Several Washington Wizards compared the upcoming shortened NBA season to the AAU circuit—a slew of games with very little recovery time. Despite the daunting slate, the team believes its youth will be a benefit.
“I think it can really help us—that we are a young team. It could be tough at times, but we are a younger teams with young legs,” second-year point guard John Wall said.
The Wizards added a only a few pieces to the roster including bringing back Roger Mason, adding an outside shooter. Although the team hasn’t added any of the big-name free agents, Flip Saunders pointed to Oklahoma City’s formula of building through the draft and having a team grow-up together.
The team has yet to resign Nick Young who emerged as a viable scoring option last season. If Young doesn’t comeback the team is looking to Jordan Crawford to step into Young’s old role.
Among the surprises of media was the sense of maturity around the team. Andray Blatche sounded like more of a grizzled veteran leader than a jokester, although he did share a few laughs during his interview session. Wall also talked about working on his inconsistent jump shot and adding to his game during the offseason.
“I became a better shooter,” Wall said. “I have just been making jump shots and that’s the thing I have been working on this summer. I know when to take my chances and drive and I know when to shoot the ball.”
The team hopes its surge at the end of last season carries over to this season.
“If you think about it we lost 15 to 20 games by five points of less,” Wall said. [“With me] being a better leader and me knowing what plays to call down the stretch and who to go to—we could be a surprise team.”
In a lockout shortened season and offseason, continuity is the Wizards calling card and it could be to their advantage along with their youth.