Yes, the first Wizards preseason game is tomorrow. Yes, the lock-outs over. And yes, training camp was a huge success.
Here are my five keys to a successful season.
1. A healthy John Wall: Wall played most of his rookie season at 65 percent due to knee and foot injuries. Wall is 100 percent healthy now. Good for the Wizards, bad for opposing teams. His speed creates so many mismatches and opportunities for teammates who can run with him. Limiting his turnovers from 216 from last year, and an improved mid-range jumper will cause 29 other coaches in the NBA to stay up at night drawing up plays to stop him.
2. Dray Day: Entering his 7th season Andray Blatche is no longer considered a project and role player with upside. No, the time is now for Blatche to show why hes worth the 35 million contract extension the organization gave him last year. Blatche, all off-season, told me hes ready to step out of the potential shadow and burst on the national spotlight. Hes a 20-point, 10-rebound guy. Question is: Can he do it on a nightly basis?
3. JaVale or Pierre? Hes 7 feet 1 and can run the floor, block shots and even at times dribble the basketball up the floor. Yes, JaVale McGee has all the tools to be a great big man, but standing in his way is himself and nothing else. If McGee can balance style and substance over the course of a season, then the sky's the limit. Oh and as for the dribbling of the ball up the court. I got one word for that, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
4. Wheres Nick: Sitting in Los Angeles waiting for teams to offer him a multi year contract. The team is going on without their best scorer. Hard to argue Nick Young gets buckets. However, depending on the venue he has the ability to drop 40 on a moments notice. Yet the longer Young stays away the tougher it will be to get into a rhythm with his fellow backcourt mate Wall and others. My advice: take the 3.7 million dollar qualifying offer and get to work on earning a long term contract.
5. Can youth equal playoffs. PLAYOFFS! With a roster that has 8 players 23 years and younger, can this team sneak up on the competition? History shows that young teams dont win in this league but for perhaps Washington can use their youth against teams by running, running, and running for 48 minutes. As my old High School Coach used to say, Wear em out! Foul em out!
Thats all for now.