The Washington Wizards won’t begin playing regular season games until Thursday when they host the Miami Heat. So that gives us a little time to discuss some last minute things before the actual games start, namely the power rankings.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com released his power rankings to start the regular season on Monday morning. The Wizards were 15th, moving up one place from last time.
Before we go up in arms about the Wizards ranking too low, power rankings are relative, and generally are an indicator of how good teams are playing at that moment as opposed to where they project to be in the standings. Though the Wizards were 4-1 in preseason games, they were still without Dwight Howard and may not even start the regular season with him.
The Wizards will have a strong opportunity to gain some ground in the standings because they will play many teams with a “rest advantage” against other teams that are on the second half of a back to back. From Schuhmann’s piece:
While every other team will have a rest disadvantage (playing the second game of a back-to-back vs. a rested opponent) in one of their first 12 games, the Wizards won’t have one until Game 32 (Dec. 19). Before then, they’ll play eight games with a rest advantage, starting with their first two games of the season, with the Heat and Raptors playing the second game of a back-to-back on Thursday and Saturday.
Given that rest advantage, it will be imperative for the Wizards to take advantage and get some wins. If the reserves play at a high level like they did back in the last few weeks, the Wizards could find themselves in the Top 10 of these rankings before November.