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The Morning Wiz: Why This Season Is Even Bigger Than You Think It is

It’s been about a week or so since the real prep session for the NBA season began. Some blogs were wrapping up their preview posts, ESPN and other bigger sites were pitching their season predictions, and somewhere in an unknown hemisphere of the Internet, so was a writer who decided it was legitimate to forecast a 41-win for the Wizards. Check it.

41 wins

Now, I swear I’m not here to harp on some writer who might be as anonymous as I am in the media industry about his foolish idea that the Wizards, who, despite looking great on paper and looking great in preseason, would not only be a lower seed in the Eastern Conference, but on the brink of missing the playoffs completely. After all, everyone is entitled to their..prediction..right?

But it’s not his prediction that really bothers me. What triggered in my mind that I’m triggering in your mind is that reading that kind of stuff should trigger in all our minds how the Wizards still have so much they need to give; so much they still need to prove. In the minds of anyone who is not an actual Wizards fan or any media entity who does not cover the Wizards, they are still filed under the “Misc.” category of the Eastern Conference. Whereas, undeniably, there are only two teams that are in the, you know, main category. In order for minds to change, an absolute conquest is in order. Here’s the good part: the Wizards have just the right man to take on the role of conqueror. Yeah.. Leggooo.

Watching last night’s NBA season premiere, it occurred to me that the Bulls have somehow reestablished themselves as the prime adversaries of the Cleveland Cavs in the East. Yeah, I get it. LeBron vs. D-Rose. Kyrie and Love. Jimmy Butler. Newly instated backup Joakim Noah. Fred Hoiberg’s a sweetheart. David Blatt is easy to make fun of. Outwardly, the matchup has all the mass appeal you need for a “rivalry”. Makes you sick just reading about it, right? Then you catch my drift. But, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, the Wizards are also good. Yes, we believe they are very worthy. Yes, we know we have the best point guard in the conference. But it’s time to really show and prove, homies. This season is even bigger than you already think it is.

John Wall wants to be in the MVP conversation. I love that even though he’s been in all my MVP conversations. Yeah IDGAF (I love mid-blog acronyms).

But how will this actually happen? For John, it should be easy. His game instincts are sharp, his court vision is precise, and he’s simply a surgeon of defenses. As long as the talent assembled around him remains healthy and consistent, he’ll make each and every one of them studs and that’s become obvious. When John Wall goes to the club, he takes more than one wingman.

Bradley Beal wants to be an All-Star and wants to be known as a renowned defender. I’m super-optimistic about his production on offense but can only hope he’s as focused and strong as he needs to be to live up to his personal expectations on defense. Beal has vowed to take better shots, which I’m sure he will. But as a pure shooter, he’s going to be inclined to take any and all shots he feels worthy of taking. He just needs to make more than he misses. Beal also said he wants to be more of a ball-handler, something he has all the skills in the world to be.

In a recent survey, a good fraction of GM’s agreed that Otto Porter could become the NBA’s Most Improved Player. You’re goddamn right he could be. If you don’t have Otto Fever by now, you’ve been numbed by some vaccine. It won’t matter, though, because no one is immune to it. Otto is developing into an absolute bad ass. His surge began in last year’s postseason and it’s apparently carrying over into this season. His personal quest to dominating his position: handling guys like Doug McDermott, Jimmy Butler, and..LeBron James. Do work, kid.

Marcin Gortat was born ready. And pretty soon this season, the #Hammerdown campaign will commence.

Kudos to the guy who pledged to donate $200 per block this season to various charities associated with Monumental Network. Believe you me this will motivate him to be a monster down low. Gortat’s attention to the betterment of society is certainly not something unknown. Just come a little early to any game and you’ll see him hanging around some young fan or cheering up someone less fortunate. With #Hammerdown, Gortat will double-dip in commitments, one reflecting off the other, so get ready to see some lanes cleared out this b.

Randy Wittman is (seemingly) up to date on modern times in the NBA. Actually, the preseason proved nothing but that. Ball movement, smaller lineups, space, pace, corner 3’s, pick and rolls. Surely, it’s popular to assume the preseason is no real metric in gauging how things will go during the real season but that theory doesn’t always apply. The Wizards have revolutionized the way they play on offense so intensely that it’s literally catapulted them into a new stratosphere of basketball, showing insurmountable improvement in practically every facet. To finish the preseason first in virtually every offensive category after finishing below average in most of those categories at the end of last season is not likely to be a fluke. I’d be surprised if I end up wrong, and worse yet, Randy Wittman would be sorry if I end up wrong.

What the Wizards need to do is become the national NBA fan base’s “La Douleur Exquise”, a French term describing the heart-wrenching pain that one feels when they love someone they cannot have. With only five nationally televised games – meaning only five real chances the national audience gets to see John Wall dazzle the court – it’s bound to happen, and that’s your bad, schedule geniuses. Don’t worry, though, people. April is right around the corner. Kind of.

As for this Wizards team, the blueprint is outlined, the talent is in place, the goals are established. In basketball, one thing reflects another. John Wall, the leader and imminent conqueror; his performance is what will earn he and his army’s eventual conquest of the Eastern Conference. And it all begins tonight in Orlando. Gather up, folks.

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