NBA / Oct 23, 2009 / 3:11 pm

Washington Wizards ’09-10 NBA season preview

Gilbert Arenas

Gilbert Arenas

Last year we debuted the “Highs and Lows” system — previewing the NBA season by predicting the respective ceiling and basement for each team. Same theme, different season…

Added: Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Fabricio Oberto, Paul Davis

Lost: Darius Songaila, Etan Thomas, Oleksiy Pecherov, Juan Dixon

Ceiling: 4th seed in the East
I’m sure somewhere out there exists a Wizards season preview that doesn’t include the phrase “If they stay healthy.” But this isn’t it. Talent-wise, everyone knows Washington has the goods to be a serious contender in the East — or at least a tough playoff out for the real serious contenders. But that is, of course, If They Stay Healthy. And while Caron Butler did miss the ’07 postseason with a broken thumb, and Antawn Jamison has been nicked up here and there, “they” more specifically means “Gilbert Arenas.” … Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the opening paragraph from LAST YEAR’S Wizards preview. Has anything changed? Except for a new coach and the fact that Arenas will be ready to go from Day One this time, not really … Already one of the most potent offensive teams in the League on paper, Washington acquired two more weapons to help put points on the board in Randy Foye and Mike Miller: Foye will play the scoring sixth man combo guard role, and if Washington is lucky, he’ll be closer to a Manu Ginobili than a Nate Robinson; Miller gives them the pure shooter they haven’t had so far … New coach Flip Saunders is one of the most underrated offensive minds in basketball; he’ll run his buckets-friendly system and take advantage of the scorers at his disposal, but ideally Flip used his time in Detroit to pick up some defensive tactics that will help this notoriously generous group … If at least two of the young projects (JaVale McGee, Nick Young, Andray Blatche, Dominic McGuire) deliver on their potential this season, the Wizards are in good shape to challenge for second place in the Southeast Division, for homecourt in the first round of the playoffs, and for a spot in the conference semis.

Basement: Underachieving, injury-plagued Lottery run
And it’s not just Gilbert. Ever since stepping onto the scene as a budding Eastern Conference contender in ’06, the Wizards haven’t been able to escape the injury bug — whether it was Butler or Jamison missing time, or Brendan Haywood missing pretty much all of last season with a damaged wrist. Now they’ve already seen Jamison hurt his shoulder this preseason, and some of their key guys (e.g. Foye) can’t exactly be called Iron Man … Offense shouldn’t be a problem, especially with Arenas showing a more playmaker-type mindset in his brief cameo last season and during this preseason, but defense is always an issue. Last year the Wizards gave up 103 points per game and were second-to-last in field goal percentage defense (48.2%). Washington was especially bad defending the paint, which falls on Haywood, McGee and Blatche to an extent, but the guards also need to do something to keep their assignment from coasting in for easy shots.

*** *** ***

10/23 — Minnesota Timberwolves
10/22 — Utah Jazz
10/22 — Orlando Magic
10/22 — Phoenix Suns
10/21 — Charlotte Bobcats
10/21 — San Antonio Spurs
10/21 — Miami Heat
10/19 — Oklahoma City Thunder
10/19 — Milwaukee Bucks
10/15 — Portland Trail Blazers
10/14 — Chicago Bulls
10/13 — Golden State Warriors
10/12 — Toronto Raptors
10/9 — Houston Rockets
10/8 — Detroit Pistons
10/7 — Memphis Grizzlies
10/6 — New York Knicks
10/5 — New Orleans Hornets
10/2 — Atlanta Hawks
9/30 — Sacramento Kings
9/29 — New Jersey Nets
9/28 — Denver Nuggets

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  • Mellmeister

    6th Seed in The East… too bad they’ll face either the CAVS, CELTICS, or MAGIC… hahahahaha!

  • http://www.bouncemag.com 40 cal bouncemag.com

    In order for the wizards to prosper Gilbert has to be somewhat healthy, even if he’s healthy there guaranteed to be knocked out in the first round of the playoffs, they need more pieces to the puzzle in Washington and it’s not Mike Miller!

  • IG

    Antawn Jamison is out 4-6 weeks. It looks like a 8th place finish to me.

  • Kermit the Washington

    @ Mellmeister:

    But too bad for WHO? They can definitely bounce the Magic, and as long as Gilbert is healthy, they always will get up for the Cavs to at least make that series stretch out to 6 or 7. And if Garnett DOESN’T stay healthy, then there’s nothing stopping the Wizards from becoming the ’08-’09 Magic and sneaking into the finals. Don’t say Shaq; lol

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    @Kermit the Washington: HAHAHAHAHAHAAHHA it’s nice to have dreams I guess. IMO The Wiz can’t even beat second tier teams like the Hawks and the Bulls. They play any first tier teams like the Celts or Magic call it a sweep write it down.

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    Even with a healthy Gilbert he would have to play one of those out of his mind seasons like D-Wade to even sniff the finals.

  • Ian

    you should have put arenas on the added players

  • Cha-Ching

    Jamison is out 13 weeks now per MSN Sports.

  • That’s whats up

    Wizards season preview?
    Why not just post a picture of a big pile of shit on fire

  • Jah

    1. Boston Celtics
    2. Cleveland Cavaliers
    3. Orlando Magic
    4. Washington Wizards
    5. Atlanta Hawks
    6. Miami Heat
    7. Chicago Bulls
    8. Detroit Pistons

    Philadelphia 76’ers
    Indiana Pacers
    Toronto Raptors
    Milwaukee Bucks
    Charlotte Bobcats
    New Jersey Nets
    New York Knicks

  • rick773

    I don’t see how the Wiz are gonna make it to the 4th seed. Jamison is already out a month. And yeah its preseason and yeah I’m a bulls fan but look at at the wiz vs bulls game last night. So that if they stay healthy line is a BIG IF

  • That’s whats up

    orlando
    boston
    cleveland
    miami
    chicago
    indiana
    atlanta
    toronto/detroit

    is how I see the east finishing

  • robmo35

    I think it is fair to point out, that with the exception of the Magic, the Wizards when healthy have dominated both the Celtics and Cavs. 2007-2008 season 4-0 against the Celts. Last year when severely decimated I think they still took two from LeBitch and the Blow Crew up in Cleveland. Don’t sleep on them

  • Da_Griff

    This team can win when healthy. Flip Saunders is a very good coach. If the bigs can stay healthy and improve their D, and Gil stay healthy, they will do just fine.
    The wings on this team are awesome. Very deep. They can run most teams into the ground. That includes the ageing celts. They match up well against the magic, and they CAN beat the Cavs.
    Like Austin says, IF they can stay healthy, they will be good.

  • chief youngblood

    second round exit .

  • Look at the stats!!

    well…..
    4-0 to celtics 07-08
    Beat the cavs without gil 08-09
    I don’t see how they can beat the magic though…
    Heres whats gonna happen
    1.Orlando
    2.Cavs
    3.Celtics
    4.Chicago
    5.Miami
    6.Wizards
    7.Detroit
    8.Hawks

  • Kermit The Washington

    Hopefully Gilbert Arenas doesn’t have any guns. For some reason, I have a feeling that would be really bad for this team.