The Washington Wizards may be rounding into form or they might be taking a few steps back. Washington ran off a season-high four straight wins before dropping a tight one on the road to the Miami Heat on the road to end the week. All-star guard John Wall appears to be past a shoulder injury that sidelined him earlier in the month and running mate Bradley Beal has evolved into a dominant scorer. It’s all added up to a 9-6 record and the Southeast Division lead for Washington. The AFRO recaps the week that was for the Washington Wizards.

Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters (11) goes to the basket against Washington Wizards center Ian Mahinmi (28), of France, forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) and guard Bradley Beal (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The Wizards got into a groove this past week, topping Sacramento 110-92 on Nov. 13 and Miami 102-93 on Nov. 15 to piece together a four-game winning streak before a come-from-behind effort fell short against the same Miami team on Nov. 17 in a 91-88 defeat. The Wizards fell down by as much as 25 points before a furious second half comeback propelled Washington back into the game. The effort was impressive despite the defeat as Washington showed the fight it’s going to take to reach their season goal of 50 wins. Now, why the Wizards were down by 25 points at home to a team under .500 is another story, but the grit and fight were evident.

Winning four straight then enduring what should’ve been an avoidable loss at home proves the inconsistency with the team is still there. Maybe it’s coaching or maybe it’s the players but the lack of game-in and game-out effort has poisoned the Wizards for years and it must improve. The difference between the upper echelon teams and the teams that lose in the second round of the playoffs every year is just a matter of consistent execution. Washington will try to find that consistency when they return to action on Nov. 20 on the road against Toronto. The Wizards are in dire need of a trade that can add some bench scoring and the starting five needs to focus night in and night out on the defensive end. Until those two areas are fixed Washington will continue to sputter along the .500 mark. However, the team still leads the division which might not be saying much considering every team outside of the Wizards is at or below .500.

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO