The Washington Wizards hope for another strong season. With the Eastern Conference being controlled by the king in Cleveland and this time he’s bringing a new core beginning with Wade, or in Wades words “It’s like peanut butter and jelly, man, we just go together”. But thats not all, also adding 1st time all-star Isaiah Thomas, and defensives weapon Jae Crowder. This will give the Wiz a uphill battle to begin with. That doesn’t mean the Wizards don’t have a core of their own but they are young. Lead by top tier point guard John Wall, and his backcourt mate Bradley Beal. Now returning to D.C. Otto Porter Jr. is ready to compete for the Conference. Taking the next step would mean playing against Lebron and the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. This offseason the Wizards payed Porter Jr. in hopes he would take another step and be an all-star contender this season, signing Georgetown native Porter Jr. to a max deal.
Next thing the Wizards did this summer was locking up Wall with a four-year, $170 million contract extension. Showing commitment to the city gave the Wizards no other option but to lock up Wall. Wall stated this offseason, “I just want to see what the Eastern Conference finals is like,” as well as “Not saying that’s where our last stop is. But put your foot in that door to see how it is to be on that type of pedestal, to be on that level.” Following the game 7 loss in Boston last season Wall is well motivated to make the next step.
The Wizards need to not look up at the Cavaliers as most of the NBA do, with Wall and Beal having all the ability in the world to take the next step, the city of Washington hopes they do. They often get asked if they think they are the best and continue to be brought up in the conversation as “best backcourt” in the league. Failing to succeed to the ultimate goal last season, the backcourt boys seem to have an edge on their shoulders.
Big men Marcin Gortat, Ian Mahinmi, and Markieff Morris need to take some pressure off the Super-Star backcourt. With Mahinmi being limited to 31 games last season depth was a huge issue and caused the Wiz a few games, hopefully Mahinmi can add to the production for the big men of the Wizards. If Morris, Gortat, and Mahinmi can accept their roles in the offense and the rotation then things look bright for this team. Due to the lack of shooting touch these three have I see them all being used in the center role down the rode but as for now it looks like Gortat and Morris will continue to start.
Shooting was an issue for Oubre last year, shooting 30% from 3-point range is a top focus for him to make changes this offseason. Coming up on his third season this will be the perfect time for Oubre to take the next step. Showing his competitive nature last postseason, the Wizards will need that every night during the long stretch of the NBA season.Developing into a defensive stopper this will help Wall and Beal keep a certain emotion or attitude for the Wizards season.