The Wizards' playoff chances took a major hit with the news that the team will not have its best player in John Wall for at least the first month of the season.
Even with Wall in the lineup it's very questionable whether this even could be a playoff caliber team. Wall's absence certainly is going to be felt early in the season and the team will have to hold down the fort until he returns.
New coach Randy Wittman and new veteran additions in power forward Emeka Okafor, swingman Trevor Ariza and center Nene -- who came over at trade deadline last February -- all should help make a difference in the win column for the Wiz this season. All three have played on winning teams, including Ariza who won a ring with the Lakers.
There is no way the Wizards could be worse than the 20-46 record of a season ago -- right?
Rookies from last year in forwards Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton are now older and wiser and should be better. Forwards Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin and guard Jordan Crawford are all now heading into their third seasons and they all have shown improvement each season.
It's too early to call how much of an impact rookie guard Bradley Beal will have this season. The third overall pick likely will see a lot of minutes, especially now with Wall out and the team in need of scoring.
The best case scenario for the Wizards is to be fighting for a seventh or eighth spot in the East come the spring. If they can do that it would be a serious step in the right direction.