2008-2009 Washington Wizards Season Preview
2008 Washington Wizards preview from the Maddux Sports experts. In addition to the free team preview, you can evaluate NBA odds for upcoming pro basketball games.
The 2007- 2008 season saw the Washington Wizards (43- 39) win enough games to make it to the playoffs. The season started with the team going 0- 5, and then when they lost Gilbert Arenas and Etan Thomas, folks thought it was all over. But it wasn’t. Over the course of the season, their offensive efficiency was ranked 12th, which was solid. It served them well. But their defensive efficiency, which was rated 22nd, was sketchy. The Wizards were especially disastrous when defending against the three-point shot. Additionally, opponents put up big assist numbers versus the Wiz. The team was last in the league in defending three-pointers and three-point attempts. They were decent at forcing turnovers and rebounding and average in stopping twos.
The Wizards got to the playoffs even though they allowed more points than they tallied and despite the fact that opponents scored when going bombs away. Arenas attempted a return in April. He made it into the post-season but was unable continue in the Cleveland series. That’s when the Wizards were eliminated.
Washington re-signed forward Antawn Jamison and guard Gilbert Arenas—both of whom are major contributors when healthy. Dee Brown, who played in Turkey last season, was brought in at the point to replace Roger Mason who signed with the Spurs. Seven-foot forward/center JaVale McGree, a rookie, has raw talent and needs time to develop.
Double-double expert Antawn Jamison, now starting his second decade in the NBA, is the team’s undisputed power forward. Last season, he led the club with 10.2 RPG and 21.4 PPG. The middle spot will be shared by Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas. Thomas missed last season due to injury, while Haywood, who played in 80 games, scored an average of 10.6 PPG and grabbed 7.2 RPG. He hit 53% of his shots from the field. Forward Caron Butler, who is Mr. Hustle, comes back from an injury-shortened season. He’s a 90% foul shooter and 47% shooter from the floor. He averaged 20.3 PPG, 4.9 APG and 6.7 RPG.
Arenas, who suffered from a torn meniscus, played just 13 games last season. He claims to be ready to play and play hard in 2008- 2009. He’s got a solid shot, fine passing ability and decent, although inconsistent, leadership skills. Antonio Daniels brings excellent playmaking and defensive chops to the floor. DeShawn Stevenson, who saw more time due to Arenas’ absence, hit threes at the rate of 38% and was good from the field 37% of the time. He’s a potent scorer but should cut back on how many threes he throws up. In his rookie season last year, Nick Young revealed some good potential.
The Southeastern Division Wizards are a third-place team in the making and will finish around 9th –place in the conference. Arenas has to be healthy for this team to get into the post-season. They can shoot, but they also need to play solid defense in all areas. There’s a fine core but everyone has to be at the top of their game in order to get past the first round of the playoffs.