1973/74: Playing in the Washington suburb of Landover the Baltimore Bullets become the Capital Bullets, as they won the Central Division again with a 47-35 record despite seeing Wes Unseld limited to 56 games due to injuries. In the playoffs, the Bullets would be beaten by the New York Knicks for the fifth time in six years, losing a hard-fought series in seven games.
1974/75: Now named the Washington Bullets, the team captures its sixth division title in seven years by posting a franchise-best record of 60-22. The Bullets were nearly unbeatable at home, posting a record of 36-5 at the Capital Centre. In the playoffs, the Bullets would survive a tough seven-game series against the Buffalo Braves as the home team took all seven-game in a series in which the teams alternated home games. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Bullets got off to a quick start jumping out to a 3-1 series lead before beating the Boston Celtics in six games to reach the NBA Finals for the second time in franchise history. However, once against the Bullets are swept in four straight games, this time by the Golden State Warriors who win two of the four games by one point.
1975/76: After being swept in the Finals, the Bullets lose their grip on the Central Division missing out on their sixth straight division title by one game with a record of 48-34. In the playoffs, the Bullets would again defend their home territory, winning all three games at the Capital Centre. However, they would lose all four games on the road to the Cleveland Cavaliers as they lost in seven games. Following the season coach K.C. Jones would be forced out, despite a solid 63% winning percentage.
1976/77: Under new coach Dick Motta the Bullets would again fall short of the Central Division title by one game with a record of 48-34 as Elvin Hayes finished sixth in the league in rebounds with 12.5 per game. In the first round, the Bullets would beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-game series. In the second round, the Bullets would get off to a good start taking two of the first three games against the Houston Rockets. However, with a chance to take a 3-1 lead at home, the Bullets would lose 107-103 as the Rockets went on to take the final three games to take the series in six games.
1977/78: After a slow start in which they lost six of their first ten games, the Bullets played steady basketball until January 13th when they beat the defending Champion Portland Trailblazers to improve to 24-15. However, injuries would begin to affect the team as the Bullets struggled, losing 13 of their next 18 games. Hovering around .500 the rest of the way, the Bullets would need a strong finish just to slip into the playoffs with a 44-38 record. However, as the playoffs began, the Bullets started to get healthy and started to play solid basketball they would get off to a quick start by sweeping the Atlanta Hawks in two straight games. Moving on to the second round, the Bullets continued to play solid basketball as they jumped out to a 3-1 series lead before stunning the Central Division Champion San Antonio Spurs in six games, capped by a Game 6 of strange circumstances at the Capital Centre. The game started oddly as Spurs Guard Mike Gale was forced to wear an inside out Bullets uniform after losing his uniform at the airport. In the 3rd period, the Spurs would make a run and take a 62-61 lead when the lights went out at the Cap Centre. When the lights came back on, the Bullets would come out shooting on the way to a 103-100 win. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Bullets again would get out to a fast start taking a 3-1 series lead against the Philadelphia 76ers. After losing Game 5 on the road, the Bullets had a chance to close the series at home. In the closing seconds, Wes Unseld would rebound a shot of his miss to give the Bullets a dramatic 101-99 victory. After being swept in their previous two trips to the NBA Finals, the Bullets got off to a shaky start losing Game 1 on the road against the Seattle Supersonics, blowing a 19-point lead. After rebounding to win Game 2 at home, the Bullets appeared to be in trouble losing Game 3 at home and needing a road win to avoid falling behind 3-1 in the series. However, the Bullets would rise to the occasion beating the Sonics 120-116 to even the series at two games apiece. After losing Game 5 in Seattle, the Bullets kept their hopes alive with a dominating 117-82 win at the Cap Centre. In Game 7 in Seattle, the Bullets were a heavy underdog as Kevin Grevey suffering a sprained wrist above his shooting hand; Bob Dandridge was forced to see some action at guard. Dandridge would play strongly, scoring 19 points to tie with Charles Johnson for the team-high, as Wes Unseld scored 15 points while pulling down nine boards as the Bullets emerged with a 101-94 victory to win their first NBA Championship.
1978/79: Coming off their NBA Championship, the Bullets shifted to the Atlantic Division. However, they would continue to remain one of the top teams in the league as they capture the division championship with a league-best record of 54-28. Despite their stellar record, the Bullets would not end the season on a strong note losing eight of their last 11 as they entered the playoffs after a first-round by the struggling Bullets needed seven games to beat the Atlanta Hawks nearly blowing a 3-1 series lead. In the Eastern Finals, the Bullets would themselves down three games to one, facing the San Antonio Spurs. The Bullets would rally to win the next two games and force a seventh game at home. In Game 7, the Bullets would rally again overcoming a 4th Quarter deficit to beat the Spurs 107-105 to set up a rematch with the Seattle Supersonics in the NBA Finals. In the NBA Finals, the Bullets would squeak out a close victory in Game 1 99-967. However, the Sonics would rally to win the next four games and take the series in five games ending the Bullets Championship reign.
1979/80: Coming off back to back NBA Finals appearances, the Bullets began to show signs of age as they struggled all season and barley made into the playoffs they captured the sixth and final playoff spot with a tiebreaker despite a disappointing 39-43 record. In the playoffs, the Bullets fall would be completed as the Philadelphia 76ers beat them in two straight games.
1980/81: The aging Bullets continued to struggle as they posted a 39-43 record for the second year in a row. However, this time the Bullets would not be able to get back into the playoffs as a string of 12 straight postseason appearances came to an end. The season would also mark the end of an era as Wes Unseld retires, and Elvin Hayes is traded to the Houston Rockets to finish his career with the team he started with, and the city where he played his college ball.
1981/82: To replace Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes the Bullets acquired bruising overachievers like Greg Ballard, who led the club in scoring with 18.8 ppg, and Jeff Ruland, who topped the team in rebounds with 9.3 per game, as the Bullets overcame a 9-15 start to make it back into the playoffs with a record of 43-39. In the playoffs, the Bullets would make it past the first round by sweeping the New Jersey Nets in two straight games. However, in the second round, they would be overmatched by the Boston Celtics as they were beaten in five games.
1982/83: The Bullets continued to make the best with the talent they had posted a 42-40 record. However, this time they would not be able to slip into the playoffs as they finished in last place in a highly competitive Atlantic Division.
1983/84: The Bullets continue to struggle as they finished last in the Atlantic Division with a record of 35-47. However, with the NBA expanding the playoffs to eight teams in each conference, the Bullets were able to qualify as one of the top eight teams. In the playoffs, it would be a quick exit as the Boston Celtics beat the Bullets in four games.
1984/85: The Bullets continued to play mediocre basketball as they finished in fourth place with a 40-42 record despite losing Jeff Ruland for half a season to a back injury. In the playoffs, it would be a replay of the previous season as the Philadelphia 76ers overmatch the Bullets in four games.
1985/86: In the draft, the Bullets went international by selecting 7’7″ Manute Bol, a Dinka tribesman from Sudan, who was one of the most unique players in NBA history. Pipe cleaner thin at 225 pounds, he filled only one role-that of a designated shot blocker. With Bol blocking a league-best 397 shots, the Bullets finished in third place with a record of 39-43. In the playoffs, it would be another first-round exit as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Bullets in a five-game series.
1986/87: Looking to jump-start their fortunes, the Bullets acquire Moses Malone for the Philadelphia 76ers for Jeff Ruland. Moses Malone would lead the team in scoring with 24-1 ppg as he would be joined by Jeff Malone, who averages 22.0 ppg. However, the improvement is minimal as the Bullets finished in third place with a 42-40 record. However, once again, it would be a quick exit in the playoffs as the Detroit Pistons swept the Bullets in three straight games.
1987/88: To balance Manute Bol, who at 7’7″ was the tallest player in NBA history, the Bullets draft Muggsy Bogues who at 5’3″ is the smallest player in NBA history. The Bullets would get off to a slow start as Coach Kevin Loughery is fired 27 games into the season with Bullets holding an 8-19 record. To replace Loughery, the Bullets hired former MVP, Wes Unseld. Under Unseld, the Bullets played much better as they were able to sneak into the playoffs again with a record of 38-44. After losing the first two games on the road in the playoffs to the Detroit Pistons, the Bullets fought back and forced a fifth game with two straight home wins. However, back in Detroit for Game 5, the Bullets are beaten by 21 points as they suffer another first-round exit.
1988/89: The Bullets show slight improvement by posting a 40-42 record. However, they would miss the playoffs for the first time in five years as they finished two games out of the final playoff spot while finishing in fourth place.
1989/90: After a 5-1 start, the Bullets hopes of a good season fades quickly as they lose 16 of 18 games from mid-December to mid-January. The Bullets would go on to finish in fourth place with a paltry 31-51 record despite stellar season from Jeff Malone and Bernard King, who average 24.3 and 22.3 ppg, respectively, to lead the team.
1990/91: Bernard King provides a great story as he comes back from knee surgery he suffered while playing for the New York Knicks in 1985 to finish third in the league in scoring with 28.4 ppg highlighted by two 50 point performances. However, with a nine-game losing streak in February, the Bullets’ struggles would continue as they finished in fourth place with a record of 30-52.
1991/92: The Bullets endured prolonged losing streaks in almost every month losing eight straight in December and January, six straight in February, seven straight in March, and six straight April on the way to finishing in sixth place with a miserable record 25-57. Pervis Ellison, who the Bullets acquired from the Sacramento Kings a year earlier, would provide the lone bright spot winning Most Improved honors by leading the team in rebounds and scoring.
1992/93: A year after being named Most Improved Player, Pervis Ellison, who had a history of injuries, plays only 49 games as the Bullets’ struggles continue as they fall into last place with an awful record of 22-60. Providing the only bright spot is Tom Gugliotta, who makes the All-Rookie team by averaging 14.7 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.
1993/94: Injuries continue to bite the Bullets as key players Rex Chapman, Calbert Cheaney the club’s first-round draft pick miss significant stretches, and Pervis Ellison miss almost the entire season. The banged-up Bullets would go on to finish in last place again with a record of 24-58.
1994/95: The Bullets who drafted Juwan Howard in the first round make a big splash by acquiring his former “Fab Five” teammate at Michigan Chris Weber, who had forced a trade from the Golden State Warriors after winning the Rookie of the Year. To get Webber, the Bullets sent the Warriors Tom Gugliotta, and three future first-round draft picks. Webber would make an immediate impact, scoring double digits in every game. However, he would suffer a separated shoulder in December that sidelined him for 19 games ending any hopes the Bullets had for making the playoffs. When Webber returned, he was still clearly showing the effect of the injury as the Bullets finished in last place again with a 21-61 record.
1995/96: In his second season, Juwan Howard would emerge as a star on the court and in the community averaging a team-high 22.1 ppg. However, his teammate Chris Webber would be limited to 15 games following the lingering effect to his injured shoulder. However, players like Gheorghe Muresan, who was named Most Improved Player, would pick up the slack averaging 14.5 ppg, 9.6 rpg, and 2.26 bpg. However, the Bullets would fall three games short of a return to the playoffs as they finished in fourth place with a 39-43 record, which was an impressive 18 game improvement over the previous season.
1996/97: Despite a healthy Chris Webber, the Bullets would play mediocre basketball for most of the first half producing a record of 22-24 when Bernie Bickerstaff replaces coach Jim Lyman. Under Bickerstaff, the Bullets would finish the season on a strong note winning 16 of their final 21 games to slip into the playoffs with a record of 44-38 ending an eight-year playoff drought. In the playoffs, the Bullets would be overmatched by the Chicago Bulls, who were well on the way to their second straight NBA Championship, losing three consecutive games. However, the Bullets would make it respectable as they lost all three games by a total of 18 points.
1997/98: A year after making the playoffs for the first time in eight years, there was a new beginning for basketball in Washington as the team changed its name to Wizards fearing Bullets endorsed gun violence. The change came complete with a new logo and new uniforms, and a new arena as the MCI Center in downtown Washington opened on December 2nd with the Wizards beating the Seattle Supersonics 95-78. At the MCI Center, the Wiz were hard to beat as they posted a 24-12 record while setting a team record in attendance. The Wizards would fall one game short of the playoffs as they finished in fourth place with a 42-40 record.
1998/99: Before the start of the season, which was delayed by a four-month lockout, the Wizards would trade Chris Webber to the Sacramento Kings for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe. Richmond would have a solid season finishing second in the NBA with 9.9 assists per game. However, the Wizards would continue to underachieve as they finished in sixth place with a disappointing record of 18-32.
1999/00: The Wizards continue to underachieve finishing in last place with a poor record of 29-53 as the team went through two coaches for the second straight season. However, the biggest news would involve the front office as Michael Jordan, the best player in NBA history, joins the team as Vice President. Following the season, Jordan would begin to influence personal decisions as Leonard Hamilton was hired as head coach.
2000/01: Under new Coach Leonard Hamilton, the Wizards continued to struggle as people scoffed that their best player was sitting up in the owner’s box during the season in which they finished in last place again with a poor record of 19-63. Juwan Howard, who grown disgruntled with all the team failures, is traded to the Dallas Mavericks along with Obinna Ekezie and Calvin Booth for Hubert Davis, Alexander, Christian Laettner, Loy Vaught, and Etan Thomas.
2001/02: Three years after ending his Chicago Bulls career with an NBA Championship clinching shot against the Utah Jazz, Michael Jordan comes out of retirement to help the young Wizards learn how to win. Among the young players, Jordan was around to tutor was number one overall pick Kwame Brown who was drafted out of high school, as Doug Collins, who had coached Jordan once before is brought in to lead the team from the bench. Just the presence of Jordan, who donated his entire salary to relief efforts after the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon, was enough to sellout the MCI Center for all 41 games. Michael Jordan would show flashes of brilliance, scoring 51 points on December 29th against the Charlotte Hornets and hitting several game-winning shots. However, Jordan would only play half the season as a knee injury sidelined him for most of the second half. Nonetheless, his presence had a positive effect as the Wizards made an 18-game improvement finishing in fifth place with a 37-45 record that saw them miss the playoff by just five games.
2002/03: The Wizards would continue to make changes as Richard Hamilton is traded to the Detroit Pistons for Jerry Stackhouse, who also starred at UNC is brought in to be the “air apparent” to Michael Jordan who announced it would be his final season. Once again, Jordan would be the story as he went on the farewell tour, still showing flashes of brilliance, as he became the first player to score 40 points in a game after his 40th birthday. However, the young players like Stackhouse and Kwame Brown grew tired of Jordan’s criticism that they did not hustle. This was no more apparent in Jordan’s final game in New York when he dove on the court for loose balls while Brown just stood around and watched. The Wiz would be in the race for the final playoffs spot until the final weeks of the season when they ended the season by losing seven of their last ten games to finish in fifth place with a 37-45 record falling five games short of the playoffs again. Michael Jordan’s final game would end up being on April 16th as he scored 15 points against the 76ers in Philadelphia. The last point of Jordan’s career would come for the free-throw line, as the crowd in Philadelphia gave him a standing ovation.
2003/04: Under new Coach Eddie Jordan the Wizards showed signs early as they won their first game against the Chicago Bulls 99-74 and held the Toronto Raptors to 60 points while winning three of their first five games. However, talent-wise the Wizards had a tough time most nights staying in the game as they struggled their way to a 25-57 record while finishing in last place in the Atlantic Division. Although there still were a few bright spots to build off as Kwame Brown began to show promise that made him the number one pick in 2001, while Jarvis Hayes was on the NBA All-Rookie second team.
2004/05: The Wizards got off to a decent start and stood above .500 after the first two months of the season. When January rolled around, they would catch fire winning 11 of their first 13 games in the New Year, to establish an excellent lead for a playoff spot, which they would hold all season, ending an eight-year playoff drought going 45-37, good enough for second place in the Southeast Division. Leading the way for the Wizards turn around was Gilbert Arenas, who had a break out year averaging 25.5 ppg, while Larry Hughes averaged 22 and Antawan Jamison averaged 19.6 ppg. In the playoffs, the Wizards faced the Chicago Bulls dropping the first two games on the road. As the series shifted to Washington, the Wizards recovered, winning both at the MCI Center to even the series. In Game 5, the Wizards went back to Chicago and pulled out a miracle after watching a 22-point lead wilt away; Gilbert Arenas saved the day with a game-winning 14-footer at the buzzer for a dramatic 112-110 win. Back in Washington for Game 6, the Wizards edged the Bulls 94-91 to sew up their first playoff series victory in 23 years. The Wizards were so happy they even donned shirts to celebrate their success. However, the joy would be short-lived as they would be swept in the second round by the Miami Heat in four straight games.
2005/06: Despite the loss of Larry Hughes to Free Agency, the Wizards got off to a strong start winning five of their first six games. However, it would quickly be wiped out as the Wizards lost their next five games and 13 of their next 17 games. The Wizard would finally find their game again in January, where they posted a 9-6 mark and regained the .500 mark. The Wizards would hover around the .500 mark the rest of the season as Gilbert Arenas continued to blossom into an NBA superstar with a team-high 29.3 ppg. The Wizards would end up finishing the season as the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference with a 42-40 record. Facing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs, the Wizards would earn a split on the road in the first two games, giving them a chance to take control of the series as it shifted to Washington. Up by one point, the Wizards would suffer a crushing defeat in Game 3 as LeBron James hit a game-winning shot with 5.7 seconds left to give the Cavs a 97-96 win. The Wizards would quickly rebound to even the series again with a 106-96 win in Game 4. In Game 5, the Wizards would make a furious comeback scoring seven points in the final 78 seconds capped by a Caron Butler lay-up to force overtime tied at 107-107. However, LeBron broke the Wizards’ hearts again with a basket with 0.9 seconds left to give the Cavaliers a 121-120 win in overtime. Game 6 back at the Verizon Center would also see overtime frustration for the Wizards as Gilbert Arenas missed two critical free throws while being taunted by LeBron James, as the Cavaliers won the series with a 114-113 win.
2006/07: After the bitter ending, the Wizards entered the season with renewed optimism as they signed free agent DeShawn Stevenson, with the hopes of taking the next step. However, when the season started, the Wizards were a little shaky, losing nine of their first 13 games. In December, the Wizards would turn things around as they won five straight and climbed over .500, highlighted by a 60-point game from Gilbert Arenas in a thrilling 147-141 overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers on the road December 17th. Along the way, the Wizards also played the role of streak busters ending the Dallas Mavericks 12-game winning streak, with a 106-97 win on December 4th, and then stopping a 15-game winning streak by the Phoenix Suns with a 144-139 overtime win on the road 18 days later. In January, the Wizards took over the division lead as their strong play continued. As the month came to a close, the injury bug began to rear its ugly head as Antwan Jamison was lost with a sprained knee. In his absence, the Wizards would struggle losing eight of their next 12 games. Down the stretch, the injuries swept through the Wizards roster like a hurricane, as Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas, the two leading scorers were both lost at the start of April. With 42.3% of their offensive production, sidelined lost eight of nine as they limped into the playoffs with a record of 41-41. In the playoffs, the banged-up Wizards would offer little resistance to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won their first-round series in four straight games.
2007/08: Injuries again would play a significant factor for the Wizards, as they lost Gilbert Arenas for 68 games due to continued problems with his knee, as he underwent micro-fracture surgery on his left knee. While Etan Thomas missed the entire season after undergoing open-heart surgery, the Wizards would drop their first five games, but quickly rebounded to win their next six games, as players like Caron Butler rose to the occasion. However, as the season went on, injuries continued to prevent the Wizards from moving up in the Southeast Division, as Caron Butler himself was lost for 20 games due to a labral tear. Despite all of the injuries, the Wizards were able to land a second-place finish and reach the playoffs for the fourth straight season with a record of 43-39. In the playoffs, the Wizards found a familiar opponent in the Cleveland Cavaliers, whom they were facing for the third year in a row. Once again, they would have no answers for LeBron James, as they found themselves in a quick hole, losing their first two games. After winning Game 3 at home, the Wizards looked to be heading for another quick exit as they dropped Game 4 at the Verizon Center 100-97. However, led by Caron Butler, who had a game-high 32 points, including a game-winning layup with 39 seconds left, the Wizards were able to avoid elimination with an 89-88 win. However, they could not force a seventh game, as they came out flat at home in Game 6, losing 105-88.
2008/09: Injuries continued to plague the Washington Wizards, as Gilbert Arenas underwent a third operation on his knee, while Brendan Haywood had surgery on his right wrist. Despite the return of Etan Thomas, the Wizards would stumble out of the gate again, losing 10 of their first 11 games. The lousy start would cost Coach Eddie Jordan his job, as he was fired on November 24th, and replaced on an interim basis by Ed Tapscott. Things would not improve under Tapscott as the Wizards injury problems continued throughout the season, as Arenas ended up missing five months as his knee did not heal as quickly as expected. The Wizards would go on to finish in last place with a dreadful 19-63 record that matched their worst season in franchise history. Following the season in the hopes of getting back on track, the Wizards hired Flip Saunders, who had successful tenures with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons, to be their new head coach.
2009/10: The Flip Saunders era in Washington started on a high note, as the Wizards beat the Dallas Mavericks on the road 102-91. Leading the way was Gilbert Arenas, who had 20 points and nine assists. After losing their second game to the Atlanta Hawks, the Wizards came home and had another big night from Arenas to beat the New Jersey Nets 123-104. However, as November began, wins became scarce as they dropped eight of their next nine games. November would be a tough month for the Wizards family as Longtime Owner Abe Polin died on November 24th at the age of 85. He had owned the Wizards since 1964 and was the longest-tenured owner in the NBA. The Wizards would continue to struggle as they ended December with a record of 10-20. The poor record was the least of the concerns for the Wizards, as a report surfaced that Gilbert Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton had an argument over gambling debts in the locker room that had both players using unloaded handguns. Arenas would admit to having guns in the Wizards locker as he was investigated by DC Police and Federal Authorities. As the league was investigating, Arenas dug a deeper hole for himself when he pantomimed shooting fans in Philadelphia with guns made from his fingers before a 104-97 road win for the Wiz. The stunt would be the final straw as Arenas was suspended the remainder of the season. After pleading guilty to misdemeanor gun possession charges, Crittenton would also be suspended for the rest of the season. Gilbert Arenas was also convicted for his crimes and was sentenced to two years probation and 30 days in a halfway house. After the dust settled, the Wizards began looking toward the future. They sent Antawn Jamison to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Zydrunas Ilgauskas while acquiring Al Thornton from the Los Angeles Clippers in a three-team deal. Ilgauskas would never play in Washington as the Wizards released him soon after the deal. The Wizards would also send Caron Butler, Brandan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross, and James Singleton. Shortly after the deal, the Wizards would lose Josh Howard to a knee injury. After the injury, the Wizards would lose 18 of their next 19 games, including 16 straight as they limped home with a 26-56 record. Following the season minority owner, Ted Leonsis would buy out the Polin family to take over control of the Wizards. At the same time, the Wizards won the draft lottery and selected John Wall of Kentucky with the number one overall pick.
2010/11: There was great anticipation for the debut of number one pick John Wall, as the season began for the Wizards, who were actively trying to deal Gilbert Arenas as the season started. The season would get off to an ugly start as the Wizards were blown out by the Orlando Magic on opening night 112-83. After a four-point loss on the road to the Atlanta Hawks, the Wizards would have a successful home opener as they beat the Philadelphia 76ers in overtime 116-115 as Cartier Martin tied the game with 0.1 seconds left in regulation with a long-distance three-pointer. Also excelling was John Wall, who had 29 points and 13 assists in his Verizon Center debut. Wins would be rare as the Wizards held a 5-11 record at the end of November. In December, the Wizards would finally deal away Gilbert Arenas, who had played well in the early part of the season, averaging 17.3 ppg. In return, the Wizards would receiver Rashard Lewis from the Orlando Magic. The Wizards would struggle in December, posting a record of 3-12. After struggling in the early part of the season John Wall, began to show promise in January, as he would win rookie of the month. However, the wins were still rare in Washington, as the Wizards won just five games. Wall would also win rookie of the month in February and March, ending the season with a 16.4 ppg. Meanwhile, the Wizards continued their youth movement acquiring Jordan Crawford, along with Maurice Evans, Mike Bibby and a first-round draft pick from the Atlanta Hawks for Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong. Bibby would get a contract buyout after just two games with the Wizards. The wins would still be slow to come for the Wizards, who won only five games between February and March combined. The Wizards would finish the season strong posting a 5-3 in April, but once again, they finished with a terrible record of 23-59.
2011/12: Hoping to draw on their past success, the Wizards returned to their old red, white and blue color scheme, while also bring back a modernized hands logo from their days known as the Bullets. The season would start two months late due to a lockout. when the season did begin on December 26th, the Wizards were late to answer the bell, losing their first eight games, before beating the Toronto Raptors on January 10th at the Verizon Center 93-78. The Wizards would get off to a 2-15 start, before Coach Flip Saunders is fired on January 24th. The rest of the season, the Wizards would be coached by Randy Whitman, who had a successful debut beating the Charlotte Bobcats 92-75 on January 25th. The Wizards, despite their new look, were again one of the worst teams in the NBA. They continued to re-tool as they were involved in a three-team deal that sent JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to the Denver Nuggets and leading scorer Nick Young to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Nenê and Brian Cook. After playing terrible basketball all season, the Wizards had a strong April, winning eight of their last ten games, including six straight to finish the season with a record of 20-46.
2012/13: Things did not get off to a good start in Randy Whitmans’ first full season as Wizards coach, as they lost their first 12 games. The Wizards began the season without John Wall, who was recovering from knee surgery. The Wizards finally earned their first win on November 28th as they edged the Portland Trail Blazers at the Verizon Center 84-82. A week later, they earned their second win against the Miami Heat 105-101, but the wins would remain few and far between as they entered the New Year with a record of 4-24. When January began, the Wizards continued to struggle, losing their first four games of 2013 before stunning the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-99. This would lead to the Wizards’ first winning streak of the season, as John Wall made his debut on January 12th, with the Wizards beating the Atlanta Hawks 93-83. As January ended, the Wizards held a record of 11-33. They were realistically out of playoff contention, but the goal was to finish strong as the loss of John Wall for much of the first half demonstrated just how important he had become to the team. As Wall got stronger, the Wizards played better, posting a winning record of 9-7 during February. At the trade deadline, the Wizards would-be sellers, sending Jordan Crawford, one of the team’s leading scorers to the Boston Celtics for Leonardo Barbosa, who was out for the rest of the season and Jason Collins. Barbosa would never play a game for the Wizards, while Collins appeared in just six games. Jason Collins would make news after the season ended, becoming the first active player in a major North American team sport to reveal that he was gay. Despite the deal, the Wizards would also post a winning record in March as they went on to finish the year with a record of 29-53, posting a record of 24-25 after John Wall made his season debut. Wall would have a strong season, posting a career-high 18.5 ppg in 49 games.
2013/14: After finishing the season strong, the Wizards looked to make a big step forward. Just before the season began, the Wizards looked to upgrade their team by acquiring Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Malcolm Lee and Kendall Marshall from the Phoenix Suns for Emeka Okafor and a first-round draft pick. The Wizards would struggle early, losing seven of their first nine games. However, as December ended, they began to show signs of improvement to enter the New Year with a .500 record at 14-14. As January began, the Wizards lost three straight as they spent the entire month trying to climb over the .500 mark. On February 3rd, the Wizards would beat the Portland Trail Blazers 100-90 to improve to 24-23, marking the first time in five years they had a winning record. Although the Wizards lost five of their next six games, they quickly recovered and ended February with a record of 30-28 as they were in the midst of a six-game winning streak. The Wizards would be active at the trade deadline, picking up Andre Miller from the Denver Nuggets. The Wizards would split 16 games in March, all but assuring they would make the playoffs. The Wizards would not only make the playoffs; they would finish the season strong, winning six of eight games in April to finish the season with a record of 44-38 to earn the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. The keys to the Wizards success were a healthy John Wall, who played all 82 games and led the team in scoring with 19.3 ppg, and he also led in assists with 8.8 per game, while Bradley Beal had a breakout season with 17.1 ppg. The Wizards leading rebounder was Marcin Gortat, who had 9.5 boards per game.
2014 Playoffs: In the playoffs for the first time in six years, the Wizards were matched against the Chicago Bulls. In the opener, the Bulls looked to be on their way to a win, leading by 13 points in the fourth quarter. However, with Nene scoring a game-high 24 points, the Wizards rallied to beat the Bulls 102-93, outscoring Chicago 30-18 in the fourth quarter. The Wizards would also win Game 2 at the United Center, overcoming a ten-point deficit to win the game in overtime 101-99 as Bradley Beal led all scorers with 26 points. As the series shifted to Washington, the Wizards suffered a letdown, losing 100-97. The Wizards would also lose Nene for Game 4 as he was suspended for an altercation with Jimmy Butler. The Wizards would bounce back to win Game 4, as Trevor Ariza scored 30 points to help the Wizards win 98-89 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. With a significant defensive effort, the Wizards would win the series in five games, taking the finale 75-69 as John Wall scored 24 points with Marcin Gorat grabbing 13 rebounds. In the second round against the Indiana Pacers, the Wizards again got off to a great start, stealing the opener 102-96 as Bradley Beal led the way with 25 points. The Pacers would rebound to even the series with an 86-82 win in Game 2. As the series shifted to the Verizon Center, the Wizards suffered a blackout, as they shot just 33% from the field and suffered an 85-63 loss in Game 3. Despite a big second quarter that saw them take a 55-38 lead at the half, the Wizards struggled in the second half and suffered a 95-92 loss as the Pacers took a 3-1 series lead. The Wizards would not go down without a fight, as they won 102-79 in Game 5, with Marcin Gortat leading the way with 31 points and 16 rebounds. However, the Wizards were unable to get the series to a seventh game, as they again struggled at home, losing 93-80 in Game 6.
2014/15: After their strong showing in the playoffs, the Washington Wizards looked to take the next step and added some veteran leadership by signing Paul Pierce. After splitting the first two games on the road, the Wizards beat the Milwaukee Bucks 108-97 in their home opener. The Wizards would eventually win seven of their first nine games for their best start in nearly 40 years. Despite being one of the strongest teams in the Eastern Conference, heading into the New Year with a record of 22-9 the Wizards chances of winning the division all but vanished in January, as the Atlanta Hawks ran off a 19 game winning streak, while the Wizards only managed a mediocre 9-8 record. Over the next two months, the Wizards would continue to stumble, posting a 3-9 record in February with losing streaks of four and five games. The struggles for the Wizards when Bradley Beal began dealing with a foot injury. The Wizards particularly struggled on the road, losing eight straight games away from the Verizon Center. Despite their second-half struggles, the Wizards managed to secure the fifth seed, posting a record of 46-36. Leading the way for Washington once again was John Wall, who led the team with 17.6 points and ten assists per game. Beal also had a strong season, with 14 ppg, while Marcian Gorat was the leading rebounder at 8.7 boards per game.
2015 Playoffs: Facing the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs, the Wizards got off to a strong start stealing the opener on the road in overtime 93-86. The Wizards would jump out quickly after the Raptors rallied to tie the game in the fourth quarter, as Paul Pierce nailed a three-pointer to open the scoring in overtime, scoring five of his 20 points in the extra session as the Wizards outscored Toronto 11-4. The Wizards would also take Game 2 in Toronto, winning 117-106 as John Wall led the way with 26 points and 17 assists. As the series shifted to Washington, the Wizards remained in control, capturing Game 3 behind the efforts of Paul Pierce, who hit two key three-pointers to lead Washington to a 106-99 win. The Wizards would go on to complete the sweep with a 125-94 win Game 4, with seven players scoring in double digits. Facing the Atlanta Hawks in the second round, the Wizards got off to a strong start, taking the opener 104-98 as Bradley Beal led the way with 28 points. However, not all news was good for Washington, as John Wall suffered a hand injury. Without Wall, in Game 2, the Wizards struggled 106-90. Despite being without John Wall again in Game 3, the Wizards held a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter. However, the Hawks rallied to tie the game and seemed to have all the momentum with overtime fast approaching. With time expiring, Paul Pierce hit a fadeaway basket over two defenders from just inside the three-point arc calling game, to give the Wizards a 103-101 victory. Bradley Beal had a strong game scoring 34 points in Game 4, but it was not enough as the Hawks again evened the series with a 106-101 win at the Verizon Center. John Wall returned in Game 5, scoring 15 points with seven assists in a back and forth thriller in Atlanta. The Wizards looked to Paul Pierce again, who nailed a three with 8.3 seconds left to give Washington an 82-81 lead. However, Al Horford answered scoring off an offensive rebound to win the game 83-82 and give the Hawks a 3-2 series lead. Game 6 was just as tight, and Paul Pierce again appeared to have made a big shot to force overtime tying the game as time expired with a clutch three. Though upon further review, Pierce got the shot off late as the Hawks advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals with a 94-91 win.
2015/16: After another strong playoff showing, the Washington Wizards had high hopes entering the season. Despite winning their first two games on the road, the Wizards struggled early in the season, as they won just four games in November. The hole created by the November struggles would have the Wizards playing catch up all season as they fought just to reach.500. The Wizards would hit .500 with a four-game Christmas winning streak, but dropped their final two games in December and entered 2016 holding a record of 14-16. In January, the pattern repeated as the Wizards reached .500 at 19-19 after another four straight wins, but then lost five of their next six and were back in the same hole. As the struggles wore on rumors of a feud between John Wall and Bradley Beal began to develop. Both players had career highs in scoring, with Wall leading Washington with 19.9 points per game, while Beal had 17.4. After hitting the All-Star Break with a disappointing record of 23-28, the Wizards made one of the biggest trades at the deadline, picking up Markieff Morris in a deal with the Phoenix Suns for DeJuan Blair, Kris Humphries, and a draft pick. Morris played well in Washington, averaging 12.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in 27 games with the Wizards. After the trade, the Wizards again clawed their way to .500, winning five of seven games. Once again, reaching .500 at 30-30 on March 2nd, the Wizards again went on a five-game losing streak and failed to break the season-long trend of fighting to reach .500 only to slip again. The Wizards season could best be summarized by the Ancient Greek mythological story of Sisyphus, the king who was punished by Zeus to push an immense boulder up a hill only for it roll down and the end of the day for him to roll up the hill again the following day. After the five straight losses put the Wizards playoffs hopes of life support, they would get back to .500 with five consecutive wins, but the boulder rolled down the hill again as they dropped four of their last five games in March. The Wizards would never get over that hump as they missed the playoffs and finished with a 41-41 record. As the season came to a close, the Wizards would fire Coach Randy Whitman.
2016/17: Coming off a disappointing season in which they missed the playoffs, the Washington Wizards looked to bounce back under new coach Scott Brooks. Things did not look good early for the Wizards, who opened the season with back-to-back losses to the Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies on the road. Coming home to the Verizon Center, the Wizards’ struggles continued as they suffered a 113-103 loss to the Toronto Raptors on the way to losing eight of their first ten games. As November came to an end, the Wizards began showing signs of improvement. This would carry over into December as they made it back to .500 with a 118-95 win over the Brooklyn Nets on December 30th. Washington was especially strong at home in December, winning eight of nine games at the Verizon Center. The Wizards were even better at home in the New Year, as they extended their home winning streak to 15 games, winning all seven in the District as they posted a 12-4 record in January, to erase the hole they created with their slow start. The Wizards home winning streak ended at 17 games, with a hard-fought 140-135 overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 6th, with another strong month they were atop the Southeast Division. The Wizards would clinch the Southeast Division with a 119-108 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on March 28th. It was the first time since 1979 that Washington had won a division championship. The Wizards would finish the year with a record of 49-33, fourth overall in the Eastern Conference. John Wall and Bradley Beal would end the season as the Wizards leading scorer, each posting 23.1 points per game. While, Marcian Gorat played a significant role in the middle, averaging a double-double with 10.8 points and a team-high 10.4 rebounds per game.
2017 Playoffs: Facing the division rival Atlanta Hawks in the first round, the Washington Wizards got off to a strong start winning the opener at home 114-107 as John Wall led the way with 32 points and 14 assists. Wall was nearly as good in Game 2, again scoring 32 points with nine dimes as the Wizards won 109-101. The Hawks would claw their way back in the series, winning the next two games in Atlanta by scores of 116-98 and 111-101. Back home in Game 5, it was Bradley Beal leading the way with 27 points as the Wizards regained control of the series with a 103-99 win. The Wizards would close out the series with a 115-99 win in Game 6 at Atlanta, as Wall had a dominating effort with 42 points. Moving on the Wizards would face the Boston Celtics in the second round, in the regular season, the teams split four games, with the home team winning each game. That trend continued with the first two games in Boston, as the Celtics took the opener 123-111. Game 2 was especially frustrating for the Wizards as they saw an early lead evaporate as the Celtics won in overtime 129-119, with Isaiah Thomas scoring 53 points. As the series shifted to Washington, the Wizards kept the home fires burning, with a 116-89 win in Game 3, as they physically dominated the Celtics with Kelly Oubre getting suspended for Game 4 after fighting with Kelly Olynyk. The Wizards would go on to even the series with a 121-101 win. After the Celtics won Game 5 in Boston 123-101, the Wizards faced elimination at home trailing 91-89 in the closing seconds when Bradley Beal hit a clutch three-point shot with 3.9 seconds left. Beal’s bucket was enough as Thomas missed a shot at the buzzer. Beal, who had a game-high 33 points, scored the Wizards final five points as they forced a seventh game with a 92-91 win. Bradley Beal had a strong Game 7 in Boston, scoring 38 points, but it was not enough as the Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals with a 115-105 win, as the home team won all seven games in the series.
2017/18: After falling one game short of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Washington Wizards entered the season with high expectations, as John Wall signed a four-year contract extension worth $170 million. Wall fought through a knee injury all season. With their star sidelined in November, the Wizards scuffled and held a record of 11-10 entering December. December would be the most month for Washington, as they won ten games. The injury issues would linger all season for John Wall, as he played just 41 games. Wall would finish the season with 19.4 points and 9.6 assists per game. Bradley Beal meanwhile led the team in scoring with 22.6 ppg. After holding a record of 21-16 at the start of the New Year, the Wizards played middling basketball the remainder of the season. The Southeast Division would struggle as a whole all season. Despite hovering near .500, Washington battled the Miami Heat all season for the division lead as they were in the back half of the playoff chase. In the end, Wizards would post a record of 43-39 finishing one game behind the Heat, while settling for the eighth spot in the playoffs.
2018 Playoffs: Facing the Toronto Raptors in the first round, the Washington Wizards had John Wall ready to go for the postseason. The Raptors showed why they were the top seed in the Eastern Conference, winning Game 1 by a score of 114-106. Toronto also recorded a 130-119 win in Game 2 to take a 2-0 lead to Washington. The Wizards got a taste of home cooking, winning 122-103 in Game 3, as Bradley Beal and John Wall each scored 28 points. The Wizards would use a big second half in Game 4 to win 106-98 as Beal led the way with 31 points. Back in Toronto, the Raptors regained the series lead with a 108-98 win. Toronto would go on to win the series in six games, winning the final game 102-92 at the Capital One Arena, despite Bradley Beal scoring 32 points.
2018/19: After a disappointing season, the Washington Wizards spent the summer retooling. They traded Marcin Gortat to the Los Angeles Clippers for Austin Rivers and signed Dwight Howard. Neither player worked out as Rivers was traded to the Phoenix Suns with Kelly Oubre Jr. on December 15th, with the Wizards receiving Trevor Ariza in return. Howard meanwhile played just nine games before he was shut down with a back issue. With their offseason deals failing, the Wizards stumbled out of the gate, winning one of their first eight games on the way to a 2-9 start. Washington would never recover from their terrible start, as John Wall suffered a heel injury and was lost for the season as the Wizards went into the New Year with a record of 14-23. Wall would suffer complications after surgery and eventually ruptured his Achille’s tendon. This would cause Wall to miss the entire 2019/20 season. Bradley Beal would again lead Washington in scoring with 25.6 points per game. The Wizards meanwhile plunged and finished the season with a disappointing 32-50 record, leading to the dismissal of GM Ernie Grunfeld.
©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Basketball Association. This site is not affiliated with the Washington Wizards of the NBA. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on April 27, 2003. Last updated on April 26, 2020, at 11:35 pm ET.