This was the season the Wizards would actually win the Southeast Division with LeBron going to Cleveland and were an up-and-coming team that could be in the Eastern Conference Finals. Instead, this is the year the NBA has real parity.
The Western Conference has 8 teams that could go to Finals and in the East, you could have 5 or 6 teams that could be in the Finals and although one of the teams is the Wizards, it looks like they’re the bottom of the top 5/6 teams in the East.
Although the Wizards had high expectations, no one could see the NBA in parity and could have chaos in the playoffs. The big difference between this year and last year is in one position: small forward. While Paul Pierce has been a solid edition to the team for experience and toughness, the team is missing Trevor Ariza’s athleticism, defense, and length and what made the team dangerous last year.
Of course, the highlight of the team is John Wall’s growth from his rookie year where he is now the leader of the team, although he still struggles making last second shots in the 4th quarter, but that takes time.
As for the others, now we have to deal with the annual Bradley Beal stress fracture, which is worrisome in the future; Marcin Gortat needs to lay-off of the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches; Rasul Butler had a great start, but now is slowing down; and the others are on par but not at the level of last year.
I never expected the Wizards to win the championship, but from the looks of this season, it looks like a missed opportunity. If it was last year’s team, I would be more comfortable about them going all the way. This team is missing the athletic component and would need one.
Speaking of athletic small forwards, this leads to if Kevin Durant would ever come back home. I did feel 50/50 that Durant might come to the Wizards in 2016. However, now knowing his personality a little more and the NBA’s mega TV deal with Disney and Turner, those odds looks like Durant might stay in Oklahoma City.
The Wizards can still do well this season and can make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. However it will take luck and a super performance from other players not named John Wall to bring hopes up.