10. Washington Wizards
It’s time to see what the Wizards are made of. They’ve spent plenty of time in the playoffs with this core and this is definitely their best team in the John Wall era. Bradley Beal is playing incredible basketball and Marcin Gortat is sneakily one of the best defensive bigs in the NBA. They have lots of solid role players and some of the young guys they invested in, like Otto Porter Jr, have broken out this season. With Scott Brooks at the helm it’s time to see what they have.
Washington was a weird team this year. They started off the season playing horrendously and losing to everybody. It felt like their time with Scott Brooks was going to end before it even began, but slowly the Wizards pulled themselves together and turned into one of the East’s stronger teams. If it’s possible to have a dark horse in the East then Washington is the easy choice. When they’re at their best they can be a tough out for even a team like Cleveland. John Wall had one of the best seasons of his career this year and Brooks has fixed many of the issues this roster had under Wittman.
However, the Wizards come in so low on the rankings because they didn’t finish the year well. Losses to Boston, Charlotte, the Clippers, Miami, and Utah raised questions on how much they can compete against top teams. This resulted in eventually losing out on the No. 3 seed to Toronto. They’re still a good team that can make a run, but it would be easier to feel confident about them if they just played at their highest level a little more consistently.