October 18th, 2018 – the world is plunged into the Wizard’s 2018-19 NBA season. Only time will tell if this is a season worth following as the super-team era is very much in full swing, but don’t be so quick to turn your nose at this squadron. If all things go according to plan, we could have a real dark horse story on our hands. So, without further ado, I present to you the 3 things that must happen to ensure an above average season from the hoop group in the nation’s capital.
Dwight Howard Must Take the Backseat
Since we drafted him, this has unequivocally been John Wall’s team. The guy is undoubtedly the face of the franchise and will never surrender that spot.
In the past, stories of a power struggle in the locker room followed Howard around wherever he went; with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash in Los Angeles to James Harden in Houston, Howard wants (and seemingly needs) to be the focal point of the team, otherwise he destroys the locker room.
It is unfortunate that Howard was so good for the Magic in his first couple of seasons, because without consistent dominant performances in Orlando, he wouldn’t have adopted this mantra. Instead, maybe, he would be okay with taking the backseat.
But here he is on Wall’s team. Bradley Beal knows it is Wall’s team, even though both are All-Star caliber players.
In a team with an already unsteady locker room, Howard needs to do his part in ensuring the success of the team, not just his numbers. This calls for him to understand his role on the team right away- if he doesn’t, things could get messy.
John Wall Needs to Prove Everybody Wrong
In their latest ranking of point guards headed into this season, Bleacher Report ranked John Wall as the number eight best point guard in the league, behind Kemba Walker and just ahead of Mike Conley.
That is outright disrespectful to the Kentucky product, and he knows it.
This past summer, John Wall has documented his “Summer of Separation.” Essentially, all of his social media accounts were devoted to showcasing his extreme, grueling workouts. The man is working harder than most this offseason in hopes of smacking all of the analysts across the face who proclaimed that he was dropping off.
John needs to show out this year, and that means avoiding injury. It is his incessant injuries that keep him out of the top five point guard conversation. He has the talent, athleticism, and basketball IQ to run this league, so he needs to show that.
If Wall remains healthy and he and Howard work in tandem, the Wizards are in store for a good season.
Kelly Oubre, It’s Your Time
Arguably the most beautiful player in the league, the third year man out of Kansas needs to have a breakthrough season.
With the Wiz still pledging allegiance to Otto Porter, the leader of the bench squad responsibility lands on Oubre’s shoulders.
The kid has had flashes of brilliance in the past season, but the Wizards need more than just flashes. Playing with a better bench than he has in years due to offseason additions Austin Rivers and Troy Brown Jr., Oubre should be spreading his wings this season.
He is durable, freakishly athletic, and competitive beyond belief; all characteristics for a young star in the making. He just needs to put in the work, and if he does, that’ll not only take a load off the starters but give an injection of energy and swagger to the bench group.
Kelly, this team needs you as much as they need the likes of Wall, Beal, etc. Time to show out, or else you’re going to find your way out of the nation’s capital.
So what have we learned? The Wizards need a lot to go right for them to make waves this season; however, on the slight off-chance that all things fall into place, this season could be worth following.