The Washington Wizards are expected to struggle in the opening weeks of the season without John Wall as he recovers from an offseason knee injury, as most power rankings put the team in the bottom five spots in the league.
Some think that the Wizards have the talent to make the playoffs when completely healthy, but Wall is out for the first month of the regular season with a stress fracture, and the team's starting center, Nene, is out indefinitely with knee issues. There isn't enough depth behind those two players to make up for their losses, so the consensus is that Washington won't be very good in their absence.
Seth Rosenthal's SB Nation NBA Power Rankings put the Wizards at No. 28, with Marc Stein of ESPN putting them at No. 27 and Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk slotting them at No. 26. Here's what Helin had to say about the Wizards' early season hopes:
No John Wall, no Nene to start the season. That means no wins. At least not many with A.J. Price at the point and a lot of Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza. We’ll see how Bradley Beal develops.
The Wizards open their season Tuesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers.