Washington Wizards 2016/17 Season Preview

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Basketball season starts soon and I couldn’t be happier. Last seasons, my Warriors got punked by the CAVS and lost in a historic 7 games series. That left a bitter taste in my mouth. I’m talking about eating Liver, with Brussel Sprouts, and Horseradish. (Yuuuccckkkk). Here at thecouchsports.com we are going to preview each of the 32 teams in the NBA. We are going to talk in-depth about the Rosters and Benches. As you can see, those are pivotal roles in a franchises success. We will start today with the Washington Wizards.

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Playing arm-chair GM is always fun. The Washington Wizards I felt did a decent job in the off season (considering their circumstances) by staying competitive by signing Beal, begging Durant to come home, signing Ian Mahimi, and unveiling new alternate uniforms. That is not a bad way to tell your fan base (but not tell them), that “We’re trying!” To stay relevant in today’s sports culture requires a certain amount of PIZAZZ but unfortunately, the Wizards do not have that. The Washington Wizards finished 41-41 missing the playoffs in the 2015/16 season. They missed the playoffs after 2 years of making the playoffs consecutively. To me they are a slightly weaker, East Coast version of the L.A. Clippers. Both teams have the talent, the fan base, the allure, the makings to be a championship caliber team, but either injuries or bad roster moves have led them down the dreaded road of “playoff purgatory.” The Wizards biggest problem is that their best player (John Wall) does not have a reliable 2nd option (a ĺà CP3 in L.A. Blake is either injured in the playoffs or doesn’t show up in the clutch) So you can see the comparisons. Bradley Beal got paid this offseason, really paid this off season. Signing a 5 year $128 million dollar guaranteed contract. Not bad for a guy whose yet to play a full 82 games in a season, nor average 20pts a game in a full season (*note career averages of 16ppg, 0.3bpg, 1spg, 3,apg, 3.7rbg, .397% 3pt fg, and .426% fg) Not bad for an average fellow, right? Not only that, Beal has the potential to be a perennial all-star in this league, but has either been injured or bickering with his star Point Guard, John Wall on the court.wiz.jpg

There are a lot of questions that the Wizards are facing headed into this 2016/17 NBA season. We questioned Beal’s tenacity and health but there is also a new coach in Scott Brooks. Was this a move to try to lure Durant back home? Hmmmm trying to pair him with his former coach. Not a bad attempt, right? How will his system be different from Randy Whittman’s system?

The Wizards did not have a draft pick this past draft, but have a handful of undrafted/d-league players looking to compete for a spot. According to wizofawes.com/2016/09/23/washington-wizards-announce-2016-17-training-camp-roster, the Wizards have invited Jarell Eddie, Danuel House, Sheldon McClellan, Johnny O’Bryant, Daniel Ochefu, and Casper Ware. Also the Wizards added veterans Ian Mahimi, Jason Smith, and Marcus Thornton. It would be interested to see if Scott Brooks starts a younger and more athletic Mahimi at Center, or will he Keep the Veteran and teams Co-Captain Marcin Gortat at Center. Looking for basketball redemption in a new uniform, 4th year Point Guard Trey Burke will be healthy after tearing his ACL at the beginning of last season with the Utah Jazz. He was traded due to Utah’s overcrowded back court. Production also slipped due to injuries and a lack of outside shooting. Prior to injury he was averaging a solid 12 pts and 4 ast per game. Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter will have the greenest of lights to improve and get better. With the Wizards looking frail at the 3 position at times, those young guys should be fine if they put in the work. Markieff Morris I thought would be that reliable 3rd scorer but in his 2016 season with both Phoenix and Washington, he only averaged 12 points a game. With his talent he could easily put up 20 a night, but he seems much like his twin in Detroit, Marcus, disinterested at times. I sympathized with them that Phoenix screwed them, but y’all got to move on. A lot of questions, right? Trey Burke’s and Bradley Beal’s health? Marcin Gortat’s production? Scott Brooks system? Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre & Markieff Morris’s play? Yawn, right?

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As of today, the Washington Wizards starting line up (in my opinion) would look like this…

C. Marcin Gortat
PF. Markieff Morris
SF.  Otto Porter
SG. Bradley Beal
PG. John Wall

6th. Ian Mahimi
7th. Trey Burke
8th. Marcus Thornton
9th. Kelly Oubre Jr.
10th. Jason Smith
11th. Andrew Nicholson
12. Jarell Eddie

Keep in mind this is my prediction. The bench is really anemic and with the exception of veteran SG Marcus Thornton, scoring is really going to suffer. (Not to mention defense as well).  I don’t see the Wizards making the playoffs due to the Eastern Conference getting better. John Wall will make the All Star team and hopefully secure an All NBA team and All NBA Defensive team selection, but he can’t do everything with that roster. I think they should trade Bradley Beal and Kelly Oubre Jr. to Sacramento for Boogie. Boogie and John Wall, the Kentucky Brothers reunited will be good for the league. J.Wall needs a reliable player to play aside next to him, who is not going to argue with him over touches. (Yes I know, I know but Boogie wouldn’t argue with John Wall the same way Beal has). This bench is boring and does not complement the starting 5. Jason Smith and Andrew Nicholson will be posters for opposing high flyers, while Ian Mahimi tries to do his best Serge Ibaka impression to impress his new coach, Scott Brooks.

Wizards fans you will not make the playoffs in the next few years and you guys need a huge roster haul. Let’s see how this season pans out and let’s pray that y’all recover from getting spurned by your hometown hero, Kevin Durant.

Peace

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