The Washington Wizards finally broke through last season. Now, they are going to have to follow that up with something good.
John Wall is certainly the face of the team after averaging 19.3 points per game last season and helping the team to its first playoff series win since 2005 over the Chicago Bulls.
But the team has higher hopes for this season, along with a higher price tag for fans.
According to Forbes.com, Wizards tickets at the Verizon Center on the secondary market are selling for 86 percent higher than they were last season with the most expensive being a matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 21.
What happened in the offseason
The first thing that the Wizards did this offseason was sign coach Randy Wittman for $9 million over three years. That certainly isn't Doc Rivers money, but not a lot of coaches are making Doc Rivers money.
Then, the team went and re-signed big man Marcin Gortat for $60 million over five seasons.
Gortat averaged 13.2 points and 9.5 boards per game last season.
The team wasn't able to keep Trevor Ariza around, but replaced him by signing Paul Pierce for two years and then getting DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries as bench support in the middle.
I would say that's a little high, because of Pierce's age and the lack of a big move outside of that.
What they must do
Now, the key for the Wizards will be to sustain their success and not fall off. While we know how good Wall is, third-year guard Bradley Beal, who is just 21, will continue to be huge for the team's success. The former No. 3 overall pick's scoring average jumped to 17.1 points last season and he led the team in playoff scoring while making 41.9 percent of his shots during the season.
Soon-to-be 32-year-old big man Nene Hilario is also key after averaging a steady 13.7 points and 5.3 boards last year. He's one of the few veterans on the young team that seemed to develop as the year went on.
In order to go further, he will be a player to keep an eye on.