NBA Playoffs 2014: Roundtable Reaction Previewing Washington Wizards vs. Chicago Bulls

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Apr 5, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) dribbles the ball as Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (4) defends in the third quarter at Verizon Center. The Bulls won 96-78. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

1) The Washington Wizards have concluded the 2013-2014 NBA season with 44 wins, ultimately finishing 5th in the Eastern Conference. Did they exceed your expectations?

Jay Sharma (@DCWizKidz):

I expected the Wizards to make the playoffs as a 7 seed this year. Coming in fifth place, just one game ahead of sixth and seventh, I think I was right on the mark. Towards the end of the season, though, I realized that the Wizards actually underachieved this year. They should have won at least 5 more games, and that’s being conservative. So I don’t think they exceeded my expectations, but they did just how I thought they would.

Osman Baig (@OBtoojiveforyou):

I would like to say the Wizards exceeded my expectations, but I just can’t.  Going into the season the expectation was that this team would make the playoffs if John Wall stayed healthy.  The Wizards have met that expectation.  The problem was that their goals were equivalent to their expectations and goals should exceed what is expected of you.  The Wizards met their goals but their goals weren’t representative of expectations exceeded.  Additionally from a player perspective, while individual players played well (i.e. John Wall, Marcin Gortat), the only player who I would say exceeded expectations was Trevor Ariza.  It’s difficult to say a team exceeded expectations when only one player truly exceeded or maximized his potential in my opinion.

Akbar Naqvi (@A_Naqvi_WoA):

Absolutely. I’ve had a tendency to criticize this team all season, but the fact of the matter is, I predicted this team to go 39-43 after the Gortat trade. While I was an advocate of that trade, I did not think the Wizards could replicate the defense they had last year with Okafor at the helm. The Wizards have finished as a top 10 defense and Gortat has been better than anyone can ask for. While the record may seem inflated due to a lot of tanking teams, the records in the East this year compared to last year aren’t really that different, so this team is definitely deserving of their win total.

Nithin Kuchibhotla (@NKuchibhotla):

After what has been an extremely up and down season, the Washington Wizards 5th place in the Eastern Conference has to be considered a success.  My personal prediction had them finishing in the 6 seed with a record of 42-40 so outpacing that by one seed and two games spells over achievement.  Yes, the conference was historically bad this season, and yes, the Wizards did lose several terrible games but the team spent the entire 82 games learning how to win and doing so when relatively healthy.  Actually winning a playoff series would cement this year as one to build from so the verdict is still yet to be determined but at the very least a competitive battle vs. the seasoned Chicago Bulls will help establish the young roster as one that is capable of competing in future years.

Omar Ajmeri:

Th Wizards just about met my expectations. Going into this season, we knew playoffs were an attainable goal, as well as finally getting over the .500 hump. Further, with the trade for Gortat, we knew the Wizards were all in for this season. Despite key players such as Nene and Beal missing time, the Wizards still managed to win a respectable 44 games.