The Washington Wizards franchise is currently in the midst of a 5-year playoff drought and continuing. End this playoff futility in 2013/14, and the season will be considered a success by the fan base and everyone connected with the Wizards.The following winning ingredients should be considered absolutely necessary for this team to make the playoffs in the East.
John Wall’s performance on the court should now match the five year $80 million contract extension he signed this off season. The size of the contract reflects the faith, hope and expectation the city of Washington has placed on him. He now has a big responsibility to perform at a level that is expected from a franchise type player, just like Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook or Deron Williams. Health was a problem last year, so a healthy John Wall, playing at an elevated all star-level with the ability to make his teammates better, should be a winning ingredient.
Bradley Beal the lone bright light from last season, drafted third overall, he finished third in voting for the NBA rookie of the year and some NBA experts suggesting that Beal is in the mold of the great shooting guard Ray Allen. Starting 46 games, he had solid numbers across the board, averaging 31.2 minutes per game with a field goal percentage of .410. Great things are expected from Bradley Beal this coming season and if his game continues to improve as projected, especially attacking the rim and free throw attempts, then he will provide a vital winning ingredient for the Wizards.
Jan Vesely was drafted sixth overall in 2011 and putting it mildly has been an enigma so far. Players coming from Europe are known for their shooting and basketball fundamentals. After two underwhelming seasons, Vesely has not shown us any of these qualities. In two years, he is averaging 15.5 minutes per game and only 4.0 rebounds; for a guy listed at 7ft tall, this is underwhelming. This season might be definitive in whether Jan Vesely is considered a draft bust or not. NBA career possibly on the line, Vesely will have to show us why Ernie Grunfeld drafted him so high in 2011. Jan Vesely finally showing up in his third season will be a winning ingredient.
Randy Wittman the Wizards’ head coach is the man who has been entrusted to guide the team to a playoff spot. The old saying “third time’s the charm” is what hopefully happens for the coach this year because after failed stints in both Cleveland and Minnesota, the Washington job might be his third and final chance to prove that he can cut it as an NBA head coach. Randy Wittman proving himself should be a winning ingredient, but the Wizards must not stumble out of the blocks; a poor start might doom coach Wittman for the sack and then the team will be starting from scratch again.