We’ve done multiple stories about the Wizards and their playoffs or bust mantra for this season (except the bust is a deep lottery). Everyone from Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has talked about it.
John Wall is the key to this — he generates the offense on this team. With him on the court last season the Wizards had a passable (read: average) offense but when he was out injured they were the worst in the NBA.
How seriously is Wall taking his role of leading this team to the playoffs for the first time in five years? Wall explained it to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report.
When the Washington Wizards open the season Oct. 30 in Detroit, Wall will take the court with the word “playoffs” scribbled on his shoes. He will repeat the exercise every day, through 82 games, lest he or anyone else lose sight of the goal.
“You will see it on all my shoes,” Wall said last week. “Every game pair is going to have `playoffs’ on it. That’s my main determination.”
If Wall actually writes “playoffs” on 82 pairs of shoes — if he is healthy every game — the Wizards might make the playoffs in the East.
With him last season they were a .500 team last season (25-24), and a lot of years something in that ballpark would be good enough. To beat out teams like Detroit, Atlanta and Cleveland (which has its own star point guard) they may have to be a little better than that.
To make that happen, the Wizards need more than Wall. They need Bradley Beal to take a step up in his second season. Then they need Nene to stay healthy and lock down the middle, with him eventually getting some help when Emeka Okafor gets healthy. The Wizards need more than just Wall.
But they need a lot of Wall.