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Wizards Top Moments of 2017
It was a year full of playoff memories, highlight reel plays, pivotal contract extensions, and more for the Washington Wizards. We look back at our favorite top from the year that was 2017.
We also recorded a podcast going more in depth about each moment, along with honorable mentions.
10. Capital City Go-Go announced as Wizards’ G League franchise
In early December, the Wizards introduced the team name and branding for their new G League team, the Capital City Go-Go. Beginning in the fall of 2018, the Go-Go will play at the new arena in Ward 8 at St. Elizabeth’s.
“By securing an NBA G League franchise, we will have the ability to develop young prospects by implementing our system through an extension of the Wizards’ front office and coaching staff,” said Ted Leonsis. “Proximity is also a key component to our growth and we are excited that, due in part to our partnership with the District of Columbia and Events DC, the Go-Go, along with the Washington Mystics, will have a home just a few short miles away from Capital One Arena in the brand-new facility at St. Elizabeth’s in Ward 8 of Southeast D.C.”
9. 17-game home winning streak
The Wizards won 17 straight games at home from December 8 to February 4, the second-longest home winning streak in franchise history. The longest home winning streak in franchise history is 22 games. That was accomplished from November of 1974 to March of 1975 by the Bullets.
After struggling early in the season, the home winning streak propelled the Wizards to a top-four seed in the East. Many now regard Capital One Arena as one of the tougher places to play in the East with the way the Wizards locked down the arena this season and last.
During the span of the streak, the Wizards went from 8-13 after beating the Nuggets on December 8 to 30-20 after defeating the Pelicans on February 4.
8. Phil Chenier jersey to be retired
Before the 2017-18 season got underway, the Wizards announced that playing and commentating legend Phil Chenier will be the fifth player in franchise history to have his jersey retired. Joining Earl Monroe, Elvin Hayes, Gus Johnson, and Wes Unseld, Chenier will have his No. 45 hanging in the rafters during March 23 game, which will also be the weekend celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1977-78 championship season.
7. Wizards win in Boston on Christmas Day
The Wizards and Celtics had quite the series in the 2017 NBA playoffs, so everybody circled their Christmas Day matchup on their calendars. The game did not disappoint with a playoff atmosphere and exciting fourth quarter. Anchored by a 12-0 run late in the game, John Wall (21 points, 14 assists) and Bradley Beal (25 points) led the Wizards to victory, 111-103. After the Wizards had lost nine straight games in Boston (including playoffs) and last year’s playoff series loss in seven games, the win was more than just a regular season win.
6. Wall’s block anchors Game 6 and series win in Atlanta
We can’t forget about the playoff series before the Celtics’ seven-game series between the Wizards and Hawks. Both teams won their respective home games in the opening five games, but it was the Wizards who closed out the series in Game 6.
With the Wizards up 93-90 and the Hawks gaining some momentum, John Wall had a chase down block with 8:27 to go on Dennis Schroder. The Wizards completely flipped the switch and closed out the Hawks after that block, finishing the game on an 19-9 run. Wall averaged 29.5 points and 10.3 assists per game in the series, including 42 points in Game 6.
5. History made in 2016-17 season
The regular season does not matter as much as the postseason, but the Wizards still accomplished several goals that had not been done in 38 seasons. For the first time since the 1978-79 season, the Wizards won the Southeast Division. Washington also won the most games in a season since that year with 49, and had home court in the first round of the playoffs for the first since 78-79. Overall, it was quite the successful season in Scott Brooks’ first year.
4. Wizards re-sign Otto Porter Jr.
Free agency is never easy, but the Wizards made sure they re-signed Otto Porter Jr. to a new multi-year contract over the summer. The Wizards drafted Porter in the 2013 NBA Draft third overall, and now he’ll be in D.C. for the future. The coaching staff and front office love the little things Porter does and his scoring, rebounding, shooting, and defensive numbers have improved every year. Porter has solidified himself as one of the league’s top 3-point shooters in his fifth season.
3. Beal’s 51-point game in Portland
Bradley Beal’s 51-point game in Portland comes in at No. 3. In 43 minutes, Beal made 21-of-38 field goals, 5-of-12 3-pointers, and 4-of-5 free throws. The Blazers could not contain Beal all night, and his career-high 51 points were the third most in a game in all of the NBA in the first three months of the season. Considering the Wizards lost by 47 points the night before to the Jazz, it’s even more remarkable that Beal was able to put together a career-night. Beal also became the youngest player in NBA history to make 700 3-pointers earlier in the season.
2. John Wall locked in with contract extension
John Wall is the heart and soul of the Wizards, and the Wizards were able to lock him in for years to come. Wall signed a multi-year contract extension over the summer, solidifying that he will spend his prime in D.C. with the Wizards. Wall is already the franchise’s all-time leader in assists and steals, and is fourth on the all-time list in points. His name will be up in the rafters one day, and retaining him for the bulk of his career was a pivotal moment this year.
1. John Wall’s shot in Game 6 against Boston
John Wall hit arguably the biggest shot in franchise history with his 3-pointer in Game 6 against the Celtics. With 7.7 seconds on the clock, Otto Porter Jr. passed the ball in to Wall. The play was designed for Bradley Beal, but the Celtics had him covered. Wall took a few dribbles toward the 3-point line, and launched the biggest shot of his life.
After the Wizards clinched the win, Wall jumped onto the scorer’s table for the fans.