WASHINGTON (AP) - Playoff expectations are back in Washington, just the way John Wall likes it.
The Wizards' last postseason trip came during the 2007-08 season, two years before the stumbling franchise selected Wall No. 1 overall in the 2010 draft.
The speedy point guard - now with a max contract - performed at a high level during the second half of last season. With Wall sidelined because of a knee injury, Washington started 5-28, but with him in the lineup, 24-25.
Factor in a deeper and largely healthy roster, and preseason projections have the Wizards in the Eastern Conference playoff mix.
Wall says Friday there is more pressure.
He says: "I embrace it, I love pressure. There is nothing to hide from. You hide from it, you don't need to be playing."