Young people are known for two things:
- Being ambitious
- Being slightly overconfident at times.
Keep that in mind as you read this from an interview Bradley Beal gave to Slam Magazine:
SLAM: If the whole team comes back intact, do you think we've seen the full potential of this Wizards squad yet?
BB: Hopefully, we can get further next year than we did this year. We know, we've got to use this as a stepping stone for us. The Eastern Conference Finals is a goal we're going to have moving into next season. Hopefully we can build off what we accomplished this past year and get off to a great start again.
To be fair to Beal, no one wants to say "Our goal is to do just as well as last season!" unless you're a reigning champion. And you really don't want to say something reasonable like "We realize we were fortunate to receive some good breaks last season and we understand we could take a step forward as a team next season, even if we don't advance as far." So yeah, we can understand why making the Eastern Conference Finals is next season's goal, at least in Beal's mind.
That said, let's hope the Wizards have a plan in place help keep expectations in place as next season unfolds. Because, while we don't wan to be a wet blanket, it's important to remember the evolving state of the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers got another top pick, the Hawks will have Al Horford back next season, the Bulls will get Derrick Rose back next season, the Pacers might figure out what's going on with Roy Hibbert and the Hornets and Raptors both have room to grow. Yes, the Wizards have plenty of room to grow as well, but part of growing is realizing the getting back to the same destination doesn't always mean you get to take the same path.
On the bright side, at least Beal realizes that making it to the Finals probably isn't in reach next season, thanks to continued presence of the Heat. And let's not talk about how the Heat are reportedly planning to make a run at forming a Big 4 with Carmelo Anthony.