Since the Washington Wizards are headed to Brazil for an exhibition game against the Chicago Bulls later this month, they’ve been able to start training camp sooner than most teams, and as a result, their intensity has supposedly increased dramatically from this past season.
Washington certainly has playoff ambitions, but training camp is a place where it all begins. The Wizards have had trouble getting their core players back in time for camp in the past, but with John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Nene all competing in camp, the team has been able to gauge the roster more than it has when obstacles were in the way.
Now that John Wall is entering his fourth season in the NBA, he’s finally taking the role of a leader, mostly leading by example. Even though the veterans certainly influence some of the younger players on the roster, it’s ultimately John Wall’s job as the franchise player to lead the team, especially since they have playoff goals. Trevor Booker, who recently had a knee procedure done and is watching camp from the sidelines, saw the difference in this years training camp than in the past;
Everyone is more focused. It might have something to do with the veterans, said Trevor Booker, a rising fourth-year forward who has observed the first two days while on the sideline with right knee soreness. We have a lot more veterans than usual. I think everybody is into. Very vocal. They’re playing with a lot of passion right now.
The Wizards are still in the process of getting through both their defensive and offensive schemes, but according to head coach Randy Wittman, they’ve been able to accelerate the process faster than they have in the past. Of course, the Wizards were known to have an unstable group of players in the past, but now that they’ve been able to acquire a number of veterans, training camp has a different feel to it than before.