NBA Preview: Can The Wizards and John Wall Make The Playoffs?

Jack JohnsonContributor ISeptember 6, 2010

NEW YORK - JUNE 24:  John Wall of Kentucky stands with NBA Commisioner David Stern after being drafted with the first pick by The Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2010 in New York, New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

2009-10: 26-56, 5th in Southeast Division, 14th in the East

Coach: Flip Saunders (14th season, 2nd with the Wizards)

Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: John Wall

SG: Gilbert Arenas

SF: Josh Howard

PF: Andray Blatche

C: Javale McGee

Key Bench Players:

G: Kirk Hinrich, Nick Young

F: Al Thornton, Yi Jianlian

Sleeper: Andray Blatche

Keys to Success: The development of John Wall and the return and good play of Gilbert Arenas

Summary:

The Wizards have surrounded John Wall with underrated talent. The most underrated pick up this off season, in my opinion, happened when the Wizards traded for Kirk Hinrich. Hinrich can help Wall mature into an All-Star caliber player. 

The Wizards will also need Yi Jianlian to live up to expectation. Jianlian showed improvements last year as a member of the New Jersey Nets, averaging 12 points and seven boards a game.

Andray Blatche quietly averaged 14 points and six boards a game last year. Expect his workload to increase, as he only played in 27 minutes per game last year.

The key for the Wizards will be veterans Josh Howard and Gilbert Arenas. If both players stay healthy and out of trouble, the Wizards can surprise some people.

Prediction: I predict the Wizards to finish 10th in the East. Personally, I think they are a couple of years away from making the playoffs. However, in a relatively weak Eastern Conference, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Wizards sneak into the playoffs.

 

This article can also be seen on: http://www.sportshaze.com/nba-preview-washington-wizards/