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The Wizards, though, are winning more games, attracting some new fans and luring some former fans back. Saturday’s victory over the Rockets drew more than 20,000 to Verizon Center. That’s 7,000 more than they got for a Saturday home game in December against Detroit.

And — gasp — the Wizards actually appear to be set up for a brighter future.

Surge No. 1 this season coincided with John Wall’s return to the lineup after that stress injury in his knee.

Surge No. 2 can be attributed to Wall’s backcourt mate, 19-year-old Bradley Beal. He’s starting to show why the Wizards used the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft on him. He’s had 17 or more points in five of the past six games.

The most impressive number with Beal may be the 19 next to his age. He won’t be 20 until June.

The Bryce Harper of the Wizards? Not quite. Beal isn’t going to be Rookie of the Year. But Wizards fans no longer should be looking at the draft list to see which players the team passed up to get him. He’s looking more and more legit.

That’s a real, NBA-level backcourt. Wall, the elder statesman, is only 22.

Nene and Emeka Okafor are older, though not pushing retirement age older. They’re providing the type of inside play the Wizards need. Okafor has been exceptional lately. He has three straight games with at least 10 rebounds. He’s had at least 10 rebounds 23 times this season.

Nene and Okafor are 30. They were born 15 days apart in September of 1982. Hardly ready to be put out to pasture. The two “old” men and the two “kids” in the backcourt make for a very solid core that could play together a while. Nene is under contract through 2016. Okafor does become a free agent after next season.

The backcourt needs to continue its development. Okafor and Nene need continued good health.

A laughable thought at 0-13 and 4-28 -— the Wizards in the playoffs! — may not be realistic for this season. It is, at least, no longer a laughable thought for next season and beyond.