The Washington Wizards began their early season west coast swing with a hard-fought victory against the Denver Nuggets, but what’s the Wizards key to success so far in 2018?
Atop the Eastern Conference is the 3-0 Washington Wizards, who are the only undefeated team left in the East.
So far, the Wizards have taken down the agile Philadelphia 76ers (1-3) to open the season, the new look Detriot Pistons (2-2) and the revamped Denver Nuggets to begin their abnormally early West Coast trip. Not to mention, the Wizards perfect start comes without their starting power forward Markieef Morris and reserve forward Jason Smith.
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However, there’s one statistic that stands out among the rest and that’s the Wizards success thus far at the free throw line. Heading into Tuesday’s NBA action, the Wizards have converted on 85-of-101 free throws attempts which presents them with the fifth best free throw percentage in the NBA at 84.2 percent.
If success continues at the line, it would be a massive improvement from just a season ago when the Wizards shot 78.4 percent from the foul line. After finishing No. 22 in the NBA for free throw attempts last season, John Wall and the Wizards have been aggressive early on this season in getting to the line.
It’s possible the NBA, including the referees, finally see the Wizards as a dominant team which has resulted in more calls going the Wizards way. Also, referees grant priority when you have an inspired superstar like John Wall quietly taking the NBA by storm.
Last night’s Wizards scrappy victory provides a perfect example of the importance of free throws. The Wizards shot 26-of-28 from the line in a 109-104 win against the Nuggets to extend their win streak to three games.
When diving into the NBA stats, all but two teams (Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors) in the top 10 for field goal percentage own winning records.