Wizards

Wizards match longest win streak in 20 years

Wizards

There are quite a few different ways to view the Wizards' seven-game winning streak, which was accomplished on Friday night with their win over the Thunder. On one hand, you could say seven games are not a lot, as the Wizards are now the 11th team to win that many in a row this NBA season. The Clippers have done it twice and the Jazz have three separate streaks longer than seven.

But for the Wizards, this is rare stuff, not only in recent memory but also going back many years. In fact, their seven-game win streak is the longest they have had in four years and matches their longest in the last 20 years, since they won nine straight in 2001.

Let's put that another way. These seven straight games tie the longest streak for any Wizards team Bradley Beal has played for or that Scott Brooks has coached. That 2016-17 team that won 49 games and made it to Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs was the best one Beal and Brooks have been a part of in Washington. This year's team just matched their peak.

This is just the 17th time the Wizards have won seven or more games in a row in their 60-season franchise history. And, believe it or not, it's only two wins away from matching the longest streak the Wizards/Bullets franchise has ever had.

They have won nine consecutive games four times. Only one Wizards team pulled it off, the 2001-02 squad led by a guy named Michael Jordan. The others were done by Bullets teams: the 1978-79 Washington Bullets as well as the 1968-69 and 1969-70 Bullets, both of which played in Baltimore.

 

The Wizards are actually tied with the Magic for the shortest longest winning streak in franchise history. All 28 other teams have won at least 10 games in a row. And the Wizards have played 28 more seasons than Orlando has.

Long winning streaks just haven't been a common thing throughout the history of the Wizards franchise. Even back in the 1970s when they made the NBA Finals four times and won the championship in 1978, not once did they win 10 games in a row.

So now that they are at seven, the question is whether they can keep it going. They need two more wins to tie the franchise record and three more to set a new one.

Up next they have a back-to-back on Sunday and Monday against the Cavaliers and Spurs. The Cavs are 21-38, the sixth-worst record in the NBA. The Spurs are .500, so fairly pedestrian, but they did beat the Wizards back in January in their first meeting. After the Cavs and Spurs, they play the defending-champion Lakers.

Given how this season has gone for the Wizards, nothing is guaranteed about the next game, not a win or even a brand of basketball. All in one season, they have been both very good and very bad on offense and defense.

But lately, they have been playing their best defense of the season while also making their 3s. In their last 10 games, of which they have won nine, they are second in defensive rating (106.4) and sixth in three-point shooting percentage (38.9). They have found their recipe to win games.

So, maybe they can keep this going. They have already made it this far, and history is near.