If last year's season was any indication, Washington fans will greet the Wizards' new schedule like they would the chant of "dead men walking." After a bright start, the Wizards' season ended spectacularly, culminating in Gilbert Arenas's arrest and gun conviction and general manager Ernie Grunfeld exploding the team.
Questions still remain, most significantly what Arenas and his $80 million contract will bring to the game. He's had time to cool his heels and stay off a knee that has plagued the three-time All Star since 2007.
But the Wizards have new answers, too. Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, Antawn Jamison and DeShawn Stevenson are all gone -- some, before their time. In their place Clemson forward Trevor Booker, French 4/5 Kevin Seraphin, guard Kirk Hinrich, and, of course, number-one draft Kentucky guard John Wall.
Then again, Josh Howard is still sticking around. And despite his improvement in the absence of Arenas last season, Andray Blatche just recently broke his foot, making his return in time for training camp questionable.
The Boston Globe has the most optimistic take yet on the Wizards' new year. Unfortunately, things are looking up all over the Eastern Conference.