The Eastern Conference has become wide open since LeBron James decided to join the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency over the summer. The departure of James ended the Cleveland Cavaliers’ era as the dominant team in the conference and as of now, several teams are aiming to become the new ruler of the Eastern Conference in the 2018-19 NBA season, including the Washington Wizards.
According to NBC Sports, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has set the bar for his team, urging them to win at least 50 games next season and reach the Eastern Conference finals. However, for Wizards superstar John Wall, there is only one “ultimate goal,” and that is to win an NBA championship title.
“I think for me to have a heck of a career – if I don’t win a championship, I feel like my career was a failure. So that’s my ultimate goal,” Wall said.
Since being drafted as the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, John Wall has proven that he’s one of the best point guards in the NBA. In his eight years in the league, the 28-year-old superstar averaged 18.9 points, 9.2 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.7 steals on 43.2 percent shooting from the field and 32.7 percent from beyond the arc. However, despite his explosive performances on both ends of the floor, his greatest playoff achievement has been reaching the Eastern Conference semifinals.
John Wall made it clear that he doesn’t want to be remembered as one of the NBA superstars who can’t help his team advance to the conference finals.
“It’s always like everybody says you can get to the second round but you can’t get past it. I never want to be one of those guys who can’t get past the second round,” Wall said.
Though LeBron James is already playing for the Purple and Gold, the Wizards’ road to the NBA Finals is still expected to be tough, especially with the emergence of Eastern Conference powerhouse teams like the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, and the Philadelphia 76ers. Of all the three teams, the Celtics are emerging as the top favorite to become the new Eastern Conference champions.
Despite losing Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward in a season-ending injury, the Celtics still managed to reach the Eastern Conference finals and forced a Game 7 against James and the Cavaliers. With both superstars expected to return 100 percent healthy, Boston is expected to be a more dangerous team next season. However, despite the improvements made by their rivals, the Wizards have a strong belief that they have enough talent to beat the Raptors, Celtics, or the Sixers in a best-of-seven series.