NBA Playoff Odds: Will the Wizards Make the Postseason?
Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: Bradley Beal #3 and Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards.
Washington Wizards NBA Playoff Odds
|Current Place||No. 10|
|Data as of Tuesday, odds via FanDuel|
Aside from the Knicks, the Wizards are one of hottest teams in the league. They’ve won eight out of their last 10, including an 11-point fourth quarter comeback with 6:58 to go against the Golden State Warriors.
It’s clear the Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook experiment is finally starting to resembled what the team envisioned as they now find themselves sitting in 10th place, inside the of the NBA’s play-in tournament window for the first time since the season started.
Entering Tuesday, Beal ranks first scoring at 31.4 points per game and Westbrook is averaging a triple-double for the fourth time in his career. Despite having Beal and Westbrook, the Wizards are still just 22nd in Offensive Rating, scoring 110.5 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes.
The trade deadline deal that landed the Wizards Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchison has been a sneaky game changer for this team. Gafford struggled to stay in the rotation in his two seasons with the Bulls, but in his short time in DC he’s made an impact on this team as he can protect the rim, run the floor and is a legitimate lob threat.
In just 17.9 minutes of action, he’s averaging 12.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. Gafford has all the makings of an elite rim protector and shot blocker and his presence has turned this defense around.
The Wizards were 26th in Defensive Rating (115.3) before the trade deadline, but since March 25, they rank fourth in Defensive Rating (108.4) and Gafford’s presence has been a big part of that.
The Wizards have 11 games left, including seven games on the road — they face the Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks (twice) in a 12-day span.
But if there’s a team that presents the most value for a flyer, I think it’s the Wizards. With Beal and Westbrook hitting their stride and an improving defense, they could present a challenge in a play-in game scenario.