If you don’t care about the NBA, then why did you open this link?
If you could care less about the Wizards, I’ll ask you again, why’d you open this post?
Either way, I’m happy you did and there is room on the Wizards bandwagon, we’re not picky, more the merrier. The NBA season is upon us and I’m super excited to see my Wizards take to the court (the new-look court) and begin building what is in the process of being built. It’s like that fancy new shopping center across the street; the one you’ve been waiting to be built for years, you’ve seen the plans, construction started last year, took an extended break due to “bad weather” but the cranes and trucks are back out there getting ready to continue building. It’s going to be a great shopping center with a Wegman’s and a Super Target when it’s all said and done and I can’t wait! I may be more optimistic than you, that’s fine, but hear me out and let’s see how you feel.
Ted Leonsis in a recent interview said he wants to DC to become the ultimate destination where players want to come and play, I believe that can happen. If Oklahoma City, formerly Seattle SuperSonics can be an attractive destination, then DC can too. Ted has mentioned he wants other teams to look at the Wizards and how we re-built our team and say, I want to follow the blueprint the Wizards followed, I like “the Wizards way.”
This team will go as far as John Wall will go and I’m fine with that. Is there any reason John Wall can’t be as good as Derrick Rose or Chris Paul? Remember John Wall wants to be at the same-level as those guys, has exhibited the level of work ethic required to get there and… wait for this… is ONLY 21-years old! After posting first-years stats (below) he measured up on par and in some cases exceeded the rookie years of Rose and Chris Paul, despite being hampered by tendenitis throughout the year.
- John Wall: 16.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 8.3 apg, 1.8 spg
- Derrick Rose: 16.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 6.3 apg, .8 spg
- Chris Paul: 16.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 7.8 apg, 2.2 spg
I feel good about Wall and having one of the TOP point guards in the NBA… Let’s go…
This is where I can begin to lose some people; the second factor for us to continue this re-build is the development of JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche. These two guys, HAVE to become forces on the court for any of this really to work and I am choosing to believe in them (not my first choice of guys to believe in) but I am believing nonetheless. I feel a little better knowing that especially in McGee, the Wizards organization strongly believes in him too, they ignored trade requests from teams like the Timberwolves last year who had strong interest in McGee, willing to give up the 2nd pick over all for him.
If McGee, could focus on not playing John Wall’s position, but rather focus on his responsibilities, there is no reason he couldn’t become a Joakim Noah type player. Noah who’s a career average 8.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg and 1.3 bpg but more realistically a 11 ppg, 11rpg and close to 2 bpg average. McGee is right there, bringing in 10 ppg, 8 rpg and 2. bpg average last year. I understand Noah’s intangibles are what puts him on another level, but McGee should look to be right there and isn’t far off. I believe he can get there…
Blatche is the scariest proposition, not just because he said last week “he was willing to die for success” but because he’s been in the league longer than McGee and Wall (going into his 7th year) and the potential of Blatche being “who he is” and no real room for improvement is a strong possibility. Blatche’s stats are decent on paper, 15 and 7 but he’s lacked the other intangibles which in many realms trumps stats in importance. But I do want to warn those that say: “we’ve seen 6-years of Blatche, I already know what I’m getting with that guy,” to not prematurely cap his potential, there is room for growth, his best years CAN be ahead of him.
Look at the NBA landscape; Joe Johnson had his best scoring year (25ppg) in his 7th yr, Dirk Nowitzki hit the 26 ppg and 9.7 rpg in his 7th year his best year up to that point, Steve Nash hit his MVP season in year 9 & 10, Chauncey Billups was still in MN during his 7th yr (you probaly dont even remember him in a TWolves uni), Kidd hadn’t even made his was to NJ by his 7th season and Zach Randolph, it wasn’t until his 11th season when he became an NBA force to be reckon with. I’m not saying that Blatche is guaranteed to be at the level of these guys I just mentioned, but I am saying you’d be remiss to think Blatche can’t drastically improve on the glimpses of potential he’s shown over the years. Keep in mind, an improved Wall and a stronger McGee down low, should help him.
With the veterans of Rashard Lewis, Maurice Evans, Roger Mason Jr and Ronny Turiaf, with the exception of Lewis, their presence will be more warmly felt in the locker room, practice court, flights, etc… through the way of leadership, all strong leaders.
The leadership will be needed as the Wizards carry the youngest roster in the league. The youth will get their chance to grow as the Wizards ownership has chosen not to explore building the roster through free agency but rather have committed to seeing what our young guys are made of. Jan Vesely, Jordan Crawford, Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker, Othyus Jeffers, Shelvin Mack will get their shot, exactly what any young player could wish for.
The season kicks off December 26th and I think this year could be OUR year. Our year to get better, develop a few of these young players, grow on our win total from last year, develop an all-star or two and fight for a playoff spot. Yes, playoff spot. Last year a team two games under .500 made the playoffs, that’s where I see the Wizards finishing up. My predicition has us finishing the season 30-36 and barely missing the playoffs, but allowing our team to fight to the finish for that spot. If that were to be the case, I’m happy with it. The team will have improved, grown, fought like crazy and will be ready to take that phantom leap entering year-3 of the Wall era.
What’s your record prediction for the Wizards season? Leave it below…