Wizards look to end winless season tonight
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
WASHINGTON – The only winless team in the NBA sees losses that should have been wins. That’s the way it works when a struggling team searches for a nugget of optimism.
That’s the way it is today for the Washington Wizards as they go for their first win, at home against the Indiana Pacers.
The Wizards led the Boston Celtics late in the fourth quarter Nov. 3 only to lose 89-86. The Wizards had a lead early in the fourth quarter Nov. 10 against the Pacers, trailed by two late in the fourth and lost 89-85.
The Wizards see upcoming games that can be wins, too.
“We’re right there,” Washington center Emeka Okafor said. “We’re heading in the right direction. … We’re not getting blown out every game, so there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Just have to break through and turn things around.”
Yet, 0-8 is 0-8, and it is again another troubling start to a season for the Wizards, one of the worst offensive teams in the league. Washington is the second team to start consecutive seasons with at least eight consecutive losses (0-8 to start last season), matching the 2001-02 and 2002-03 Memphis Grizzlies who started 0-8 and 0-13.
The Wizards are trying to temper frustration with positive outlooks. It’s not easy.
The Wizards have a reasonable chance to win today – and avoid a franchise-worst 0-9 start -– against the struggling Pacers, who are 4-7, including 2-6 of late. They are without injured star forward Danny Granger (left knee).
“It feels different just because we’re in the games. We’re right there. We just have to get over the hump. We’re doing a lot better this year,” Wizards second-year forward Chris Singleton said. “I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody. It definitely helped me grow up, going through this experience, just going through these rough patches. It’s going to make us stronger.
“We’re definitely taking it hard. Everybody is taking it personal. We’re talking about basketball a lot more than we were last year. We want to win. We know it’s our fault.”
Washington has lost its eight games … [For more on Wizards look to end winless season tonight, click here.]