The Washington Wizards finished above .500 for the first time since the 2007-08 season. They were the 5th seed in the East and made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs. They are led by the backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal. They won 44 games and might be a better team this season.
John Wall had the best season of his young career. He has never played more than 70 games in a season but last year he started in all 82 games. He hit a career high 108 three pointers while shooting 35%. He had career highs in points, assists, double-doubles and triple-doubles. He was second in assists per game but led the league in total assists. He made his first All-Star team and will only get better.
Wall’s running partner Bradley Beal was much better in his second season. He played in more games and increased his three point shooting percentage to 40%. He played better in the postseason for this young team. Marcin Gortat was acquired before the start of the season and he delivered for the Wizards. He started a career high 80 games, averaging 13.2 ppg and 9.5 rpg.
The Wizards were finally out of the lottery. They traded their second round pick to the Lakers. Their 2013 first round pick Otto Porter did not have a great season. He played in summer league making All-NBA Summer League First Team. His teammate Glen Rice Jr. was the Summer League MVP. Hopefully these young guys can contribute more in the regular season.
In the off-season they lost Trevor Ariza who was a solid contributor. Ariza usually plays well during a contract year. He was a very good defender and he could knock down that corner three pointer. The Wizards added Paul Pierce and DeJuan Blair.
Pierce is a great pickup for this young team. He has championship experience and he will be a great mentor for Wall and Beal. He won’t be afraid to take the big shots during the playoffs and he can still go on a mini scoring run. Blair is also a good pickup because Nene seems to get injured every year. Blair has been in many playoff games with the Spurs and Mavericks.
Wall and Beal will only get better the more they play together. Pierce is another guy who can create plays off the dribble. He will also help their execution late in games. Gortat and Nene are solid on the inside, just watch the Bulls series last year. This Wizards team will be slightly better than last year winning 46-48 games.