Sports Handicapping Articles Washington Wizards Early Season Analysis

With Larry Hughes leaving to join LeBron James in Cleveland, how much left is there of the Wizards? More than Chicago and Phoenix, Washington was the surprise team last year. After all, Arenas, Hughes and Jamison failed as teammates with the Warriors. Now it's a two-man show and a playoff appearance would again be amazing. Can they prove everyone wrong?.

Some players are stepping up. Brendan Haywood has shot 56%, 3rd best in the NBA. But he's only averaging 6.

4 RPG. Antawn Jamison is averaging a crazy 11.5 RPG along with his 19.7 PPG. Caron Butler is a 6th man candidate averaging 14.5 PPG off the bench, and Jarvis Hayes has displayed a great form in shooting.

Of course Gilbert Arenas can't be ignored with his 27.7 PPG. It's going to be interesting to see whether Arenas and Jamison both make the all-star team, their team might not be good enough to warrant two all-stars.Most aren't though.

Jared Jeffries is on the last year of his contract, and if he keeps playing like he is now, he won't get a new one. Jeffries as the starting Power Forward is only getting 5.1 and 4.6. Antonio Daniels provides a defensive presence but hasn't contributed at all offensively with just 4.

7 PPG.This team completely relied on the big three of Jamison, Arenas and Larry Hughes to carry them last year. But with Hughes gone, Jamison and Arenas have been carrying the load. Either Hayes or Butler should sub in for Antonio Daniels to give them more scoring. Jarvis Hayes has major potential to be more than just a bench player. Etan Thomas is a hustler like Chris Kaman who needs more playing since Jeffries isn't delivering.

I wasn't sold on Washington with Hughes and I definitely am not now that they don't have him. Arenas and Jamison can only compensate so much before teams start to adapt. Getting it out of Arenas' hands is the best way to stop Washington. When it comes to the playoffs, they are but one of many teams looking on the outside in.

They don't have enough offensive and defensive weapons to compete with the other Eastern teams. Their only hope is to milk Jamison and Arenas for 50 a night.

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By: David Pincus


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