Every year we gather our writers together to make predictions about the upcoming season for the Washington Wizards.
In the first part of our series, we discussed what we think the Wizards will do with their 2018 first round pick. In the second part, we made some predictions about certain goals we think the Wizards can reach this season. In the third installment, we made some player predictions. Now, we’re finishing things up with our final predictions on the Wizards’ record and how far they’ll go in the playoffs.
Tony East - I think overall the team will take a few steps forward from last year. The value of continuity cannot be overlooked, and it could propel the team to a new level of ferocity on the court.
That said, they were incredibly healthy last season, and I expect that to change significantly. We are already seeing a Morris injury, and Beal, Meeks, and Mahinmi and injury prone. If anyone in the rotation misses time, the team will be impacted negatively, and that looks fairly likely.
I think they finish 4th in the East with 46 wins.
Olafimhan Oshin - I think Washington has a good all around roster heading into the ‘17-’18 season. Acquiring Tim Frazier from New Orleans is a good step after not finding a stable backup point guard last season, and the signings of Jodie Meeks and Mike Scott will help improve a below average bench from last season.
The only knack on this team is injuries, with Markieff already missing time with hernia surgery and injury-plagued players such as Beal, Meeks and Mahinmi who are a risk to miss time, I think that’s the only thing that will hold this team back.
I see them finishing the ‘17-’18 campaign 52-30.
Chris Grenham - The Wizards are set up nicely going into the 2017-2018 season, as many things look the same. The mainstays from last year all return, which to me is a great thing in terms of, as Tony put it, continuity. Upgrading the bench was a huge plus for Washington this offseason. Their depth hurt them at times last season, especially in the postseason, so the additions of Tim Frazier, Mike Scott, and Jodie Meeks bring a level of stability to their bench. In my opinion, this was the most important task of the summer, and for the most part, they were able to accomplish it.
In a weak Eastern Conference, you have to take everything with a grain of salt, plus it’s still the Wizards, so you have to be ready for any sudden disappointment. But hey, let’s not go down that road yet. Optimism is fun!
Prediction: Wiz finish at 50-32, good for 3rd in the East, but again come up short in the conference semifinals.
Lyndie Wood - This team is good and the East is weak (there should be plenty of gimme wins to pad their record with), but Wizards fans aren’t allowed to have too many nice things and their toughest in-conference competition will probably be a lot more dangerous in April than they are in December.
Final Prediction: 51 wins and the 2nd seed, but another disappointing second round playoff exit.
Marcus Atkinson Sr. - The Wizards will benefit from a further depleted Eastern Conference, early struggles with both the Celtics & Cavs adjusting to new personnel, and the Wizards enjoying continuity. As a result they will enjoy more success this season than last year.
Matthew Gilpin - The Eastern Conference got gutted in the off-season via blockbuster trades and through free agency. Washington stayed put and made some depth moves by acquiring Tim Frazier and Mike Scott but those two won’t move the needle that much. I think Cleveland is still the team to beat and while Boston has more talent than Washington, they need to find a new identity. Washington should cruise through the depleted Eastern Conference and secure a top-four seed relatively easily.
I think Washington breaks through and wins over 50 games and beats out Boston for the #2 seed setting up another matchup in the conference semifinals. It’ll be interesting to see if the Wizards can be the team to exercise the D.C. sports demons and reach a conference final in this millennia.
Diamond Holton - Looking back at the 2016-17 season, the Wizards finished 49-33, one win away from a 50-win season. I have faith in my Wizards to not only achieve the 50- game mark, but go past it. I’m predicting another Southeast Division championship for Washington as well as being either 2nd or 3rd in the Eastern Conference.
Besides Cleveland, there isn’t much of a huge threat for the Wizards but themselves. What I mean by that is simply the injury bug that seems to plague right around mid-season. It’s unavoidable for any team. The fact that Boston has to learn to mesh together developing chemistry is an advantage that the Wizards can lean on. Washington will dominate at home again with 30-plus wins and will level out their road game woes.
Regular Season Prediction: 53-29; Southeast Division Champs, 2nd/3rd in the Eastern Conference
Jesse Lyles - The East is trash. The Wizards are pretty good. Therefore the odds are in their favor to finish top three in the East. Of course injuries has plagued this team just about every season, but I have faith that the basketball gods will bless us with a healthy season.
The Cavs will finish first because LeBron likes to be the first seed every other year apparently. The Celtics will have chemistry issues and their defense will be worst than last year. So, the Wizards will finish second in the East and FINALLY advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. (I really want to say they’ll make it to the Finals, but, you know...baby steps.)
Regular Season Prediction: 51-31; Southeast Division Champs.
52-30, third in the East. The Wizards will stand out in a weakened Eastern Conference, but it will still be clear they're a step away from being in the mix to be legitimate title contenders.
To expound a bit more, 52-30 is right in the middle of the spectrum of different ways I could see this season going. If the team deals with more injuries this season, like Tony alluded to earlier, the team could easily drop into the forties or lower depending on how bad it gets. The team could also drop a few extra games this season if they decide to be a little more intentional about saving energy for the postseason.
But on the other hand, there are plenty of ways the team could win a bit more than 52 depending on how things play out. Wall looks healthy and primed to take another step forward as a star, the bench looks better, and if Cleveland and Boston struggle out of the gates, someone is going to need to fill that vacuum at the top of the East. Why not the Wizards? Even if that scenario doesn’t play out, Washington could always start the season at a nice 50-55 win pace and then make a move to push the team towards a 60-win pace at the deadline.
As a Wizards fan, I realize this kind of talk sounds crazy, but it’s absolutely in play this season if some things break Washington’s way. This team has earned the right for us to dream big and not feel weird about it.