Washington

Wizards

Survey data collected from team site writers and editors.

5.2

Out of 10

I trust in management and the coaching staff

6.7

Out of 10

I enjoy rooting for these players and this franchise

9.3

Out of 10

I am optimistic about the direction of the team

A Q&A with Jake Whitacre of SB Nation’s Wizards site Bullets Forever.

What needs to happen for this to be an enjoyable season for Wizards fans?

Make the Eastern Conference Finals! The Wizards haven't made it to the conference finals since 1979, so getting back there would be a huge step. Getting to 50 wins for the first time since 1979 would also be nice.

Washington Wizards
Position Starters Bench
Guards John Wall Tim Frazier Tomas Satoransky Donald Sloan
Wings Bradley Beal Otto Porter Kelly Oubre Jr. Jodie Meeks Carrick Felix
Bigs Markieff Morris (injured) Marcin Gortat Ian Mahinmi Jason Smith Mike Scott Chris McCullough

What makes Wizards fans most excited about this year? What makes Wizards fans most nervous?

The most exciting part of this season is that the Wizards have a good core and an opportunity to do things that most fans under the age of 35 have never seen them do.

However, everything is fragile because their depth is fairly weak. Markieff Morris is already out for the first few weeks of the season. If anyone else has to miss time, it could send the Wizards into a nosedive.

What storyline might a national audience be missing about the Wizards?

One of the big topics going into last year was how Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi would share minutes at center, but the issue never materialized since Mahinmi missed most of the season. During the limited time when Mahinmi was healthy and cutting into Gortat's minutes, it did seem to hurt Gortat’s production and efficiency, although that could also be attributed to how the starters as a whole struggled near the end of the regular season due to their high workload.

Assuming both can stay healthy, Scott Brooks needs to figure out a way to get the best out of both players so Washington can stay effective.

Why should neutrals pay attention to the Wizards this year?

People should pay attention to the Wizards because they're like a more human version of the Warriors: exciting and good but flawed enough to keep most games exciting. They love to get out in transition, John Wall creates highlights every game, and even on bad nights they can usually make at least one run to keep games interesting. Last season, they lost only two games by more than 15 points.

What's your prediction for the season?

52-30, third in the East. The Wizards will stand out in a weakened Eastern Conference, but it will still be clear they're a step away from being in the mix to be legitimate title contenders.