Continued from page 1

When the playoffs began, Dandridge said he felt that the Wizards could compete with any team they would face. “When I had an opportunity to see other teams in the East, I felt that the Wizards were no less a team than any of their competitors,” he said. “When you saw them beat some of the top teams in the East, and play well on the road, you could see the team getting better. I really couldn’t see maybe one or two teams in the East that you could say stood above the Wizards.”

Dandridge thinks this Wizards squad — a mixture of young players like Bradley Beal and John Wall, and veterans like Nene, Trevor Ariza and Andre Miller — has the right personnel formula for playoff success.

“You don’t need but three or four true veterans in the mix to be a playoff team,” Dandridge said. “You’ve got young guys who are willing to follow them, and that is good for the coaching staff. You had guys like Nene, Miller and Ariza, leadership for this team, going into the playoffs, and I thought that was a big factor in their favor — guys who wouldn’t be nervous in the heat of battle, who would stay cool in the locker room, and let those younger guys know they will be OK. When they came back and won without Nene in Game 4, it showed something to me.”

This Wizards team has shown Dandridge, who heads the Bullets/Wizards Alumni Association, something he hasn’t seen in a long time.

“This is the first time in a long time where I see teammates on the Wizards pushing each other, and that’s good,” he said.

Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 radio and