WAKING UP with the Wizards, before they practice Friday morning at Verizon Center. ...
If anyone thought qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2008 without duress, then they thought wrong.
The Wizards (2-6) are on their second three-game losing streak of the season, last in the Eastern Conference, going into Saturday's game vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).
But misery loves company. The Wizards are far from the only team projected to make the playoffs in their conference guilty of underperforming:
- Brooklyn Nets (2-5): They've not only lost to the Wizards, they were projected to be a possible top-four seed with the additions of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. Said Terry: "This is desperation."
- Detroit Pistons (2-5): After defeating the Wizards on opening night Oct. 30, they're on a four-game losing streak. The Pistons have given up an average of 110.2 points in their losses.
- New York Knicks (3-5): Their three wins are vs. the Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks. They lost to the San Antonio Spurs, who beat the Wizards 92-79 on Wednesday, by 31 points. But even more troubling, the Knicks have dropped four consecutive games at Madison Square Garden.
- Cavaliers (3-6): When they falter, it's usually because they can't score. Even with Kyrie Irving, the Cavs average just 86 points in defeats. In a loss to the Bobcats, three starters combined to score four points. In a loss to the Indiana Pacers, the starting forwards only scored four points.