Hello all, first post here!
First off, I'm super excited about the upcoming season. Like many here, I've been waiting for a season I can finally be optimistic about. Acquiring Gortat will help tremendously wiith much-needed paint scoring. Beal is showing signs of stardom. And Wall is too motivated to NOT live up to our expectations.
I understand making the playoffs is our number one goal. With the recent trade, this chance has significantly increased. However, I don't think we should get our hopes up so soon. A lack of playmakers keep me questioning our ability to make the playoffs.
Playmaker: someone who not only can create shots for himself (whether it be by penetration or creating space for a jumper), but for others (through driving and dishing, P&R ball handling, etc.)
*By this definition, one can consider players Greivis Vasquez (high assists), Carmelo Anthony (high scoring), and Lebron James (combination of both) all to be playmakers, despite their differences in style of play.
This is what concerns me the most--our lack of players who can make something out of nothing. Let's face it, Wall and Beal are currently our only proven playmakers. Ariza is known to be somewhat of a playmaker, but he has progressively shown less of this ability since his Houston/New Orleans days. Maynor is still a question mark. But who else can we count on to make plays? I admit we have decent scorers/finishers in Webster, Harrington, Gortat, Nene, Rice Jr., Booker, Seraphin, and (hopefully) Porter, but they will all heavily depend on the playmaking skills of Wall and Beal.
To put this into perspective, let's look at similarly ranked Eastern Conference teams:
The Pistons have legitimate playmakers in Jennings and arguably Josh Smith. Stuckey, W. Bynum, Monroe, and Billups are all capable of creating shots for themselves/teammates. Total of six playmakers.
The Cavs have Mr. Irving, Waiters, Jarrett Jack, Bennett, and (possibly) a healthy Bynum. Total of five playmakers.
Even the Raptors have talented playmakers in Gay, DeRozan, Lowry, and maybe T. Ross and Valanciunas. Total of 3 legitimate playmakers.
To put this further into perspective, let's look at the teams who've won titles in the past 5 years:
To reiterate, our only proven playmakers are John Wall and Bradley Beal. Wall being the more definitive one. This is why he is our captain, our franchise player, our only hope of being a decent team. Last season is a perfect example showing the Wizards' dependence on this single player.
In order for us to go from decent team to playoff team, we're going to need either: a) Porter, Ariza, and Maynor to emerge as a legitimate playmakers (I can't see Webster being more than a knockdown shooter), or b) trade mid-season--possibly for swingmen like a Rudy Gay or a Danny Granger.
Perhaps I'm being too critical. Maybe I'm overlooking the fact that the team is finally headed in a new direction and is motivated to make some noise this season. Honestly, I hope this team team proves me wrong. I want them to succeed. But as of now, I'm not content with the Wizards' amount of talent and heavy dependence on Wall and Beal.
To conclude, I hope I don't offend anyone on this awesome site. I'm sure some of you will argue that guys like Will Bynum or Kyle Lowry shouldn't be considered legitimate playmakers. Yeah, I may have stretched it a bit. But I only did so to make a point. We are in need of playmakers!