These guys are back in action. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., – All of the positivity, hyperbole and nervous enthusiasm of the new season is about to be put to rest. The Wizards will kick off their 2013-14 season on Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills. One game won’t necessarily predict the fate of the franchise but it can offer the first clues about whether or not the team really has what it takes to be a postseason contender.

The word “playoffs” has been uttered since before training camp and that excitement is rooted in the team having its main pieces – John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Nene – healthy and recently getting bigger and deeper with the addition of center Marcin Gortat. Many of the same characters from a 29-53 season have returned, but the vibe is different, especially with Wall, Beal and Nene set to start a season together for the first time.

“It’s our first game,” Beal said. “A whole new year. A whole new team. I’m looking forward to it and we’re all looking forward to it.

Gortat will come off the bench in his debut. Trevor Booker and Trevor Ariza will join Wall, Beal and Nene in the starting lineup. At the beginning of his fourth season, Wall believes that he is finally surrounded by the talent to win and is anxious see it all comes together. “Good things happen to people that wait and I think something big is going to happen with this program,” Wall said.

After a month or practices and exhibitions, the moment of truth has arrived. “You do all this hard work for the games. That’s the prize,” reserve Al Harrington said. “It’s exciting. Everybody is excited to see what kind of team we’re going to be.”

(TV: Comcast SportsNet. Radio: WJFK-106.7, WFED-1500). Here’s some pregame/in-game reading.

Wall, Beal give Wizards a solid foundation.

Mike Wise: At long last, reason for hope.

Porter injury frustrates Wittman.

Gortat eager to win in Washington.

Wizards hope to leave road woes behind.

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