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News » Washington Wizards Getting Inside 2008-06-09

Washington Wizards Getting Inside 2008-06-09

Washington Wizards Getting Inside 2008-06-09
The Wizards face some serious questions this offseason after being eliminated from the playoffs by the same team -- Cleveland -- three years in a row.

While the Wizards have reached the playoffs four times in a row, the core of this team has only been able to get out of the first round once, and that was four seasons ago against the Bulls.

"I'm sure they are going to take that into consideration over the summer," center Brendan Haywood said of the team's front office. "You can make the argument that we should have had more success in the playoffs. But you can also look at the injuries that we've had and say that we haven't been completely healthy when it was most important."

Antawn Jamison will be a free agent, and Gilbert Arenas, injured for most of the season, can opt out of the final year of his contact, something he has said he intends to do.

President of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld has to make a decision whether the team as presently built can win, and this means he'll have to make big decisions on both players.

Grunfeld has said that keeping Arenas and Jamison together is a priority. However, Grunfeld never shows his hand and has said this before about free agents like Jared Jeffries and Larry Hughes.

Jamison, who is coming off one of the best years of his career, will be 32 when the 2008-09 season rolls around, and Arenas is coming off two knee surgeries in the span of seven months and will need to show that he is completely healed.

Caron Butler, who rounds out the trio of the team's best players, believes the Wizards will come back intact.

"I just have a hunch," Butler said. "A reliable source."

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: After stumbling out of the gate with five straight losses, the Wizards saved their season when they reeled off six consecutive wins to right things.

TURNING POINT: It came in a 101-90 victory at Atlanta. Had they lost that game on Nov. 11, they would have lost six games to start the season -- which would have been a franchise record -- and people would have been calling for coach Eddie Jordan's head. As it turned out, the Wizards righted things that night and reached the playoffs for the fourth straight season. "It feels like you got King Kong off your back," Butler said.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: June 9, 2008


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