Wizards Preparing For Camp
Believe it or not, the Wizards begin training camp two weeks from Saturday. Washington will hold its camp at the Patriot Center in Fairfax.
The Wizards have seven exhibition games on their schedule, only two of which will be played at the Verizon Center. Games of note include a trip to Rio to play Chicago, a game at UK’s Rupp Arena against New Orleans and a matchup with New York in their old Baltimore home. The regular season opener is Friday night, November 1st against the Philadelphia 76ers at Verizon.
By most accounts, the Wizards had a solid off-season. NBA.com has compiled off-season report cards for every team and Washington received an overall grade of B-.
No All-Stars here but plenty of quality personnel in veterans like Emeka Okafor, Nene, Trevor Ariza, Martell Wesbter, Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely. The addition of versatile rookie Otto Porter Jr. only makes this unit deeper and more dynamic.
John Wall is officially the face of this franchise now that he has that five-year, $80 million extension. He and Bradley Beal will be expected to play and produce at an elite level while Eric Maynor and Glen Rice Jr. provide reinforcements. You need to grade on potential to get a true gauge of what they could do next season.
The Wizards ranked among the league’s elite defensively last season, an odd distinction for a lottery team. But when you have the size, athleticism and versatility they possess, it’s understandable. They’ll be able to guard inside and out and particularly in transition.
Another team with an assortment of bodies but no real chemistry to speak of, yet. A quality bench has to have specific parts, specialists even, that work in concert as a unit. The Wizards are still trying to develop that sort of harmony.
As they say in the world of analytics, numbers never lie. Randy Wittman’s career record is rough (147-291 in his career and 47-84 in Washington). But he found something with the Wizards in the second half of the last season.
Tom Blaz is a co-owner of the DC Sports Report and The Recruiting Eagle, which focus on Athletics at Auburn University. You may follow Tom on twitter at #RecruitingEagle