Looking back on the 2018-19 Wizards' season, it's clear good luck was not part of the equation.
You can say "you make your own luck", or "good luck is when opportunity meets preparation", or Google whatever "quotes about luck" you want, but sometimes things are just out of your control, and all the inspirational memes with nice sunsets and people holding their hands up in the air like Rocky still won't explain things in sports.
As NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes pointed out in January, the Wizards were one of the most unlucky teams in the NBA this year. And it led to one weird season.
No, they didn't have any public trade demands like the Timberwolves (Jimmy Butler) and Pelicans (Anthony Davis) had to deal with, or a complete meltdown after adding the best player in the game like the Lakers and LeBron James, but this year for the Wizards clearly had a lot working against them.
Remove yourself for a second from the emotional roller coaster and just think back to October. Don't close your eyes though because, you know, the whole reading part of this won't work.
Remember those expectations? A healthy John Wall. Bradley Beal was now an All-Star. A rim protecting center that's an all-time great rebounder in Dwight Howard signed in the offseason.
Austin Rivers was supposed to bring versatility at both guard positions while Jeff Green brought the veteran leadership the bench desperately needed.
The Wizards' expectations not just locally, but nationally, were bare-minimum Top-4 in the East.
That seems like a decade ago at this point.
They had the talent, the playoff experience, and made the additions to their bench that we thought, had them in position to get back to at least the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Then, almost as soon as it all came together, you realized no one had had a four leaf clover with them.
First, there was that brutal schedule that exposed this team's lack of early chemistry. Eight of their first 12 games on the road and nine of those games had them matched up against teams either in the playoffs now or fighting for a playoff spot down the final stretch. I mean, they had the Raptors, Blazers, and Warriors in three of their first four games.
Then, Howard had back/buttocks issues to start the year. It was obvious they needed him, and but it's what finally ended his season.
NBA top 3 player injury impact to team (by Lost-ws metric, lost wins due to injured players)— Man Games Lost NBA (@ManGamesLostNBA) April 5, 2019
1 Dwight Howard (70 games injured, 4.67 wins lost)
2 Demarcus Cousins (47g, 4.2 wins lost)
3 Robert Covington (43g, 3.5 wins lost)https://t.co/4AgF4u3uOH
It's almost like the basketball gods just felt like punishing them the minute the goals rose again.
Then there was Wall, who had a heel injury that required season-ending surgery as well, which was then coupled with another season-ending injury to his Achilles after falling at home.
Seriously, when do you ever hear of players having two like that? Not to mention, he wasn't even safe in his own house apparently.
Rivers couldn't find his shot or chemistry with the rest of the team and was eventually traded.
Otto Porter became a Bull in a surprise move at the trade deadline.
We had an old face return when Kelly Oubre was sent to Phoenix and Trevor Ariza came back east.
Ron Baker graced us with his shampoo commercial quality hair for four games, only to take four shots in those games before being cut and adding to a roster that had a total of 25 different players getting on the court.
We saw Gary Payton's son in a Wizards uniform, Wesley Johnson waived with just two games left. Here is a complete list of everyone who played for the team this year. It's mind-bending.
The good news is there's still a lot of hope for the future.
Obviously, it starts with the plan the new GM puts in place, but you have Beal just entering his prime, rookie Troy Brown Jr. finding his confidence, and a likely high first-round pick that can bring in more youth to build for the future again.
The offseason will without a doubt be impactful, but this was definitely a season Wizards fans will never forget.
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