) and a decent playmaker who avoids turnovers. He’s not much of a defender, however.

Similarly, Will Barton will reinforce the Wizards lineup, who is a modest help on offense. He’s a decent long-range shooter who likes to attack the paint with dribble drives. And he’s a willing passer. On defense? He’ll fit right in with the rest of his defensively challenged teammates.

Washington Wizards Key Substractions

On the subtraction end, the Wizards did not make any flashy moves or significant losses. Their biggest loss was definitely Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who they traded to the Denver Nuggets for Barton and Morris.

Washington Wizards Head Coach Analysis

Wes Unseld Jr. has certainly been tested. Due to hardship exemption contracts, the Wizards had 29 players appear in games last season, the most in franchise history. For comparison, just four years ago in the 2017-18 season, they had 15, meaning last year nearly doubled that number.

Some of the 29 players were true emergency signings. Alize Johnson flew in to join the team in Miami and made his debut that night, after barely having a chance to introduce himself to his teammates, much less review the playbook. At one point, the Wizards were down six-point guards after hardship signing Brad Wanamaker tested positive following his first game with the team.

Ultimately, it’s up to him to navigate the Wizards players through whatever they encounter and last season featured plenty of chaos. His ability to stay even-keeled throughout that turmoil has impressed Beal, for one. If Unseld Jr. can handle this season, with all the hurdles that have been thrown his way, future ones may feel like a piece of cake in comparison.

Unseld Jr. has come a long way since the days of lobbying Jordan Goodwin in front-office meetings and watching films with Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. Now he’s back on the bench in Washington, but as the head coach and with that a lot more responsibility.

Washington Wizards Betting Prediction for the 2022-23 Season

The Sportsbook has the Wizards at +25000 odds to win the 2023 NBA Championship and at +12500 to win the Eastern Conference. The Wizards have stuck in an undesirable location: a mediocre team that cannot win multiple series. Their roster has a few solid pieces, but they lack the talent to make a serious run in the brutal Eastern Conference.

At their absolute peak, Washington could be a nuisance to a premier contender in the first round. However, it would require healthy luck and multiple leaps from their young talent.

In the best-case scenario, Porziņģis stays healthy, Kuzma blows up, one of the kids makes a leap and the Wizards get 45 wins or so and a mid-tier playoff seed. More likely, there’s a speed bump or two along the way, and they’re fighting to get into the Play-In Tournament. It might not be optimal, but this is exactly what the Wizards signed up for when they committed to paying Beal rather than trading him.

Washington Wizards Team Ranked Stats

Washington Wizards Team Summary

Washington Wizards Team Injuries

Washington Wizards Team Schedule/Results

Washington Wizards Team Standings

Washington Wizards Team Roster

Washington Wizards FAQs

When was the last time the Washington Wizards made the playoffs?

The Washington Wizards last made the playoffs in 2021, when they lost the Eastern Conference First Round. They’ve been in the playoffs a total of 31 times in their 66 seasons.

Do the Washington Wizards have a chance of winning the Eastern Conference title?

While they have a slim chance at winning the Eastern Conference, it’s going to be a long shot. It’s undeniable that the competition has been getting tougher in the Eastern Conference.

Have the Washington Wizards won an NBA championship?

The Wizards have played in four NBA Finals; they won in 1978.

Why Are the Washington Wizards part of the NBA?

The team now known as the Wizards began playing as the Chicago Packers in 1961, as the NBA’s first expansion team, an expansion prompted by Abe Saperstein’s American Basketball League.