During a recent discussion of his long-term expectations for the Washington Wizards, owner Ted Leonsis said: ''Fifty wins is kind of a demarcation of a team that is a legitimate contender.''
First, the Wizards need to get to 30.
They've won 19, 26, 23, 20 and 29 over the last five seasons. They last reached 40 in 2007-08, when they went 43-39 on the way to their last playoff appearance. They last reached 50 in 1978-79, when the team then known as the Bullets were 54-28 and lost in the NBA finals.
In their quest to return to such a lofty status, the Wizards are hitching their hopes to John Wall, the 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick who has yet to channel his immense talent into consistent NBA success.
Wall has issues with turnovers and injuries, but it's easy to forget that he's only 23 years old and still learning how to handle the responsibilities that come with being a franchise player. He did energize the locker room when he returned from a knee injury last season, getting the t...