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In the heart of the nation’s capital, just blocks from the National Mall, the Washington Monument and some of the most important museums on the planet, you’ll find the Verizon Center, home of the resurgent Washington Wizards. Here’s what to expect for next season.
A Brief History
Founded in Chicago as the “Packers” in 1961, the franchise we now know as the Wizards arrived in Washington, D.C. (via Baltimore and then Landover) in 1974. The early days of the franchise featured all-time NBA stars Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe who combined to produce a perennial powerhouse. With four trips to the finals in the 1970s, the Wizards (then the Bullets) won the franchise’s lone NBA title in 1978 defeating the Seattle SuperSonics (now the OKC Thunder). Since winning that trophy, the Wizards have won just two playoff series. Rebuilding for much of the last decade, the Wizards are ready to soar once again.
The Rebuild is OVER. The Future is NOW.
While the re-signing of John Wall to a max contract may have raised some eyebrows, an evaluation of the Wizards 2012-13 record with and without John Wall shows you everything you need to know. When healthy, John Wall is an NBA superstar who can carry a team on his back. The prospect of a full season with a backcourt of Wall and 2012 #3 overall pick Bradley Beal has the Washington front office and fan base giddy with excitement.
Into the mix steps rookie forward Otto Porter, who didn’t have far to travel after a sparkling two-year career as a Georgetown Hoya. With that trio of young (like, REALLY young) stars and savvy vets like Al Harrington, Trevor Ariza and Nene around to lead by example, it’s time to expect a playoff run from the Wizards.
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After making moves to bolster the depth and defense of the Wizards rotation, GM Ernie Grunfeld and Coach Randy Wittman signaled their firm support of the direction in Washington. With Miami, Indiana, Brooklyn and Chicago at the top of the heap, the Eastern Conference is loaded in 2014-2015, but the Wizards are a team bursting with potential. If John Wall and Nene can stay healthy, Washington should be A LOT of fun to watch as they push for the post-season. Get out to Verizon with ScoreBig. You’ll save on every Wizards ticket, every day.