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NBA / Sep 17, 2009 / 10:30 am

The Wizards Could Win The Championship This Year

Gilbert Arenas

Before you skip the article and head directly to the comments to destroy me, just hear me out. And for fans of the Celtics, Cavs and Magic, it’s not that you don’t think it’s possible, but rather that the thought of the Wizards beating you in the second round of the playoffs makes you sick. But the more and more I think about it, the more and more I convince myself that the Wizards could win the championship this year.

While a lot of teams have pieces to the puzzle and some key players coming off the bench, I truly believe that there are few teams as deep as the Wizards at every position. Check it out:

PG – Gilbert Arenas, Randy Foye, Javaris Crittenton
SG – DeShawn Stevenson, Nick Young
SF – Caron Butler, Mike Miller, Dominic McGuire
PF – Antawn Jamison, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee
C – Brendan Haywood, Fabricio Oberto

And with this roster there is great flexibility. Depending on matchups, the Wizards could drop Butler down to the two, play Jamison at the three and have one of their athletic bigs step in at the four. Also, what teams can say that they have the ability to bring two starters from last year off the bench in Foye and Miller?

Clearly this whole notion hinges on guys staying healthy, but that’s a risk that every team has. Could the Celtics have won back-to-back titles last year if KG and Leon Powe were healthy? I think so. Could the Wizards do it this year? Perhaps.

With Flip Saunders at the helm, the Wizards should have as good a shot as any. And perhaps the best of their offseason moves – besides trading away their draft pick – was signing Oberto. While he was never a “star” in San Antonio, Oberto went up against the elite in the Western Conference each night, and had to play against Tim Duncan every day in practice. While he could just be insurance if Haywood can’t stay healthy or if Blatche and McGee don’t pan out, he will be an integral part of the Wizards success this season.

In the Washington Post yesterday, Jamison was talking about the “C word” and definitely sees in his team what many people do: talent.

“The thing about this team is, everybody has a chip on his shoulder. You got guys coming back and saying, ‘Am I going to come back and be the same player I was before the injury?’ You got guys trying to get new contracts. You got guys trying to make a name for themselves. And you got me, trying to lead this team to a championship. That’s the only thing that we should be playing for. I think everybody has that mentality.”

And if everyone does, then Wizards could win it all.

What do you think?

Follow Aron on Twitter at @the_real_aron.
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  • nobs6669

    yeah for sure they have all the tools

  • scotsman

    if arenas is still arenas then they are contenders

  • Deez

    got a lot of nice pieces no doubt…but last i checked this group doesnt play defense…not even a little…and their additions arent exactly shut down-ers…so…not happening.

  • jryu

    i love the wizards but come on.. that SG slot looks terrible.

    stevenson shot 31% last year…

  • nobs6669

    @deez
    yeah defense is their issues but flip would now it and it would be noted this training camp. but the reality if all are healthy they are a serious contender

  • Mellmeister

    @Aron Philips

    I thought Antawn Jamisons the only one high on dope…

    But mayne, are you serious? ‘coz the wiz doesn’t defend well, LBJ’s gonna have tons of highlights against the wiz… if they come of fourth or 5th, they might see the second round… but just the second round… they can goe toe to toe with the hawks… but CLEVELAND-BOSTON-ORLANDO? i seriously doubt that…

    i’m out like Jamison’s D.

  • wiz

    @jryu

    First Stevenson shot 31% with a messed up disc in his back dont forget bout the Mr. cant feel my face he was when he was healthy and got open shots off of arenas…

    And nick young will come along thats as arenas once said that’s young kobe just give him sometime

    Its the wizards year if we can just play some D mostly at the 1 and 4 position Jamison has to step up his D.

  • Jake

    Defense. The Wizards dont have alot of it. If they have any hope of winning a championship they need to learn to play defense and they must stay healthy. When Agent Zero is at the top of his game, he’s as deadly as anyone and a top ten player. However it’ll take alot to convince that multiple injuries havent slowed him down. This team certainly has an oppurtunity, they simply need to build on it.

  • JA

    Don’t really see Deshawn being the go to SG for this team. Foye will get minutes and Miller will play SG as well.

    Oberto is definitely the dark horse on this team, and was a heck of a pick up for them.

  • Soopa

    “SG – DeShawn Stevenson, Nick Young” *ALAAAARM!*

    Show me their passing PG (Love Arenas, but he isnt a passer)

    Show me a shooting guard – who can shoot! (Mike Miller is too slow to guard other 2’s so he cant slide down and therefor doesnt count)

    Show me their lock down defender whos to deal with the lebrons and kobes. (Dont even mention Stevenson)

    Show me their center who can get a 10/10 on a nightly basis. (What are the ralistic odds Haywood does this? 1 to 25? 1 to 50?)

    Since they have no passer in their back court, show me their Odom/Diaw point forward who can distribute (Jamison is a damn good finisher, but nowhere near a facilitator)

    I like the wiz as a playoff team, perhaps even a 2nd round team but Boston, Olando og Cleveland are all just straight up better. I even like ATL’s chances better then Washingtons.

  • Sheedfan87

    Not a prayer. They’d be lucky to get a No. 5 or 6 seed. In no way can that team match-up with the Celts, Cavaliers or Magic. And I hate to say it, but you know somebody’s getting hurt for a while, sooner rather than later.

  • Dagomar

    Huge holes at the 2 and the 5; a big question mark at the 1 until Arenas proves himself, and who knows how much Jamison has left in the tank? Even if Arenas is healthy the only substantial improvement of this team over the team that lost to the Cavs a couple years ago is the Timberwolves leftovers, and that’s hardly encouraging. Meanwhile this team will take at least the year to get used to the new parts, and Arenas’s return. The playoffs are a possibility, but any other ambitions are ridiculous at this stage.

  • Sanssasin

    any team with gilbert arenas as your best player will NEVER win a championship!

    i agree with Sheedfan87, they’d be lucky to sniff the 5th seed.

  • Kermit the Washington

    I think you’re crazy. BUT, that being said, I think the Wizards will upset a major contender in the playoffs this year. And then get beat by another major contender in the Conference Finals. Maybe knock off the Cavs but get bounced by the Celtics.

  • nobs6669

    im not a wizards fan for real they are the most dangerous team in the east. they could match up with any top team in the east. they have all the player to match-up every team in the league. but the three things that could make them at the top of the league is.

    1st. health – no need to specify this issue

    2nd. defense – they could be a defensive team if they would focus on it. eddie jordan didn’t believe in that system

    3rd. coaches – lebron wouldn’t won any championship as long as brown would be his coach. as for wizard. if flip could utilize all the talent in this team. and based on his carrier he is the perfect fit for this wizard team

  • korver

    not in a million years, Oberto’s youth will never be back and their other centers and PF will get destroyed in Playoffs, randy foye is nothing, stevenson a joke, mike miller almost retired … plus arenas will be out after 20 games

  • JH

    The beauty of competition is that anyone can win @ any given time. Do I think the Wizards have a legit shot…not really…but they do have a shot.

    I figure that the Wizards are like the Utah Jazz…they may make the playoffs and could even advance a round…but they’ll never win a championship.

  • emilio

    I couldn’t care less about them beating the celtics, cavs and magic alltogether, there’s no way around the Lakers. And you know it.

  • Abe504

    It can be possible, wizards have enough firepower to beat any team in the league, on any given night somebody can go off. Just look back 2 years ago, the wizards were the only team that had a winning record against the celtics that year, the year they won it all. the idea aint that farfetched as it seems, could happen.

  • Kobeef

    Mike Miller he is a great shooter and a very good playmaker. He could start at SG. If that doesn’t work out I think there is a very good chance the Wizards go with a starting line of

    PG – Agent 0/Foye
    SG – Tough Juice/Nick Young/DeShawn
    SF – Antawn/Miller
    PF – Blatche/Oberto
    C – McGee/Haywood

    I would be willing to bet on Javale McGee outsting Brendan Haywood from the starting C position before christmas. Javale is a bigger, more offensively talented version of Dwight Howard. Laugh now, haters.

  • http://myspace.com/40sand9s loc

    they aint no raptors

  • Sweet English

    “I truly believe that there are few teams as deep as the Wizards at every position.”

    They go one deep at the 1, 3, and 5 and 0 deep at the 2 and 4.

    I’v had puddles on my driveway deeper than the wizards.

  • jay

    yeah, it’s possible.. only if they learn how to defend..

  • Steve A

    You can’t win a title unless you have (at least one) great player. They don’t. They are filled with 2nd/3rd Bananas.

  • Sweet English

    I’ve seen Midgets fucking fat chicks that go deeper than the wizards.

    I’ve bought $10 ‘Bolex’ off guys in the street watches that went deeper than the wizards.

    I’v got contact lenses that are deeper than the wizards.

    You are going to sit here and listen to all the funny things that are deeper than the wizards.

  • http://www.btv.com.ph/ sh!tfaced

    If they trade Jamison for a true power forward like Bosh, Amare, Brand or even Boozer, maybe then. It just isn’t gonna work having a PF in an SF’s body like Antawn.

    With weak and inconsistent big man like Blatche, Haywood, Oberto and McGee, they need to have that frontcourt anchor for them to be real contenders.

    Although they now have a mad bench. Gotta give the front office some props pulling off the trade for Miller and Foye and take themselves out of a potential mess if they ever got involved with Rubio.

    But it still all depends on how hot the Hibachi re-heats.

  • http://www.btv.com.ph/ sh!tfaced

    LMFAO@english

    that’s classic, man.

  • Notorious

    “With Flip Saunders at the helm…”

    You wrote that and still believe in the Wizards? No way in hell will they win the ‘Chip, they will be lucky to even make the playoffs. Over/under on games Gilbert plays in is 40, take the under.

  • Sweet English

    Tyrone’s range of vocabulary is deeper than the wizards

  • Sweet English

    Stevie Wonder can drain jumpers deeper than the wizards

  • Dee

    I would not want to see this team in the first rouond….Nick Young too can drop buckets, with Foye and Miller off the bench they might not ever miss a step with the subs out.

  • Soopa

    @ Kobeef

    “Javale is a bigger, more offensively talented version of Dwight Howard. Laugh now, haters.”

    By bigger surely you mean taller ‘cos last time i saw McGee he was hiding behind a pogostick!

    *The sound of me laughing*

  • Sweet English

    Soopa, the word you’re looking for is ‘lol’

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    HaHahahaha damn your smokin some serious stuff my man. They couldn’t beat the Cavs even when Arenas was healthy. Who’s going to guard Dwight? Even if they do by some miracle come out the east (which would instantly put Arenas in Hall of fame talk for me) they can’t beat any team in the West especially the Lakers.

  • D.H.

    Which SG gets to guard Kobe IF they make it to the finals?

  • LakeShow84

    Only problem is Saunders isnt the coach who can teach them enough about D to truly make them contenders..

    Saunders is a offensive coach so they will be near the tops in scoring and POSSIBLY make the second round but when get into a grind it out series against Orlando or Boston they’ll crumble.. Unless Haywood plays to his potential, dont forget dude has shown flashes in the past..

    Did someone really type *the sound of me laughing*?

  • control

    This article should read:

    “Hello boys and girls, this is a Public Service Announcement. Crack is Wack. When you start smoking it, you end up saying some pretty fucked up shit, like the Wizards could win the Championship this year. Obviously I was playing some D&D while smoking my crack, so the only two options were the Warriors and the Wizards.

    Crack fucks your mind up boys and girls, don’t smoke it. Friends don’t let friends talk reckless shit.”

  • LakeShow84

    LMAO

    Control got the post of the day..

    Ill agree 2 posts with the Wizards winning the Chip is absolutely frightening.. Kind of like waking up in crack land lol

  • Boombaby

    I started reading the first sentence then I went on the comment section! Why defend the wizards? they will never win a ring. They could get to the playoffs then early exit. They have thier egos bruised by the Hawks. Even if Arenas is healthy with the roster like this Lebron and Co will crush them.

  • jryu

    @dime

    arenas’s rehab and criticism of the wizards:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4480321

    it may be good for a discussion later on.. and no, you guys don’t have to tell us who tim grover has worked with in the past, we know already. i remember reading a comment about that and thinking the same thing.

  • Blazermark

    they might be able to win out in the East… but they best stay on their side of the country. The West will whoop that ass.

  • http://www.random-ish.com Sccob

    If they play with discipline they can win. Put it this way, I beat the Lakers with the Wizards all the time on 2K. I’m not saying that they are dead

  • MSkittle

    Not a championship, but maybe 2nd round.

  • Ian

    @13 agree

    @2 if arenas is still arenas they are a first round team.

  • Ric_Hardwood

    They’ll make playoffs but I think the Raps are even a stronger team. Arenas is too selfish and the East is strong this year.

    @English
    dude, u had me rollin’… lol

  • Ejay

    They should get Capt. Jack for Nick Young, Deshawn, Javaris and Mike James. Trade away Mike Jame’s Contract and get Capt. Jack and Cj Watson or something.

  • chester

    INSANE ARTICLE… THAT’S ALL…

    HOW COME CAN THEY WIN CHAMPIONSHIP IF THEY CAN’T BEAT THE THE OLD CAVS IN THE PLAYOFFS. REMEMBER THE CAVS IN THAT SERIES IS JUST ALL LEBRON AND A BUNCH WHATEVER.! THEY CAN’T BEAT THOSE 3 TEAMS..

    ARE U FOR REAL?? Aron Phillips….
    HOPE UR DREAMIN’

  • http://mail.google.com JayGM

    The Wizards are potentially one trade away to become a TRUE title contender. Rip Hamilton, who has championship experience and is a true shooting guard, would be a great fit with the Wizards.

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=mq2e4b

    starting Lineup:

    Arenas/Foye
    Hamilton/Stevenson
    Bulter/Miller/Washington
    Jamison/Oberto
    Haywood/Brown/McGee

  • Flip

    Not a chance to win the championship. Not even a darkhorse chance.

  • The REAL Tyrone

    I ain’t gotsa say much more than Aron be on crack y’all. Dem Wizards ain’tgot no chance to be winning shit this year.

    True thugs NEVER lie.
    The Real Tyrone

  • geoff

    with the exception of antawn jamison, every player on this team is over rated.

  • karizmatic

    There are several things that prevent the Wizards from ever winning a championship.

    1. Gilbert Arenas is a shoot first no defense point guard
    2. Antawn Jamison while a good player is not a winner…not a clutch player and really not even a guy you double.
    3. Flip Saunders is their coach
    4. Brendan Haywoode is talented and soft when it comes down to crunch time
    5. Lebron has their number they are his version of MJ’s Knicks or Shaq’s Sacramento Kings
    6. Deshawn Stevenson is on their team
    7. DESHAWN STEVENSON IS ON THEIR TEAM!!!!

  • Bing

    gilbert arenas at 100% is awesome but he never lead them to a ring before. why would this year be any different??

  • heartbreaker85

    AGAIN WITH THE WIZARDS.

    of all the players you listed, NOT ONE PLAYER CAN PLAY A LICK OF DEFENSE.

    sure butler might be a so-so defender, but after him who else is there?

    sure they can score, no doubt. but answer me this aron philips, who’s going to stop the kobes, james, parkers, howards and cp3s of the nba?

    and having coach flip on the team doesnt really upgrade your defense.

  • “Tha Boddyâ„¢”

    Great read AP your a gentleman and a scholar

  • M Intellect

    I love the fear the comments section has garnered and as a regular commenter, I am proud. We’re like the crowd at MSG.

    If Javale McGee outplays Haywood, he’ll punch his lights out ala Evan Thomas.

  • Matt

    DeShawn Stevenson is wack…the dude took himself out of the starting lineup last year because he knew he was wack. Nick Young isnt much better…and i dont know what people see in blatche, he is lazy out of shape, has no moves and is butt ugly. Its gonna be the same d.c. story, gilbert chucks up ugly shots and butler and jamison clean up his mess. They’ll be weak.

  • Rob

    As a fan of the team, it’s a stretch for them to win it all, but some comments in here are plain dumb.

    First, Dominic McGuire, Stevenson, Butler, and Haywood are all above average defenders with potential in McGee turning into a great defender once he fills out and gets more experience. Oh, let’s not forget Oberto who can bang and flop as well as Varaj in Cleveland. I might add Foye in the mix too.

    Second, you guys talk about past failures like losing to the Cavs in the playoffs as if this is the same team. It’s not and those teams were not completely healthy either nor as deep as this year’s team will be.

    Third, Flip is the perfect coach for this team and he did employ zone schemes in Minnesota that made the sum better than the parts defensively. Eddie Jordan was the coach who virtually dismissed defense altogether. And, with all the scoring on this team, they only need to be average defensively to win 50 games or perhaps slightly more.

    I got them finishing 4th in the conference with a chance at 3rd if someone slips a little and possibly making the CF in the playoffs. This upcoming season’s version of the Nuggets.

  • ab_40

    it’s a chemistry thing… they can go for 50 to 53 this year if everything is clicking if not they’re a middle of the pack team in the east. and at the end of the season their record wouldn’t be good enough to get to the playoffs in the west.

    i was just checkin and the east has no exciting young teams loaded with talent. so I have to get leauge pass to see the exciting young teams play I can’t stay up till 3 in the moring for a game to start hehe.

  • cp3

    i dont think theyll be contenders, i think they will make the playoffs though.
    and why is everyone sleeping on nick young?

  • Whatever

    If they are able to play defense as a unit, in which I haven’t seen them do that IN A WHILE. Also, Arenas has to be Arenas again, and everyone else has to play up to the hype. All of this has to happen before you EVEN CONSIDER them contenders. After that, they still have to play the Celtics, Cavs and or the Magic in the playoffs before they even get to the NBA Finals. I’ll admit that they could go as far as the 2nd Round, depending on who they meet in the 1st Round, but to say that they’ll get as far as the NBA Finals, let alone the West Finals, is just ludicrous.

  • http://dimemag.com IVO

    DID EVERYBODY SEE MIAMI WADE BRING BACK THE HEAT TO THE PLAYOFFS LAST YEAR ALONE OKAY 1ST ROUND BUT THEY ONLY HAVE ONE PLAYER WHO DID EVERYTHING.
    THE WIZARDS WILL PLAY MORE DEFENSE AND A BETTER DEFENSE BECAUSE FLIP SAUNDERS IS A DEFENSE ADICT LOL.
    WILL BE COMPLICATED I HAVE 80% SURE THEY CAN’T WIN A CHIP BUT WHO KNOWS… THEY ARE A GOOD OFFENSE TEAM ARENAS, BUTLER, JAMISON, FOYE AND MILLER… WE EXPECT DEFENSE

  • http://myspace.com/bqmuzik BQ

    don’t sleep on Foye. He had to work too hard for his shots last year cuz Al J never kicked it out when double teamed. Randy had to create too much for himself…he’s gonna get more open shots now…dont sleep on what he can bring to the offense

  • Skywalker

    Foye, Young, Miller, and Caron playing the 2 with Gil running point….Wiz have the best rotation of SGs in the league. It’s easily their strongest and most reliable position.

    Foye is not a PG.

    on paper, Wiz are deep

  • Kenneth

    The Wizards won’t win the championship and I don’t think there’s much possibility. They can get to the second round and possibly beyond.

    Folks are sleeping on Arenas not being back, but being better than ever. Tim Grover in Chicago says so and so do all the pros who’ve worked against him.

    The thing that will make this the best Wizards team ever are a better coach, much better bigs, and much better perimeter shooting. Saunders will coach the defense up without taking away from the offense. Haywood’s in a contract year. Oberto is a savvy flopper. Blatche has a new number, has had a terrific summer, and is going to have his best season. McGee is a 7 foot 1 player with freakish athleticism. His dunks will come frequently because of three point shooters who can pass in Foye and Miller.

    The Wizards are a balanced team that will probably win 30-35 games more than they won last season. (19)

    I think they could get to the second round and maybe come out of the east if they are healthy because Boston is old and Shaq will throw off Cleveland’s chemistry.

    Don’t sleep on the Wizards. (But don’t bank on a championship, either, until the defense is better at the PF position).