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36 predictions about the 2013-14 Washington Wizards

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The Bullets Forever staff makes some BOLD PREDICTIONS about this season. Some disagree with each other!

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It's almost time for the 2013-14 season to begin. To celebrate, the Bullets Forever staff decided to shamelessly rip off Zach Lowe and put out a bunch of predictions about how this season will go. We did 36 instead of 32, so it's TOTALLY different.

In the comments, we ask you to add any and to predict the team's win/loss record and playoff finish. LEGGOOO.

(Note: some predictions disagree with others, because we have different opinions sometimes).

1. John Wall will not make THE LEAP, but he will be good enough to make the All-Star team: I think it's expecting way too much for Wall to duplicate his play in March and April. His jumper won't fall that often, and his focus may wane in certain games. Instead, I expect a decent improvement, but one where we still get frustrated by his supposed lack of progress on several occasions. Something like 19 and 8 while still struggling with his jumper. That'll still be good enough for the All-Star Game because people will think he's improving at a faster rate, and it's an entirely reasonable progression, but he'll still leave us expecting more. -Mike Prada

2. John Wall will score 50 points in a game this season: With the numerous rule changes in the league, 50-point games have become increasingly rare in recent years. Here's a list of guys to reach the feat over the past five years: LeBron, D-Will, Wade, Durant, Kobe, Melo, Love, Steph Curry, Brandon Roy, Tony Parker, Kevin Martin, Brandon Jennings, Ray Allen, and ... Andre Miller. Seriously. Back in the day, guys like Tony Delk and Dana Barros could stumble to such heights, but no more. That tells me two things: (a) you need to be really good to score 50 points in a game these days and (b) you need to get a little lucky, which explains guys like Miller and Jennings delivering big games. After putting up 47 points in a game against Memphis last season, Wall seems ripe to increase his career-high sometime next season. -Satchel Price

3. John Wall finishes in the top-5 in free throws attempted: He was averaging 7.1 free throws per game after the All-Star break last season, which would have placed in the top-10 that year. I think he'll continue to struggle to find the balance between midrange jumpers and getting into the lane, but if there's one thing that can translate from the second half of last year, it's getting to the line. -Umair Khan

4. John Wall will shoot better than 40-percent from three this season: Because everyone will treat this as the joke it obviously is, but I also want to be the only person on the internet to have accurately predicted this should it somehow actually happen. This way I'll have a few moments to gloat before the world implodes. -Jeff Newman

5.  John Wall will not shoot better than 40 percent from three this season: Reality. -MP


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6. John Wall is good enough to make the All-Star team but Bradley Beal is the one who goes: the addition of Marcin Gortat means the Wizards won't be playing 4-on-5 in the halfcourt and Bradley Beal will be the main beneficiary. His improved floor game will take advantage of the improved spacing (even moreso should he log significant minutes with Martell Webster) and after a few thirty point games we'll all start hearing about the possibility of a Dwayne Wade-Bradley Beal matchup in the first round. -Bullet Nation in Exile

7. Bradley Beal makes 10 three-pointers in a game: The active players to accomplish this feat? Kobe Bryant, Deron Williams, Stephen Curry, J.R. Smith (twice!), Mario Chalmers, Ty Lawson, and Ray Allen. That's it. He's fully capable of getting hot from the floor and he'll probably need a little help from the opposing team (anyone recall Trevor Ariza's performance against the Lakers last season?). And remember, he hit six of them in just 30 minutes against the Raptors late last season. -UK

8. Bradley Beal leads the team in scoring with 22 points a game: The guy averaged 23.6 points in barely more than 30 minutes played per game in the preseason. Why couldn't he average 22 while playing 35-plus minutes during the regular season? Sure, he's not going to shoot 57 percent from the field and make half his threes over 82 games, but he's also going to attempt way more than 2.8 free throws per contest, and shoot better than 79 percent from the stripe. With John Wall feeding him the ball all season and Marcin Gortat setting screens and attracting just a wee bit more attention down low, Beal's game will open up that much more, and he'll end the year as the only Wizard to average more than 20 points a contest. -JN

9. Bradley Beal's emergence will lead at least one writer to insinuate there are issues between Beal and Wall over who is the team's alpha dog: The article will be predictable and pretty far off-base, but we'll talk about it, because that's what we do as sports fans. -Jake Whitacre

10. Nene will play 70+ games this season: I have no idea why I'm predicting this other than the fact that I want it to happen, but dammit, I WANT IT TO HAPPEN. Plus, he's no longer going to be the primary center on the team. That'll save his body from bruising. -Amin Vafa

11. Nene will not play 70+ games this season: Sorry Amin, think that's too optimistic. -MP

12. Nene will play exactly 70 games this season: One of us will be right, damnit. -JN

13. Nene will teach Otto Porter about how to guard power forwards in the NBA: It's anyone's guess if the teaching will actually help, but when we hear about it, we'll all feel better about ourselves, which is really all that matters. -JW


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14. Otto Porter will not crack the rotation until February. An injury, plus his rookie-ness, will cause him to play very little in the first couple months. But he'll get his chance when either Ariza or Webster goes out with a nagging injury and he'll take full advantage of it, to the point where he'll play decent minutes if the Wizards make the postseason. I see him developing very late this year, and while he won't be excellent right away, he'll show some flashes. It'll just take a while, too long for many fans. -MP

15. Otto Porter will shoot better than 37 percent from deep. His jumper looked much better in catch and shoot situations last season, and he's going to get a lot of open looks playing next to Beal, Nene and the Wall-Gortat pick and roll. Even if he can't do a thing inside the arc this season, he's going to hit some threes. -TP

16. Otto Porter will feed and eat with more homeless people than you this season: The preseason counts, so technically he's already won, because we are all terrible people who don't buy sandwiches for humans that aren't us or our biological spawn. We will, however, give our half-eaten sandwiches to the dog, because we have priorities. -JN

17. Marcin Gortat buckles down and buys in: As a Phoenix resident, I'm rather nervous about which Marcin is going to show up in the locker room. As Dave King quipped, 'I' comes to his lips more easily than 'we'. However, with a strong team culture and player core taking aim at the playoffs like they have frickin laser beams attached to their heads, I'm betting Gortat embodies the perfect teammate in a contract year. There is literally no percentage in rocking the boat with his last opportunity for a big deal on the horizon. -BNE

18. Marcin Gortat's nickname will inspire more Twitter jokes than any other Wizard: I mean, this isn't even a stretch, is it? The Polish Hammer? The jokes write themselves. -JN

19. Martell Webster nabs Sixth Man of the Year: Remember that guy who would come off the bench, hit a few three pointers and suddenly the Wiz were down twenty? Martell Webster is that guy, except, y'know, he's on our favorite team. He will close out the lion's share of games, Unveiling the Wizard will replace fingagunz when people think of basketball in DC and the pundits will declare that hefty contract a steal. His production won't exceed last year's, but as the Wiz win games the media-at-large will 'discover' him. -BNE

20. Martell Webster eventually returns to the starting lineup: The Wizards will soon see that Webster's shooting is a better asset for the starting unit and that Trevor Ariza makes sense as a "sixth starter" like last season. So I disagree with BNIE. -MP

21. Trevor Ariza WILL NOT be traded this season: With Porter struggling with injury, the Wizards will need Ariza's competent wing play this season. You can kiss any pie-in-the-sky trades goodbye. -MP

22. Randy Wittman will earn a contract extension: A playoff berth and votes of confidence from John Wall and Bradley Beal will earn Wittman a well-deserved contract extension, but only for two years. -JN

23. Sam Cassell will pursue a new coaching opportunity at the end of the season: Assuming Wittman gets that extension, Cassell will choose to take his talents elsewhere in pursuit of a head coaching gig, or an assistant gig with a faster track to a head coaching spot. If I had to guess, he'll probably up north to stay close to his son who recently committed to UConn. -JW

24. Eric Maynor will struggle: Maynor's always been more of an intangibles guy than someone who stuffs the box score and, with no one on the Washington bench to run the offense through, he's going to be in over his head if he doesn't play a lot of minutes with Gortat or Nene. -TP

25. Eric Maynor and John Wall log heavy minutes in the same lineup, with Maynor as the primary ball-handler: Towards the end of last season, the Wizards started playing a few more sets with A.J. Price and Wall in the same lineup. It didn't work out too well, but this year there's (theoretically) a more capable guard running the reserve unit, and that could be the spark to finally ignite Wall's off-ball game. So, I disagree with Thomas. -AV

26. Al Harrington will be this year's Martell Webster. And by that, I mean he's going to shoot well and play a lot more minutes than anyone expected he would when he was signed. Wittman's going to fall in love with his defensive positioning and floor spacing, while his lack of length and explosiveness aren't as unappealing when the best alternative is Kevin Seraphin. His ability to move his feet on cut off penetration is going to help Wall, Beal and Porter quite a bit, too. -TP

27. Al Harrington has a higher corner-3 shooting percentage than Martell Webster: After the career year in the corner Webster had last year, defenses will be more aware of his deadly aim from behind the arc. That'll make Webster's year a little tougher but leave Harrington wide open, and you know Wall and Gortat are going to love throwing bullet passes into the corner to him. Oh, yes. It'll be pretty. -AV


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28. Trevor Booker will play more minutes than Jan Vesely. Now that Vesely's option has been declined, there's no reason to continue to develop him at the expense of players who are ready to contribute immediately. Booker is never going to be more than a fifth big man, but that's a role I expect he'll claim (with Al Harrington and Kevin Seraphin ahead of him in the rotation) this season. -TP

29. Trevor Booker emerges as the fourth big in the rotation and earns a second contract with the team: This may have more to do with my general despair toward Vesely and Seraphin, but he'll be behind Nene, Gortat, and Harrington, and will start at least five games this season. He's probably the only member of the flotsam who hasn't completely played his way out of our good graces due to all the injuries he's dealt with. This is the year he puts it all together, cuts down on his ball-watching and finally grasps the concept of help-defense. -Umair Khan

30. Jan Vesely ultimately proves himself the best fit as the fourth big alongside Al Harrington: More by process of elimination than his own play, Vesely gels better with the offensive-minded Harrington, and can focus on rebounding and wreaking havoc on defense. Trevor Booker shows flashes but again battles injuries and aloofness, while Kevin Seraphin remains a black hole on offense and generally clueless on defense. Actually, of the Triage Trio, Vesely ends up being the best fit alongside Nene and Gortat, for similar reasons. -JN

31. Glen Rice Jr. will steal our hearts, but will largely stay on the bench this season: The #FREEGRJR movement of the preseason was fun, but it won't help Rice Jr. get significant playing time during the regular season. The race to sneak into the playoffs in the East will be tight, and Wittman won't risk a rookie mistake at a key moment that costs the Wizards a game that keeps them out of the playoffs. -JW

32. The Wizards WILL NOT finish in the top 10 in defensive efficiency: The loss of Okafor, combined with another year on Nene's body, will ensure Washington drops out of the very top of the league. They will still be very good, but I think it's asking a lot to finish in the top five again. -MP

33. The Wizards WILL finish in the top 20 of offensive efficiency: I'm not sure I trust them to be in the top half of the league, but they will be way better than last year's 30th with a healthy John Wall, and they will be better than the 24th ranking they secured since Wall came back last year because of Gortat and an improved Beal.

34. Wizards finish the year with a better offensive rating than defensive: The loss of Okafor really, really hurts on defense, but it also fixes a lot of the problems the Wizards had on the other end of the floor. They'll likely finish in the middle of the league in both categories, but I think we'll see a lot more small-ball than we're anticipating. -UK

35. The Wizards will send two players to the 2014 NBA All-Star Game: John Wall and Bradley Beal are both headed to N'awlins. Book it. -JN


Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

36. The Wizards will win 43 games in the regular season and one in the playoffs: Gortat will stabilize the middle, and the Wizards will be decent enough to snag a low playoff seed. Forty-three wins would give Washington the seventh seed in my rankings, behind (in order) Brooklyn, Miami, Chicago, Indiana, Detroit and New York. The Wizards will surprise Miami in Game 3 in front of a rocking Verizon Center, but will lose the series in five. -MP

Now, give us some predictions. Won/loss record, playoff result, anything.

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