A New Start
The Washington Wizards are a team that has seen a lot of turnover throughout the passed few years.
Gone are the days of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison. Now the future rests in the hands of John Wall and Bradley Beal.
It isn’t often that you see a team turnover their roster the way that the Wizards have so quickly. Since 2010, the Wizards only have three players on their team that were on that squad.
They’ve been through many promising prospects as well. Andray Blatche, Nick Young, Javale McGee, Arenas, and the list goes on. All of these guys couldn’t keep composure off of the floor and that resulted in their removal.
With that being said, there are very high expectations for this Wizards team this year–especially in D.C. While shipping those players out, they’ve paired Nene, Emeka Okafor, and Trevor Ariza with John Wall, Bradley Beal and Kevin Seraphin.
There’s a lot of young talent but there is now also a veteran presence in the locker room. Not a lot of people expect for the Wizards to make the playoffs this year, but they do expect them to be in the hunt.
That’s a massive amount of expectation relative to what the Wizards have done in recent years. Winning games hasn’t been their strong suit to say the least.
The Wizards are trying to keep their start talent around by showing them that they want to win now. They’re doing it through the draft and via trade like other organizations.
First they had to get rid of the bad apples. How long will this turnover take to show some production? Only time will tell.
But now that the Wizards have a standard–which they lacked for years–things look much brighter for their future.
The Wizards two best players aren’t going to play in their season opener.
John Wall is currently taking preventive measures to assure him that his patella doesn’t fracture and Nene has been battling plantar fasciitis as well.
Without them, the Wizards are as bad as they were last season. They ended the year on a six game winning streak, but that was in large part because of what Nene and Wall brought to that team.
Nene created a low post presence to prevent the center from helping off of his man. That was something that Javale McGee couldn’t do. He also wasn’t nowhere near as good as Nene is at passing the ball.
Wall’s blazing speed and point guard skills are pretty much irreplaceable on this team. Without him, the Wizards are desperately looking for an option to run their offense.
They don’t trust Shelvin Mack–the second year player out of Butler–to run the position. They brought in A.J Price who has shown signs of being a competent point as well.
Jannero Pargo hasn’t really shown us why Chris Paul wanted to keep him around since, well, 2008. Its looking more and more like Bradley Beal will have to play a major role in initiating the offense.
For the Wizards, that could end up blowing up in their faces. Beal has shown that he is able to play well on the ball as well as off, but doing that against starters in the NBA is a different monster than the Summer League and preseason.
These injuries could end up hampering the Wizards way too much for them to even compete for a playoff spot.
The Wizards are a team that have a lot of depth at both forward positions. They were missing a lot of shooting, but have since gained plenty of it in the offseason.
Playing these guys together could be something that Randy Wittman struggles with. Also, he has to choose between Jordan Crawford and Bradley Beal at the starting shooting guard position.
With the way Beal has played in the preseason, it’s looking more and more like a closed deal that he’s starting.
John Wall- 32.4 Mpg
Bradley Beal- 30.5 Mpg
Trevor Ariza- 28.4 Mpg
Nene- 26.7 Mpg
Emeka Okafor- 28.1 Mpg
Jordan Crawford- 22.1 Mpg
Jan Vesely- 17.0 Mpg
A.J Price- 15.8 mpg
Jannero Pargo- 17.2 Mpg
Kevin Seraphin- 24.9 Mpg
Trevor Booker- 20.1 Mpg
Chris Singleton- 21.6 Mpg
Cartier Martin- 18.2 Mpg
Shelvin Mack- 19.5 Mpg
Martell Webster- 17.9 Mpg
The Washington Wizards still have a ways to go as a team. They’re on the right path though.
They’ve got two young studs that compliment each other very well and a lot of other good young pieces, too. Pairing them with the veterans that are on this team is essential for them.
They’ll eventually start to win games and be a more professional team on and off the floor. The Wizards should be in playoff contention. They may not make it but they’ll surely fight for it.