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
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/