The Wizards haven't made the playoffs in two years, but second-year forward Rui Hachimura expects that to change soon.
While addressing the media on the first day of individual workouts, Hachimura brought up unprompted how he thinks his team is postseason-bound.
"It's going to be great, especially from last year after we didn't make the playoffs. But this year, I feel like we're going to make the playoffs for sure. I don't know how much we can do from there, but it's going to be a fun year," he said.
Hachimura pointed to the returns of John Wall and Bradley Beal from injury, as well as the re-signing of Davis Bertans. He also cited his own improvement, having worked hard in the offseason on his three-point shooting and ball-handling.
In order to be better than they were last season, Hachimura says, defense will be most important.
"I just want to help this team to win, especially defensively. We were last in the league on defense," he said.
The Wizards were indeed 30th out of 30 teams in defensive rating, per Basketball Reference. That helped lead to a 25-47 record, which ranked 10th in the Eastern Conference and left them 7 1/2 games behind the eight-seed Orlando Magic.
The Wizards may face stiffer competition in what could be an improved Eastern Conference with the Nets set to have Kevin Durant return from injury and teams like the Atlanta Hawks likely on the rise.
But there is also plenty of reason to believe the Wizards will be better, particularly with Wall coming back from a nearly two-year absence.