Home Noticias Washington Wizards might end this season with the NBA’s worst record – The Washington Post

Washington Wizards might end this season with the NBA’s worst record – The Washington Post

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Washington Wizards might end this season with the NBA’s worst record – The Washington Post

The Washington Wizards haven’t won 50 games in a season since 1978-79, and there (mercifully) aren’t enough games remaining in the 2023-24 campaign to end that absurd drought this year, but Jordan Poole and Co. are careening toward a different sort of history in the early stages of the team’s rebuild.

The Wizards and their fans have endured plenty of dreadful seasons over the past 60 years, but few quite like this one, even though the team’s struggles were expected as part of the new front office’s long-term plan. Washington’s NBA franchise hasn’t finished with the worst record in the league since the 1966-67 Baltimore Bullets brought up the rear in the 10-team NBA. That could change this year. After losing their 12th consecutive game Tuesday at Capital One Arena to fall to 9-49, the Wizards moved into a tie with the Detroit Pistons at the bottom of the league standings. It’s a remarkable development considering the Pistons, who finished with the league’s worst record a year ago, tied an NBA record by losing 28 consecutive games earlier this season.

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The teams that finish the season with the three-worst records will each have a 14 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft lottery, but the team with the worst record is guaranteed to pick no lower than fifth, so there is a potentially small benefit to finishing dead last. It won’t be easy for the Wizards to, uh, hold off the Pistons, but they have a chance, with their home game against Detroit on March 29 looming large. Tuesday’s loss dropped Washington to 2-13 since Brian Keefe replaced Wes Unseld Jr. as head coach and 1-37 against teams above .500. (The lone win came in December against the Indiana Pacers, who should feel ashamed.)

So, how does this season compare to woeful Wizards seasons past? There have been more painful seasons to be a Wizards fan, including years when rosters built to compete failed to live up to expectations, but this year’s team is on pace for 15 wins, which would be the fewest in franchise history. According to the Simple Rating System, a metric that takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule, this is shaping up to be the worst season in franchise history (by roughly two points per game) and the 10th-worst NBA campaign since 2000.

The Wizards’ SRS of minus-9.5 means they’re 9.5 points worse than the average team this season after adjusting for strength of schedule, which is the second-worst mark in the league. Interestingly, the team with the worst SRS this season isn’t the Pistons but the Charlotte Hornets (minus-10.6), who have six more wins than Detroit and Washington.

The last time the Wizards posted a positive SRS rating was 2017-18, in Scott Brooks’s second year as coach. Washington has finished with a negative SRS rating in 32 of 44 completed seasons since wining 54 games and reaching the NBA Finals in 1979, and this year’s team is on pace to establish a new low.

As the Wizards prepare for a three-game West Coast road trip, here’s a look back at the franchise’s five worst seasons by SRS since it moved to Baltimore in 1963.

Record: 23-59 | SRS: -7.3

“Back to Basics.” That’s the motto Coach Flip Saunders came up with for his young team ahead of his second season at the helm. During Washington’s disastrous 2009-10 campaign, which included Gilbert Arenas’s locker room gun incident, the Wizards broke up the “Big Three” by dealing Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison at the trade deadline. The franchise won the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery, which it used to select Kentucky point guard John Wall.

Wall averaged 16.4 points as a rookie in an otherwise dismal season. The Wizards traded Arenas to the Orlando Magic for Rashard Lewis on Dec. 18 and finished with the fourth-worst record in the league.

Lowlight: Washington lost its first 25 road games of the season.

Record: 24-58 | SRS: -7.1

Kevin Duckworth, acquired in an offseason trade with the Portland Trail Blazers for Harvey Grant, averaged a paltry 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in his first year in the Eastern Conference. Fellow big man Pervis Ellison was limited to 24 games by knee injuries in what would be his final season in Washington. Coach Wes Unseld announced his resignation to the USAir Arena crowd after 7-foot-7 rookie Gheorghe Muresan scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a season-ending win over Charlotte.

“This was my last game,” Unseld said. “I was going to announce it to the press, but I thought it would be more fitting to tell you — the fans — first. You have been patient, kind and encouraging, and I wanted to thank you all personally. … I also want to tell you there’s no way this will not be a good team in a year or so. They will give you something to be proud of.”

Lowlight: After a 6-6 start, the Bullets lost 10 straight, dashing any hope that the 1993-94 season would be much different from the 60-loss 1992-93 campaign.

Coach Eddie Jordan, who led Washington to its fourth consecutive playoff appearance the previous season, was fired after the Wizards started 1-10. Interim replacement Ed Tapscott went 18-53.

Arenas, who signed a six-year, $111 million contract in the summer of 2008, underwent a third surgery on his left knee in September and appeared in only two games. By March, Washington’s primary motivation was avoiding the franchise record for fewest wins in a season, set by the 18-62 Chicago Packers in 1961-62. (The Packers’ SRS was minus-7.5.)

“Guys still have pride in here and even though things have been rough all season, we still have to fight,” Butler said. “That gives us something to fight for.”

Lowlight: Brendan Haywood tore a ligament in his right wrist during training camp and missed five months.

Record: 19-63 | SRS: -6.75

At the news conference to introduce Leonard Hamilton as the Wizards’ fifth coach in three seasons in June 2000, Michael Jordan, who had been named Washington’s president of basketball operations fives months earlier, issued a bold proclamation.

“We have three potential all-stars and some talented role players,” Jordan said. “We can be a .500 team. I’m very confident we can make the playoffs.”

Washington, which hosted the All-Star Game in 2001 but didn’t have a representative in the game, started 7-34 and dealt forward Juwan Howard at the trade deadline en route to the third-worst record in the league. Hamilton resigned after the season.

Lowlight: In January 2001, veteran point guard Rod Strickland was arrested and charged with driving under the influence for the third time in three years. The arrest came after the Wizards suspended Strickland without pay for one game for missing two practices, a doctor’s appointment and a team flight. Washington released Strickland in March.

Record: 22-60 | SRS: -6.5

Rookie Tom Gugliotta averaged 14.7 points and 9.6 rebounds and second-year shooting guard LaBradford Smith cooked Jordan’s Bulls for 37 points in a loss at Chicago, but those were among the only bright spots in Unseld’s fifth full season as coach.

“You wanted the Washington Bullets to rebuild,” David Aldridge, then the team’s beat reporter for The Washington Post, wrote after the Bullets finished with their worst record since the 1966-67 season. “You were tired of seeing aging basketball players traipsing about Capital Centre. You wanted young, hungry guys who would dive on the court and were quick to the basket. You got them. Sort of. Wasn’t pretty, was it?”

Lowlight: The most lopsided of Washington’s 60 losses was a 45-point defeat at New Jersey on Jan. 9, 1993. “Inept,” Unseld said afterward. “We didn’t do it … out there offensively or defensively.”

Neil Greenberg contributed to this report.

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