[A D.C. basketball court - Florida Ave. and R St. NW - K. Weidie]
The Wizards are a 40-win team.*
Or a 25-win team. One or the other.
The Wizards’ 2010-2011 NBA preseason is now over. (They had a 3-4 preseason record.) The team left the 8,000-seat multi-purpose Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio in defeat, but with plenty of promise. And with promises I hope the [insert final roster number] Basketball Wizards can keep.
(Paraphrased) Promises like:
- I will do work in the low block. — ‘Dray Blatche
- I will gobble up defensive rebounds. — J-Mac
- I will protect the basketball. — Jimmy Teach ‘Em How To Dougie
- I will be the self-effacing sidekick to The Blur. — Robin Gilbert Arenas
- Et cetera
In 1960, the great American writer John Updike wrote a melodic tribute to Red Sox legend Ted Williams — Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu. Updike describes the relationship between fans, the media, and Williams himself as one of fragmented love:
“The affair between Boston and Ted Williams has been no mere summer romance; it has been a marriage, composed of spats, mutual disappointments, and, toward the end, a mellowing hoard of shared memories.”
The Wizards 2010-2011 season will be much like Williams’ 17-year baseball career, as described by Updike. Because the Wizards are juggling their collective Id, Ego, and Superego, it won’t be a smooth ride. There will be times when this young team will seem to have matured, leaving the hardwood with broad shoulders and a quiet confidence. But there will be just as many times, perhaps more, when the team will face the harsh light of media scrutiny with nothing more than platitudes and disinterest.
Consistently inconsistent will be the story of the year. Flashes of brilliance and game-winning heroics will join hands with face-palms and frustration. We will sing the team’s praises and chastise them with a fiery zeal. For in the end, there will be spats and disappointments, but also glowing memories of five-game winning streaks.
I, for one, am ready for the season to start. At a certain point, there is something disenchanting about games that don’t count, are followed by few, and are seen by far less. There are a hoard of questions demanding answers. In eight days — with a live look at the strength of the team’s foundation versus the Orlando Magic — we’ll finally get some answers. On your mark, get set, grow!
*I do believe they are a playoff team.
All eyes have now turned to the Wizards season opener in central Florida on October 28th. Every second now matters, each point has real value, and even the most routine plays carry more weight. Since the numbers now matter, the stats don’t lie. The first buckets, blocks, steals, and dimes will be the first brushstrokes on a blank canvas of season averages.
So, who do you think will record the Wizards’ first points of the 2010-2011 season?