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Limited Upside NBA podcast: Can the Wizards cement themselves in the NBA’s upper tier?

The Wizards had a wild, fulfilling season last year. Now, they’re looking for staying power ... and possibly more. Can they achieve it?

Listen to SB Nation’s Washington Wizards preview here.

It's the Wizards! Our co-host’s favorite team! This one is always one of the highlights of our NBA preview series.

Last year was pretty cool for Wizards fans! Forty-nine wins, the most since 1979. A second-round playoff appearance that ended just shy of the conference finals. A stretch of dominating play in January. A huge season from John Wall and The Leap from Bradley Beal and Otto Porter.

But this is the Wizards, who always seem to tease their fans. Can they build on last season’s success, or is this another flash in the pan?

We brought on Sports Illustrated's Andrew Sharp and Bullets Forever's Michael Sykes to join Mike and Ben to preview The Season After The Season.

Topics include:

  • Why fans are excited on the one hand, but afraid to take the full leap because of the franchise’s history.
  • How good were they last year, really? Is it realistic to expect continuity to lead to even further improvement? How much of an advantage is that continuity in light of the big changes in Boston and Cleveland?
  • What was different about that 17-game midseason stretch in which they dominated?
  • What’s the ultimate goal this year? Is it enough to just match last year’s season, or do they need to exceed it?
  • Why Kelly Oubre’s growth is extremely important to the team’s success this year.
  • Does the organization value success or relevancy? They go hand in hand, but which comes first? Are the organization and the players acting like they’ve arrived already, or is that enthusiasm actually a fuel for even further improvement? (This includes the best hypothetical we’ve ever received from a listener.)
  • Let’s talk more about how great John Wall and Bradley Beal are.
  • Sharp and I (Prada) have our annual Should The Wizards Trade For DeMarcus Cousins argument.
  • Why Markieff Morris is the barometer for the team’s success.
  • The impact of Scott Brooks’ disposition on the team.

Plus, banana boat, burner accounts, predictions, and much more.

This podcast was part of the Limited Upside podcast’s 2017-18 offseason series previewing all 30 NBA teams with members of SB Nation’s team communities and other friends of the show. We’ve spent the last two-and-a-half months gauging the temperature of every fan base heading into what should be a terrific NBA season. There’s no better way to understand what makes NBA fans in each market tick.

We began these in August and counted down worst-to-first leading up to the season. Here’s how to listen to them all:

  1. Nets with Kristian Winfield and Nets Daily’s Anthony Puccio
  2. Lakers with Zito Madu and Silver Screen and Roll’s Anthony Irwin and Harrison Faigen
  3. Suns with Bright Side of the Sun’s Dave King and Evan Sidery
  4. 76ers with Tyler Tynes and Liberty Ballers’ Kyle Neubeck
  5. Knicks with Kristian Winfield and Posting and Toasting’s Seth Rosenthal
  6. Magic with Orlando Pinstriped Post’s Zach Oliver and Cory Hutson
  7. Kings with Kenny Carraway and Sactown Royalty’s Tony Xypteras
  8. Mavs with Tim Cato and Mavs Moneyball’s Kirk Henderson
  9. Wolves with Canis Hooups’ Eric Goldman and John Meyer
  10. Pelicans with The Bird Writes’ Oleh Kosel and Travis Tate
  11. Hornets with James Dator and At the Hive’s Nicklaus Denning
  12. Pistons with John Ketchum, Kofie Yeboah and Detroit Bad Boys’ Lazarus Jackson
  13. Nuggets with Denver Stiffs’ Adam Mares
  14. Heat with Kelly Cohen and Hot Hot Hoops’ Surya Fernandez
  15. Bulls with Ricky O’Donnell and Blog a Bull’s Jason Patt
  16. Pacers with Whitney Medworth and Indy Cornrows’ Caitlin Cooper
  17. Blazers with Blazers Edge’s Brian Freeman and Peter Sampson
  18. Bucks with Kevin McCauley and Brew Hoop’s Mitchell Maurer
  19. Hawks with Harry Lyles Jr. and Peachtree Hoops’ Brad Rowland
  20. Grizzlies with Grizzly Bear Blues’ Joe Mullinax
  21. Thunder with Eddie Maisonet and Welcome to Loud City’s Joshua Broom
  22. Thunder addendum! Carmelo Anthony trade emergency pod with Eddie Maisonet
  23. Wizards with Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Sharp and Bullets Forever’s Michael Sykes
  24. Jazz with SLC Dunk’s Mychal Lowman and James Hansen.
  25. Raptors with Raptors HQ’s Daniel Reynolds and freelance writer Seerat Sohi
  26. Cavaliers with Fear the Sword’s Chris Manning and MMA Fighting’s Eric Jackman
  27. Clippers with Clips Nation’s Lucas Hann and former L.A. video coordinator Mo Dakhil
  28. Celtics with Paul Flannery and Celtics Blog’s Nick Gelso
  29. Rockets with The Dream Shake’s Ethan Rothstein and Jeremy Brener
  30. Spurs with Pounding the Rock’s J.R. Wilco and Bruno Passos
  31. Warriors with Golden State of Mind’s Bram Kincheloe

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