Dateline: New York; Road Losses: 21, 0 Wins; Knicks 115 – Wizards 106.
What it was: Andray Blatche being Andray Blatche, somehow getting the ball stuck to his hands too many times on offense in the end instead of John Wall, who, some say, is the face of the franchise. But that wasn’t the game changer, it was the Wizards, themselves … being themselves. The Washington Post’s Michael Lee wasn’t sure if he’d ever seen Flip Saunders as animated as he was during a late-game timeout. The way Flippery stormed off the floor on television after the loss sure got my girlfriend to notice.
Blatche will be the most glaring non-existent in the box score — six points on 2-10 shooting with five rebounds, two steals and three turnovers in 28 minutes — but it could have been anyone on this night. The Wizards lost as a team. Not all the Mustafa Shakur’s can overcome 10 first quarter turnovers for the Wizards, three by John Wall and three by Blatche. Different cities, different names, different night, same result that can neither be explained nor coached away … at the this time.
Flip Saunders after the game:
“Can’t feel sorry for yourselves … no one else is going to feel sorry for you. Hey, I said one of the most impressive things we had, we came to the bench and Hilton [Armstrong], who hasn’t played in six or seven games, he was getting into the guys, telling them, kind of getting on them, you know, ‘Can’t hang your heads, you got to get into it … what are we doing?’ And we need more of that. Some of the guys feeling sorry for themselves because they’re not playing well or whatever, that doesn’t matter. It’s what your team does, not what you do individually.”
Those Wizards feeling sorry for themselves don’t have to be named, so don’t feel sorry for them.