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After finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2011, John Wall put up remarkably similar numbers in his second season. That wasn't the kind of progress expected of the man the Wizards were counting on when they took him first overall. Whether that stagnant play was a function of Wall's limitations or of his teammates' should become clear in December, when the 22-year-old returns from a stress injury in his left knee. Gone are Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee and Nick Young, intriguing talents whose bouts of immaturity couldn't have made it easy for Wall to grow.
Along with Nenê, who was acquired late last season, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza promise to create a more professional atmosphere, as well as give Wall (whose assist-to-turnover ratio was 38th among point guards) more reliable targets. Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal should help as well—especially if his long-distance touch rubs off on his backcourt mate: Last season Wall missed 39 of his 42 three-point attempts.
COACH: Randy Wittman (2nd season with Wizards)
2011--12 RECORD: 20--46 (4th in Southeast)
OFFENSE: 93.6 ppg (22nd)
DEFENSE: 98.4 ppg (20th)
PICK-AND-ROLL OFFENSE: 23.7 ppg (13th)
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE
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