|2012-13 Team Rankings|
|30th Overall||10th Overall|
Stats through Jan. 22
Emeka Okafor, Nene and Trevor Ariza were supposed to provide the veteran insulation in the frontcourt that would help propel this team out of the Eastern Conference cellar. But it hasn't happened.
The regular backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal have only been working together for a couple of weeks, due to injury. Chemistry issues will need to be worked out, of course, but the raw materials for something special down the road are definitely in place.
Strange as it sounds, the Wizards are actually a solid defensive team. Ariza and Okafor are noted defenders and have been throughout their careers. But if the Wizards don't do anything, they work hard on the defensive end.
Jordan Crawford actually leads the team in scoring (14.8) and A.J. Price was a fill-in starter for Wall and showed he's capable of a legitimate role in the rotation. And Martell Webster is as dangerous as he is streaky as backup swingman.
Randy Wittman has had to deal with his fair share of injuries to players he expected to be staples in his rotation. But that's no excuse for his team struggling the way it has offensively all season long. The Wizards don't have great a stacked roster or anything close to it, but they were supposed to be better than this.
Seeing the way Wizards have performed since Wall joined the lineup is reason enough for at least a little optimism in D.C. He and Beal have provided a glimpse of what could be, if the Wizards stick with the program long enough to allow their two most talented youngsters to blossom into the dynamic duo they might be.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said in July that he wouldn't be happy with another lottery season. But that was before Wall went down with injury and missed training camp and most of the first two months of the season. He rearranged those priorities in October, insisting that the second or third-worst record in the league this season would be "unacceptable." And now he wants to see .500 basketball for the remainder of the season. There's nothing wrong with being ambitious. But you have to take baby steps first in D.C.
-- Sekou Smith
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||B+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||C-|
|New Orleans Hornets||C-|
|New York Knicks||A-|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B+|