Well, last night was a tough one. I wasn’t as distraught/incensed as after the Charlotte or Toronto home losses. Rather, I was emotionally prepared for the inevitable. The Celtics are a damn good team. There’s no shame in losing to them. On the other hand, making mention of moral victories is loser talk.
Sure, it was only one game out of 82, no sense in dwelling on past defeats. But if each loss isn’t making the players and coaches more angry and determined than the previous one, then something isn’t right. And I still don’t exactly get the feeling from the team, as a whole, that there’s a sense of urgency arising from these losses.
With the Indiana Pacers (who absolutely embarrassed Washington the last time they played) coming to D.C. on Saturday before the Wizards embark on a four game West Coast swing, playing seven out of the next eight on the road, there will be no shortage of tests/chances for this team to right the ship and prove themselves worthy. We will see.
Below is the beginning of what I wrote about the game for ESPN’s Daily Dime. Follow the link for more, the rest is #8 in the right-hand column. I’ll also have more coverage on the game to come.
“The basketball gods will get you in the end,” Flip Saunders likes to say. The Wizards’ coach didn’t incite one of his oft-used phrases after his team lost to the Celtics, but that doesn’t mean the powers that be didn’t strike.
Unlike past troubles, the Wizards fared just fine in the first quarter. It was the second period that, perhaps, led to retribution from above, or below, which came in the form of two Gilbert Arenas missed free throws that would have tied the game at 100 with 26 seconds left. In the second quarter, the Wizards failed to secure even one rebound, mostly due to Boston going 12-for-16 from the floor and scoring 22 points in the paint.
“We took some bad, quick shots in the second quarter, and they got going, and they got confidence,” said Saunders after the game. Basically, the Wizards played undisciplined basketball like non-playoff teams tend to do, and the Celtics did what championship teams do.