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Pollin': Strong Start?

It's a lock-safe guarantee that at some point that someone, somewhere will say that it's important for the Wizards to get off to good start to the season if they want to make a strong playoff push. Getting off to a bad start doesn't necessarily equate to a bad season. Let's not forget that the 2007-08 Wizards wound up with the 5th seed despite starting the season by losing their first five games (and surviving a nine game skid mid-season).

But still, getting off to a hot start is a lot nicer than digging yourself into a hole to start off the season. Last year, the Lakers were last team in the league to suffer a loss and they ended the year as the last team to record a victory. Likewise, the Celtics were the last undefeated team in the NBA and they went on to take home the title in June. Typically the best team in the league wastes no time in asserting their dominance.

In recent years, the Wiz have struggled to make noise early in the season. The last team to finish better than .500 in the first 10 games of the season were the 2004-05 Wizards. Can the Wizards snap that trend and come out of the gates hot this season? Here's their first 10 games this season:

  • @ Dallas
  • @ Atlanta
  • New Jersey
  • @ Cleveland
  • Miami
  • @ Indiana
  • Phoenix
  • @ Miami
  • Detroit
  • Cleveland

There's an even split of home and road games during this five game stretch. Seven of Washington's ten opponents were in the playoffs last season and four of those playoff match-ups are on the road. It's not the easiest start to a season that anyone's ever seen, but you can't avoid playing tough teams forever. At least this gives us as fans a chance to get a good idea of what the team is made of very early on in the season.

This week, your job is to take a look at the schedule for the first ten games of the season and determine how many you think the Wizards can win. It should be a pretty good barometer of everyone's confidence level in the roster this season. Vote away!