HoopsHype.com Season Previews

US Presswire

2012/13 SEASON ROSTER
NUM
PLAYER
POS
HT
1
F-G
6-7
C
7-0
3
G
6-3
35
F
6-7
15
G
6-4
43
F
6-9
G
6-5
22
G
6-3
20
F
6-7
42
C
6-11
50
C
6-10
G
6-2
12
G
6-2
F
6-10
13
F
6-9
31
F
6-8
24
F
6-11
2
G
6-4
9
G-F
6-7

Washington Wizards       

ADDITIONS:
Trevor Ariza (New Orleans), Earl Barron (Atleticos de San German), Bradley Beal (Florida), Steven Gray (Ventspils), Emeka Okafor (New Orleans), Jannero Pargo (Atlanta) , AJ Price (Indiana), Shavlik Randolph (Piratas de Quebradillas) and Martell Webster (Minnesota).

SUBTRACTIONS:
Morris Almond (Red Star Belgrade), Andray Blatche (Brooklyn),  Brian Cook, Maurice Evans, Rashard Lewis (Miami) and James Singleton.

STRENGTHS:
John Wall and rookie Bradley Beal have a chance to be an up-and-coming backcourt that the team can build around …With Wall leading the way, Washington has the ability to play an effective transition game ... While he appeared to be beaten down by losing, Wall has All-Star talent and it may be brought out with a supporting cast that appears better than last year’s 20-46 unit ... With Wall and Jordan Crawford, the Wizards are extremely strong at driving to the basket ... The Wizards were not a good perimeter shooting team and Beal should help greatly in that aspect ... Defensively, one of the strongest attributes was the ability to force turnovers, which was eighth in the NBA ... After arriving from Denver, Nenê gave the Wizards a solid low-post offensive option ... More importantly, the Brazilian is somebody who should be an influence to a team that too often showed signs of youth and immaturity ... With Nenê and newly acquired Emeka Okafor, the Wizards have greatly improved their interior defense ... Washington ended last season winning six in a row and going 8-2 in their last 10 so they hope the late-season momentum carries into this year.

WEAKNESSES:
The Wizards will have to rely greatly on Beal because the rest of the team isn’t a strong perimeter shooting unit, having finished 28th in three-point percentage in 2011-12 ... Washington also is a poor free-throw shooting team ... Bad passing squad too … Even with the newcomers, the Wizards still don’t have a strong offensive low-post game ... Last season too many players, including Wall and Crawford, forced too many shots ... They must improve their shot selection and cut turnovers down … Defensively, the Wizards have to show better discipline ... After a disappointing first season, the Wizards need more aggressiveness from last year’s first-round pick Jan Vesely because frontcourt depth is needed.

PROJECTION:
3rd in the Southeast Division / 13th in the Eastern Conference

PROJECTED STARTERS
Rajon Rondo PG: John Wall Allen Iverson SG: Bradley Beal Andrei Kirilenko SF: Trevor Ariza
Showed very little progress in his first two years in the NBA, but the star potential is obviously there. Will play with a target on his back. Everybody expects him to be one of the top rookies this season. A scorer first and foremost. Should be an exciting backcourt with him and Wall. Gives the Wizards length and defense. Will compete for playing time with Martell Webster and Chris Singleton.
Yi Jianlian PF: Emeka Okafor C: Nenê Sixth: Jordan Crawford
Had career lows in scoring, rebounds and blocked shots last year. Serviceable big man, especially on the defensive end. Very big and strong. Quite a presence in the paint. Breakout season never came, but he's a legit starting center. Likes to shoot and he's a problem when he gets hot. Shot selection is a concern. Terrible percentages from beyond the arc.