Washington Wizards: 2014-15 NBA Season Primer


May 15, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard

John Wall

(2) dribbles the ball past Indiana Pacers guard

George Hill

(3) and Wizards center

Marcin Gortat

(4) in the first quarter in game six of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As we continue our NBA preview series, we take a closer look at the Washington Wizards

More from Southeast

Washington Wizards 2013-14 record: 44-38

Washington Wizards 2013-14 MVP: John Wall

Three Things I Know About The Washington Wizards…

  1. Paul Pierce will provide exactly what the Wizards need from him. The most important thing to remember is that he is no longer Boston Paul Pierce, but his game has aged very well.
  2. The Wizards return a majority of their core, which is a very underrated aspect for success in today’s NBA (see: Spurs)
  3. Per a source, John Wall and Bradley Beal are the best backcourt in the NBA.

Key Additions:

Key Losses:

The Washington Wizards will be a playoff team if…

They continue to improve upon their defense. It was one of their strengths last season and it allowed them to run. Anybody who’s watched John Wall play knows why getting out on the break is important to the Wizards — and boy can run. Wall’s shooting will have to take another step forward this year to enhance his and his team’s game, especially in the wake of losing Trevor Ariza.

Bradley Beal’s continued improvement will be key, as he’s no longer a rookie or second year man feeling his way out. This is his third season and he’ll have to back up those big words, stating that he and Wall are the best backcourt in basketball. He’s already got all the tools, he just needs to take his game to an All Star level.

John Wall and Bradley Beal feel slighted after being cut from Team USA and they want to prove they’re the best backcourt in the NBA, as well as confirm the legitimacy of their playoff run last season.

Another key is health. Well, obviously. But when the paint duo of Marcin Gortat and Nene were together, they were a solid 1-2 punch both offensively and defensively, and they cleaned the boards effectively. Without either, their paint dominance diminishes and that’s a key component to their success.

Their division is up for grabs since LeBron James left Miami for Cleveland, but the Southeast Division is full of new look teams waiting to dethrone Miami, who still have a respectable lineup. The Wizards were one of four teams from their division to make the playoffs last season and I expect the same this season, except they’ll have won the division this time around.

Team Strengths:

Speed – John Wall is one of the fastest players in the league and he can push the tempo. It’ll be important for the Wizards to determine their own tempo for continued success. 

Rebounding – Marcin Gortat returning was one of the more underrated signings this offseason. His presence, combined with Nene, in the paint anchors the Wizards defense and allows Washington to run.

Confidence – These young pitbulls have no shortage of confidence, plus they still have a chip on their collective shoulders. John Wall and Bradley Beal feel slighted after being cut from Team USA and they want to prove they’re the best backcourt in the NBA, as well as confirm the legitimacy of their playoff run last season. Bringing in a seasoned veteran and champion like Paul Pierce will be invaluable to the team’s confidence and professionalism.

Team Weaknesses:

Shooting – Outside of Bradley Beal and possibly Paul Pierce, the Wizards are weak in this regard. They also lost their best shooter Trevor Ariza to free agency. Hopefully John Wall can take that next step with his shooting.

2014-15 Washington Wizards MVP will be…

John Wall – He was an All Star last year, the dunk contest’s best dunker, and led the team to its first playoff appearance since 2008 and first series win since 2005 but his best is still yet to come.

Season Defining Question:

Health – Can the team stay healthy and keep the majority of the core together all the way from opening day to day 1 of the playoffs?

Washington Wizards Best Case Scenario:

48-34 – Southeast Division Champs

Conference Finals vs. Cleveland (like the good ol’ days)

Washington Wizards Worst Case Scenario:


7th or 8th seed

(These Wizards are here to stay. I don’t expect them to fall off too much.)