The Washington Wizards have the chance to finally prove to the rest of the NBA that they are no longer a punch-line in the league. With John Wall and Bradley Beal starting the year healthy, the addition of rookie forward Otto Porter and the success from the end of the 2012-2013 NBA season, the Wizards seem like a team that could make a run at a playoff spot.
Washington not only has one of the most exciting and potent young backcourt duos in the league, but they also have established an identity for themselves as an elite defensive team. Even with all of their injury issues last season, they still ended the year as in the top 10 of the NBA in defense.
As the 2013-2014 NBA schedule was released on Tuesday, it now seems that we won’t have to wait long to see what the Wizards are made of this season and if they are a legitimate playoff team or all smoke and mirrors.
Though the Wizards start off with the Detroit Pistons, a team that still feels like it’s missing some pieces, and the expected-to-be-ungodly-amounts-of-atrocious Philadelphia 76ers, they travel to South Beach for their third game of the season to take on the back-to-back NBA Champions, the Miami Heat.
For the Wizards to prove themselves against the defending champs, they don’t necessarily need to notch a victory. Even with the Wizards’ improvements, they still aren’t on the same level as the Heat. However, if the Wizards can come out and implement their game-plan, even just for a couple of periods, against Miami, that will show that this Wizards team is one to keep an eye on.
Obviously this is a game early in the season which won’t take into account how Porter will develop over the season. However, it will show what the Wizards have to work with this season and if they are to be taken seriously this year.