With the NBA preseason looming, the LVH Superbook in Las Vegas has set the over/under regular-season win totals for each team. The Wizards' over/under is set at 42 wins, a surprisingly gracious figure given the injury to defensive anchor Emeka Okafor. This would place the team sixth in the Eastern Conference playoff picture and ahead of the Detroit Pistons (41) and Cleveland Cavaliers (40.5).
If you recall from last year, Vegas set the over/under at 31.5 wins for the team after learning about John Wall's stress fracture, which is close to 11 wins less than this years projected total. Does that speak more toward Vegas' perception of the value of Wall to this team, which we all learned is huge after observing last years wretched start, or does Vegas think Okafor more replaceable with Kevin Seraphin taking over center duties and Nene's ability to slide over to the 5?
Getting steady production out of at least one member of the forward flotsam is essential, but in order to overcome Okafor's injury, it'll have to be a collective effort. Seraphin has proven to be a middling rebounder throughout his first three years, so replacing a player who finished in the top-10 in total rebounding percentage isn't practical. Jan Vesely has to continue to rebound at the rate he showed during Summer League and at EuroBasket.
But more than anything else, in order for this team to play .500 basketball throughout the season, their starting backcourt has to turn in All-Star worthy seasons. It's nice of the front office to preach continuity by bringing back 11 of the 15 players from last years roster, but until we see some development out of our young bigs or a truly great year from Wall and Bradley Beal, I think expecting 42 wins is a bit of a long shot.
But what do you think? Would you bet the over on that over/under after Okafor's injury?