Beal: Wizards are Eastern Conference's team to beat


Bradley Beal and the Wizards have watched the Cleveland Cavaliers represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals the last three years, but the Washington guard believes that could change this season.

The Wizards lost in the Conference semi-finals last season as the Cavaliers advanced to the NBA Finals, beaten by the Golden State Warriors.

However, Beal is confident the Wizards can become the team to beat in the east this season.

"I feel like we're the best team. That's just the way I feel," the 24-year-old said.

"I always stand by it because I mean, why would I sit here and say another team's better than my team? I'm not going to sit here and do that. I've got confidence in myself and my teammates and what we can bring to our team and what we can accomplish."

All-Star John Wall hopes to utilise stifling defence to go with the Wizards' explosive offence.

"It's going to be basically me and Brad leading, not even offensively -- we can do that," Wall said.

"But it's going to be on the defensive end. Whenever we have lapses against those teams we should beat, it's because we don't get off to a great start. And us being the leaders, we take that defensive approach to the next level, we'll get everybody else to follow our lead."