clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Five things Wizards fans are thankful for in 2015

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Thanksgiving Day, where most of you will have the day off to spend with your families. Tonight, at least some of you will be shopping for early Black Friday Deals since the Christmas, Hannukah, and late December holiday season is just a month away.

If you're wondering, my wish list is remarkably simple:

Anyway, Thanksgiving is a day about being thankful. As Wizards fans, here are five things we're thankful for this calendar year.

1. John Wall's appearance as a 2015 All-Star Game starter

John Wall has established himself as an NBA superstar over the last couple seasons, but he hasn't received the same level of respect of some other point guards in the league. Though he is not at the level of reigning MVP Stephen Curry or the uber-efficient Chris Paul, Wall still did not receive the same of perceived respect of other star point guards like Kyrie Irving or Damian Lillard.

The tide hasn't completely changed, but seeing Wall named an All-Star Game starter last season was a validation of the effort he has made for the team since he arrived in 2010.

2. Seeing Paul Pierce in a Wizards uniform for one season

The Truth may have only spent one season in Washington. But his impact in the playoffs last season and in the locker room was felt right away.

It's true that Pierce is missed, but Wall and Beal are better players today because of it. Sure, the Wizards are going through a rough patch at the moment, but you just can't replicate the mentorship from a future Hall-of-Famer very often. Especially when he is a player who willingly accepts being a role player and will still teach along the way.

3. Otto Porter's coming out party in the playoffs

The third overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft didn't have the best start to his NBA career because he started the 2013-14 year injured and at the bottom of the depth chart behind Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster.

In the following season, things didn't look much better since Pierce, Webster, and Rasual Butler started the season ahead of him once again. However, in the 2015 playoffs, Porter played a vital role off the bench where he made a strong defensive impact.

Pierce's and Butler's departures as well as Webster's injury woes have catapulted Porter into the starting small forward role this season. However, Porter has legitimately earned that role through his play over the course of the last couple seasons. He's also been an efficient contributor throughout this entire season.

4. Jared Dudley coming back from injury earlier than originally feared

The reserve combo forward had back surgery performed in July to repair a herniated disc. It was originally that he would return from injury after three or four months, but Dudley was able to return earlier than expected. In fact, he played a little in the preseason.

Since he has returned, Dudley has played on the Wizards' most efficient lineups based on net-team rating. In fact, the team's net ratings are positive when current starting power forward Kris Humphries is on the bench and negative when he's playing.

With Webster and Gary Anderson out due to injury, thank God that Dudley's playing. Now, we're wondering when he will be called to the starting lineup.

5. The Wizards finally will have a practice facility within a couple seasons

Most NBA teams have had dedicated team practice facilities built for them in recent seasons. The Wizards however only have one practice court in Verizon Center, where they share facilities with the Mystics and Capitals.

The new practice facility at the St. Elizabeth's Hospital site in Southeast is welcome and overdue news. It will be a potential free agent recruiting tool. And it will be a place where the Wizards can fully focus on developing their games without unnecessary interference from other teams that have to use the Verizon Center practice court or weight rooms.

From all of us at Bullets Forever, we wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day and long weekend.