Given the experience level of our core, I think we're a year or two away from making any real noise, but stranger things have happened. The playoffs seem like such a distant memory, can't even remember caring about them. This is actually fun.
We've just lost a couple tough games, taking the wind out of our sails, and come back in a gutty overtime game (Wind!). Just to take everyone's temperature going into our biggest game in years.
- What's everyone's prediction for total wins at the end of the year? We're 34-31 today, and Incredibly, we have not won more than 45 games (04-05) since the 1978-79 season. My prediction is 43, but would not be surprised if we got to 45.
- ____ really needs to step it up. If he does, this team becomes dangerous. (Amazingly, I think Kevin Seraphin is my answer. Anazing, because I have written him off so many times in his career. Our starters are usually pretty reliable, but a Seraphin, who has some real talent, can be so erratic. For me, he's the x-factor going forward going into the playoffs.
- Can the team, as constituted, cause any damage in this year's playoffs? If so, what's the preferred first round opponent? Despite their play recently, I think our best chance is to take down the Bulls and go from there. I think they have more holes for the Wizards to exploit than Toronto.
- Thus far, have the Wizards underachieved, matched, or exceeded your expectations going into the season? So far, they've slightly exceeded my expectations. Not so much the record, but the teamwork, fight, continuity and growth they display almost every night.
- Going into next year, what's the most blatant missing piece in the puzzle? For example, a player (someone who can deliver instant offense off the bench- like Jamal Crawford), managerial piece (Coach/GM) or an attribute (killer instinct coming out of halftime). I am not a Randy-hater. Sure his rotations can frustrate, but there is more to coaching than play calling. Our players have shown so much more professionalism, seriousness and teamwork than I can ever remember in my 20+ years of watching this team. I think we need better plays and sets in the half-court offense (which should come in time) and more players, particularly in the second unit, that can create their own shots off the dribble.
- Are these final 17 games and playoffs going to determine Randy, Ernie, and ___ players' future with the team...or has Ted Leonsis already made that determination? To me, both Ernie and Randy are coming back on 2 year contracts. I think this period is going to determine whether Trevor Ariza is an irreplaceable to the puzzle going forward.