That #SoWizards Moment, A Monday Night in New York City | Wizards Blog Truth About

That #SoWizards Moment, A Monday Night in New York City

Updated: December 19, 2013


There’s always that #SoWizards moment. But when the Wizards happen to defeat themselves, in a good way, it’s just as easy to forget as any token win or moral victory.

New York City, Monday night. Washington had built a 15-point lead on the road. Not unusual, even the worst of Wizards teams over the past couple of seasons could manage that every once in a while. But that lead, culminating early in the third quarter, completely evaporated in about five, six minutes. It’s also the NBA, you know.

After the midway point of the fourth quarter, J.R. Smith threw up 3-point attempts Nos. 9-thru-11 on the night. He missed the first two, keeping the Knicks down five points with four and a half minutes left. Part without conscious, part equitable villain, nothing stops a J.R. Smiff 3-point attempt. By the time he made his next two, Washington was down four points, 94-98, with 136 seconds left.

Especially on the road in Mecca, it was over for the Wiz. Prepare your hashtags.

Let’s watch that last Smith 3.

Know-it-alls from a distance ask:Why double Carmelo off Smith?!?! #pitchforks’

It certainly is a fair question. This post is not necessarily to question or affirm coaching strategy. Although, only relying on the gangly Trevor Ariza to guard the larger Carmelo Anthony in the wing corner doesn’t seem sound, either.

The plan was to double Anthony, and if the Wizards rotate right, Smith is diffused as a threat. Who didn’t rotate right on that Smith 3? John Hildred Wall. And Randy Wittman was pissed.

Yes, John Wall made the game-saving block in Brooklyn. But he’s also too good of a defender—and too proud of himself—to take himself out of crucial defensive plays like being the ‘who’ on the rotation to J.R.’s shot.

One result: J.Are-a Smiff trey ball. Other result: the celebration of two classically contrasting New Yawk Johnnies. Johnnie No. 1, draped in plaid, beard, locks, and arms akimbo in praise of hipster Jesus (and J.R. Smith), rejoices via clap on the left. Johnnie No. 2 on the right, draped in a Jordan Brand turquoise hoody and male horseshoe pattern baldness, whoops it up with a fist pump, accompanied by the No. 1 digit pointing to the basketball lord. Ah yes, the fist pump. (And #MaynorTime is in the midst of it all.)

Sixty seconds after Smith made it 98-94, the Knicks ran the same play. In the interim, Bradley Beal had gone 1-for-2 from deep, drawing the Wizards within one point. Once again, the Wizards doubled Anthony off Smith. This time you see Martell Webster, prepared for the plan, ready to jump to Smith. Let’s Vine…

Instead, Anthony’s outlet out of the double is a cutting Beno Udrih, who dished it to Andrea Bargnani, who was fouled by a recovering Beal. Meanwhile, Wall seems to take himself out of the play in confused rotation.

OK, so Bargnani making both free throws and putting the Knicks up 100-97 isn’t ideal, either. But you’d rather have the ball in the hands of Bargnani or Udrih than Anthony from wherever, or Smith from deep. The coaching strategy will take that any day. Again, it comes down to defensive rotations.

Beal went on to play the role of hero, as you know, and the Wizards won, 102 to 101. Otherwise, these are the forgotten plays, the potential #SoWizards moments, tossed into the ether of a Monday night in Manhattan.

And in the end, as Carmelo exited stage right from the Madison Square Garden hardwood—and perhaps one day soon from New York altogether—there he was, New York Johnnie No. 2, and pal, giving ‘Melo a piece of their melon.



Kyle Weidie on EmailKyle Weidie on GoogleKyle Weidie on InstagramKyle Weidie on LinkedinKyle Weidie on TwitterKyle Weidie on Youtube
Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.