Friday night was hands down the best half of basketball the Wizards have played all season, and a deserving treat for most Wiz fans. True, Washington winning by the skin of their teeth ultimately hurt Operation: Tank for Pick #1, a popular moment amongst big dreamers. But to think that this one game, and not cruel fate, will really affect the outcome of the Wizards’ draft lottery aspirations is being too meticulous. Taking it to a decrepit Celtics team was worth it. Below are some memorable moments from that first half, in GIF form so you can watch over and over again.
Washington fans are used to seeing JaVale McGee do a Presidential salute after dunks, a celebratory tradition that originated when President Barack Obama came to see his hometown Chicago Bulls play, and lose, to the Wizards at the Verizon Center on February 27, 2009.
On Sunday against the Celtics, McGee unveiled a new dunk celebration …
The Fish Out of Water.
Now if he could just stop behaving like a fresh fish.
“We choked. Six minutes to go, we’re up 13. We got young guys, they don’t know what it’s like to be in the situation. We start talking to Garnett, start talking trash and everything else. Got Garnett and those guys’ juice up and we just pissed down our leg the last six minutes.
You have a veteran team that knows how to close out games against a young team that hasn’t been there. Instead of letting a sleeping dog lie, we just juiced up their energy. We had players coming out of timeouts, we had guys going to the wrong side of the floor. We were so discombobulated.”
Note: I’ll be chatting/answering questions on ESPN’s Sunday Dime Live during tonight’s Wizards-Celtics game. Join me for the start at 8 pm eastern, keep scrolling for more on the Wiz.
The Wizards play the Celtics tonight … on ESPN. “Great.” Words like “bloodbath” have already been thrown around. The WaPost’s Michael Lee is baffled that the game continued to be on the national television schedule after the dismantling of the team, including Josh Howard’s knee injury. But Boston is a big ticket market, so probably still worth including on the NBA Sunday slate. The only other game that will be going on at the same time will be the Thunder and Kings, which starts at 9 pm eastern. I’m sure people would love to see Kevin Durant and Tyreke Evans, but again, it’s Boston.
So Wizards fans, I guess you have to choke down the embarrassment of the forthcoming unwanted national attention and how the pundits will likely be talking bad about the franchise you love. And if you’re a Wizards fan watching the game at this point, you do have a true love for the team.
The Wizards have found a lot of ways to lose games this season. Monday’s 99-88 loss to the Boston Celtics wasn’t as disheartening as most of them. So, I guess you can chalk up another moral victory on the penitentiary walls of your Washington Wizards basketball fandom. Congrats.
Most fingers are pointing toward the fourth quarter and justifiably citing it as the main culprit. In the period, the Wizards only mustered 10 points to the 25 of the Celtics. Rasheed Wallace scored eight points by himself, and combined with Tony Allen, the duo put up 14 points and seven rebounds in the final period. Starters Paul Pierce (ankle injury) and Kendrick Perkins didn’t play in the last 12 minutes and Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett only played six minutes apiece in the fourth.
The Celtics bench came alive to save the day. Otherwise, Boston looked sloppy and old. Cherish that 2008 championship Celtics fans, it will be the only title you see from your current squad.
Feel like I keep saying this, but here goes … The Wizards really need to win tonight against Indiana.
Enough about getting on the right track, pushing the tempo, finding a way to get Caron Butler involved, making free-throws, starting with energy, winning the battle on the boards, etc., etc..
All of that stuff is important. But the “this game starts and ends with _____” fill-in-the-blank cliché comes down to pride. Seems pretty simple.
Play like you want to win the game. Play like you have too much pride to lose to a team that should be inferior (especially without Danny Granger). A team that demoralized the Wizards last time out … known to many as “The Honeydew Game.”
The Wizards haven’t progressed much since candy dishes and fruit plates were strewn across the visitor’s locker room at Conseco Fieldhouse over a month ago. They currently stand equal to Indiana at 7-13. If the time to turn this thing around isn’t tonight, it might never happen.
It's cloudy in the Nation's Capital - flickr/eugene
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.
Big game between the Wizards and Celtics on TNT tonight … read below the picture of the patch on the Wizards’ jerseys honoring Abe Pollin for what you need to know.
Andray Blatche vs. Kevin Garnett
Talked to Andray Blatche a little before the game about the recent long, “Back To Basics” practices the Wizards have had (that’s a pic of ‘Dray’s jersey above). He said that Flip mostly focused on his desire for the team to get out and run, and to find more tempo in their game.
I asked him what the team needed to do about setting better screens. He said, “Need to get up on them … BAM! Lay the wood on them,” and then proceeded to let assistant coach Randy Wittman know about his enthusiasm for setting screens.