2005 Washington Wizards Preview
At the time of publish the NBA regular season is around the corner. What better way to get you locked and loaded for a winning season than a free season preview from Maddux Sports. We remind you that MadduxSports.com is an expert NBA handicapper and offers NBA Picks against the point spread. For more information on this years basketball package click here. Onto the individual team preview for this years Washington Wizards.
2005 Washington Wizards Team Preview
The Washington Wizards were the whiz kids of the NBA last year. Coming from out of nowhere, they surprised the league by making the playoffs for the first time in eight years, and they climbed to the second round for the first time in 23 years! The team had finally matured, and now it seems they may be focused on fine tuning a contender.
The often petulant and unpredictable Gilbert Arenas was no small factor in the evolution of the Wizards from one of the league’s worst to one of the NBA’s better teams. Arenas had MVP-type numbers in 2004-05 with 25.5 points per game, 40.9 minutes per game, 205 three-point field goals, and 139 steals. These statistics put him in the top ten of each of these categories. Arenas, now in his third year with the Washington franchise, still has the potential for quirky behavior, such as pouting on the court or refusing to shoot due to off-court distractions. But his ultimate value as a player seems to make fans, coaches, and the front office folks a little more accepting of his occasional antics.
One huge benefit for Washington last year was the scoring combination of Larry Hughes, Antawn Jamison, and Arenas. Together the three money players poured in a league leading 67.1 points a game. But Hughes, a free agent guard, has taken his 22 points per game to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it’s unclear exactly how the Wizards will compensate for his departure. former Laker Caron Butler, a fine player with a strong work ethic, is attempting to make the transition from small forward to shooting guard, but it will be difficult for him to fill the shoes of the high scoring Hughes.
Finally there is the usually durable Antawn Jamison whose playoff performance seemed compromised in 2004-05 due to tendinitis in his right knee. The knee, which was scoped this summer, will have to hold up under the pressures of an 82-game season. If it doesn’t the Washington club will find it difficult making up the 19.6 points per game the star forward contributed last year.
Coach Eddie Jordan, entering his third season, has done a good job disciplining his team and challenging them to live up to their potential. Two areas he needs to focus on are defense and quality minutes from his bench. If he can do that, the Wizards will be back better than ever.
For more information on the 2005 Washington Wizards Team, click here to visit their official team website.