John Wall believes the Washington Wizards are ready to join the ranks of the Eastern Conference elite now that LeBron James is playing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Speaking to Yahoo Sports’ Michael Lee, the Wizards’ All-Star point guard explained why his team should be included in the same category as the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers:
“I feel like we’re all equal. None of them won a championship. This is no knock on no other team. Don’t get me wrong. Boston is a hell of a team. Philly has great young talent with those guys [Joel] Embiid, [Ben] Simmons. And Toronto, losing DeMar [DeRozan], they still get Kawhi [Leonard]. Y’all might have been to the Eastern Conference finals, where we haven’t been to, but none of y’all were going to the Finals. It was one guy going to the Finals. Ain’t nobody separated from nothing. I know one guy that separated himself from the Eastern Conference every year and that was LeBron James and the Cavs. Other than that … if you lose in the second round, or the conference finals, you still didn’t get to your ultimate goal.”
Wall added “we don’t know” how all of the things will work out for the Celtics by getting back Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, or how Kawhi Leonard is going to fit in with the Toronto Raptors.
The Wizards have their own unknown factor in well-traveled center Dwight Howard in July.
What is known about the Wizards is how erratic their performance has been over the past five seasons. They have ranged from 41 to 49 wins since 2013-14, which was also the first year the trio of Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter played together.
By comparison, the Celtics, Sixers and Raptors all won at least 52 games last season.
James’ departure from the east does open the door for a new title contender. His teams have played in the NBA Finals in each of the past eight years.
Since the NBA expanded its playoff format to include 16 teams in 1983-84, the Wizards have never advanced past the second round.
Courtesy: Bleacher Report