Washington Wizards Preview: Frontcourt


The Washington Wizards enter the 2013-14 NBA season with high expectations.  Many of these hopes rely heavily upon the frontcourt of the Wizards.

Oct 8, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards small forward Trevor Ariza (1) dribbles the ball as Brooklyn Nets small forward Paul Pierce (34) defends in the first quarter at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Starting at small forward from UCLA Trevvvor Ariza!  Ariza is a huge mystery man coming into the season.  So far, Ariza’s career has been a journey, playing for 6 teams in just an eight-year career.  Ariza has shown signs of excellence, but has failed to maintain consistency.  The UCLA product will be a major X-factor as Washington hopes to take their play to the next level.  Backing up Ariza will be rookie Otto Porter.  Porter, who was taken with the third overall pick in this past year’s draft, should play a major role in the Washington game plan, as the versatile small forward is solid on both sides of the floor.

At power forward from Clemson University Trevvvvvor Boooooker!  The power forward and center position are currently in flux.  Head coach Randy Wittman has a difficult task on his hand trying to balance playing time between Nene, Booker, Al Harrington, and recently acquired Marcin Gortat.  For now, expect the Zards to use two power forwards until the aforementioned Gortat becomes accustomed to the new Washington offense.  The power forward position is a battle to look out for once Gortat is incorporated, but expect Booker or Nene to share starts based on the opponent.

The center position, which has quietly fizzled out of the NBA, may not be done with the Wizards.  Washington acquired Marcin Gortat over the weekend, and Gortat is one of the most consistent producers at the position.  The Washington frontcourt will rely heavily upon its depth and versatility to wear down opposing teams.  Once Gortat is ready to go, the Washington frontcourt will be a viable contender as one the league’s toughest units come March.

The Wizards are a much improved team in 2013-14.  With a healthy John Wall, expectations are high as Washington hopes to make their first post season appearance since 2008.  Prediction: 42-40, 8th Seed.