WASHINGTON (DC News Now) – The Washington Wizards are set to begin the regular season on the road this Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers, with everyone except Corey Kispert (ankle) available to play.

With four preseason games in the books, head coach Wes Unseld Jr. says that the players are excited to hit the ground running this week.

“We’ve been practicing against the same guys. So at some point, the competitive juices get the best of you, and then you’re ready to turn it on. We’re trying to keep guys focused on what we’re trying to get out of certain things. I think they’re ready to turn loose.”

Bradley Beal hasn’t played since February and is itching to get back on the court, he anticipates that his 11th season with the Wizards will be a good one.

“I’m excited about it, excited about what we have, and just making it all click.”

This is Unseld Jr.’s second year at the helm for Washington, and Beal says that coach has a “new aura” about him ahead of the regular season.

“He’s more confident in his role and being authoritative and kind of what he wants to get out of us. He’s been doing a hell of a job with that.”

Beal also says that this year, having a lot of veterans on the team (other than himself) is very beneficial.

“Definitely a different focus and a mindset from last year and even years previous. We have a lot of talent and a lot of versatility, but we have like a really good veteran presence. We’re able to just kind of roll the ball out and get things going, but at the same time, we have that accountability factor within everybody and I think that’s a beautiful thing.”

One aspect of this Wizards team that needs to improve this year is the defense. With new additions that should help, but the wizards will learn quickly how they stack up against a strong Eastern Conference.

“We’ve seen a better overall defensive effort, and I know it’s just a small sample but that’s got to carry with us,” says Unseld Jr.

“Once me and Kuz are locked in defensively,” says Beal, “that sets the tone for everybody else. We gotta have the mindset that we got to defend on a nightly basis. We’re gonna have a majority of the toughest jobs guarding guys, so we got to make sure it starts with us.”

Right now in the preseason polls, nobody has the Washington Wizards making the playoffs in what should be another tough year in the Eastern Conference. However, the Wizards have a brand new team this year with a lot of playmakers, and the opportunity to surprise a lot of people.

We’ll see on Wednesday, as the Wizards hit the road to take on Indiana in their first game of the season.