- The Washington Wizards ended the Portland Trail Blazers’ six game winning streak on Saturday night.
- Washington has won four straight games to improve to 10-17 on the season.
- Despite being a longshot +15000 to win the East, the Wizards are just three games off 7th place in the conference.
The Washington Wizards snapped the Portland Trail Blazers’ six-game winning streak, accomplishing the feat at the Moda Center last Saturday night.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 21, 2021
Don’t look now, but the Washington Wizards have won four straight games. That’s nothing compared to Utah’s impressive run. However, considering that Washington has now won four in a row since 2018, it’s quite a feat, really.
The Wizards had high hopes this season. The team traded the oft-injured John Wall to Houston for former MVP Russell Westbrook to give Bradley Beal a more aggressive and energetic backcourt partner. The Westbrook experiment went off to a slow start, at least from the team perspective. But Russ has been putting up impressive numbers right from day one and after nearly three full months with Westbrook in Scott Brooks’ system, the Wizards are starting to see the Westbrook effect.
Russell Westbrook notched his 8th triple-double of the season on Saturday.
In just 20 games with the Wizards, he already has the 2nd-most triple-doubles in franchise history, trailing only Darrell Walker with 15. pic.twitter.com/O0reIZ4UAh
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 21, 2021
The Russell Westbrook effect looked bad at first. Russ put up a triple double in his first four games as a Wizard but Washington lost all of those games, and a fifth one in between which Russ sat out due to load management. Then when they were 3-8, Washington missed two weeks of action due to COVID-19 protocols. The Wizards fell to 11 games below the .500 mark before their current winning streak.
Westbrook has put up tripe-doubles in his last three games played, and barely missed a fourth straight, coming up one rebound short during their 104-91 win over the Celtics which was win no. 1 in their winning streak. He now has a total of eight triple doubles on the season, putting him already in 2nd place in Washington’s all-time list, behind Darrell Walker’s 15.
While Russ has been putting up triple-doubles in their last three games, Beal has shot 48-89 from the field or 53.9% shooting accuracy. The 27-year old will be making his first All-Star game start this season, and has credited Westbrook for helping him push to be better. Russ has done the same to Kevin Durant and Paul George in OKC, helping KD win MVP honors there, and aiding PG produce his best season ever during his stint with the Thunder.
A bettor @BetMGM just placed $10,000 on the Wizards (+50000) to win the NBA Championship…
💰 $10K to win $5 Million 💰 pic.twitter.com/n8dWlEiiDk
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) February 16, 2021
One Las Vegas bettor, probably not a smart one, placed a $10K bet at BetMGM for the Wizards to win the 2021 NBA championship at +50000 odds. That would mean a $5,000,000 payout if Washington goes all the way this season. That bet is funny, more than anything else but while The Wizards are a longshot to win the 2021 NBA chip, you can’t say that they are also out of the playoff race.
Washington has the 4th worst odds to win the Eastern Conference at +15000 at SportsBetting.ag. The best NBA betting sites also have them around that spot in their latest Eastern Conference oddsboard. But at 10-17, the Wizards are just three games off 7th place and a mere four games behind the current 4th seed Indiana Pacers.
We know how volatile this season can be with the COVID-19 protocols so with plenty of games to play, the Wizards are still very much within striking distance, even for a Top 4 spot in the conference. With Westbrook finding his rhythm and Beal feeding off Russ’ success, don’t sleep on the Washington Wizards just yet.