With John Wall freshly returning from summer knee surgery and Bradley Beal coming off a concussion sustained in practice last month, this season is shaping up to be reminiscent of last year. Beal’s injuries sabotaged the campaign and put the Wizards in a complex situation in the summer as they tried to decide if Beal was worth a max deal. Washington handed Beal the max and has already had to deal with an injury scare. Staying healthy will be key for the Wizards if they want to have a successful season but things aren’t starting off in that direction.

Washington Wizards' John Wall (2) gives a high-five to Bradley Beal (3) during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game against Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Washington Wizards’ John Wall (2) gives a high-five to Bradley Beal (3) during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game against Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Ian Mahinmi’s two-month absence shouldn’t hurt too much but if any significant injury is added, it could collapse the depth of the team. The Wizards spent a lot of money in the offseason to fortify an above-average starting lineup with solid bench production. The additional reserve firepower was expected to be a major addition to the team’s roster flexibility with Mahinmi being the catalyst. Without the big man, Washington could lean even more heavily on Wall and Beal. However, with both stars coming off summer injuries, how much of the load will they be able to shoulder?

A repeat of last year would be disastrous for the Wizards. The bad luck cloud surrounding District teams continues to hover. The Washington Nationals were eliminated in embarrassing fashion in the first round of the MLB playoffs after finishing with the best record in the NL. That’s one season after finishing with the best record in all of baseball and being eliminated in the opening round. The Washington Capitals have had their postseason struggles in prior seasons and the Wizards haven’t advanced past the second round in decades. It could be another string of bad luck for another Washington team and it’s certainly starting to appear that way.

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO