While trying their best to win against the Blazers on Wednesday night, the Wizards were also trying their best to lose. That’s just the way it is with this team. A negative? Washington, after getting up 15 points in the fourth quarter, didn’t score a basket over a span of almost seven minutes as the Blazers made a 16-0 run to steal the lead, 80-79. The positives? Randy Wittman adjusted and the Wizards didn’t concede victory.
Here’s the coach talking about his main adjustment: putting Chris Singleton back in the game to guard LaMarcus Aldridge in an effort to minimize a “bad matchup” in the pick-and-roll when a bigger, slower Wizard was checking the Blazers All-Star.
But also… Why on EARTH did Singleton snag a defensive rebound, when the Wizards were up 84-82, and call a timeout with 0.5 seconds left? The “hero ball” we speak of in the title of this post is not the standard “hero ball” you’ve come to expect from the Wizards—the likes of Nick Young or Jordan Crawford taking a contested fadeaway on a one-pass possession with 17 seconds left on the shot clock. But this move could’ve thrown the hero defense by Singleton that was lauded by Wittman into the belly of the goat. Because Wizards.
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 13, Washington Wizards vs Portland Trail Blazers; contributors: Kyle Weidie and John Converse Townsend from the Verizon Center and Arish Narayen from behind the T.V.]
“Charles is going to be Charles.”
Martell Webster on Charles Barkley calling the Wizards the Washington Generals.
Extra! Extra! The Washington Wizards are winless no more.
“I told them we just broke through the ice,” Randy Wittman told the press after the game. “I lived in Minnesota for 15, 17 years—that ice was four or five feet deep, but it’s broken through now. This is obviously a good win for us.”
It was a good win. But it’s their only win. The first. A step in the right direction. Had the Wizards lost to the Blazers, they would have been the 10th team in NBA history to have started a season 0-13. “We don’t want to go down in history as one of the worst teams ever,” said Chris Singleton in the winning locker room. The Wiz avoided that peculiar honor … for now.
What did the Portland Trail Blazers have to say about it? Glad you asked.
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ 115-107 defeat at the hands of the Washington Wizards last Friday was their 60th loss in 75 games and their 32nd road loss in 37 road games. Included in those depressing numbers is a 26-game losing streak, which represented the longest such streak in NBA history. Those numbers are a far cry from the 61 victories they amassed just one year earlier, and to say this has been a long season for the Cavs would be an understatement of epic proportions.
The reasons for Cleveland’s futility are well-documented. Big Bad LeBron James took his talents away from the Cavaliers and bolted for Miami, as did Zydrunas Illgauskas. Delonte West was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Ryan Hollins, Ramon Sessions and a first round draft pick. Anderson Varejao has not played a game since January 5 of this year because of a torn tendon in his ankle, and Antawn Jamison’s season also ended prematurely with a broken finger. Mo Williams, arguably the second-best player on the team after LeBron last year, and the best player on the Cavs entering this season, was traded along with Jamario Moon to the LA Clippers on February 24. In return, the Cavaliers received Baron Davis and a draft pick. The lack of continuity has just been just too much to overcome.
Due to injuries, trades, and flat-out inexperience, the Wizards have had similar frustrations during this 2010-2011 season. But the play of John Wall, Nick Young, Jordan Crawford, JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche (at times), has given everyone from Wizards fans to owner Ted Leonsis some hope for the future. The Cavaliers have also had occasional bright spots with an opening day victory over the Boston Celtics and a victory right before the All-Star Break over the defending champion Lakers. Perhaps the biggest moment of the year came last week when the Cavaliers defeated LeBron and the Heat 102-90 in Cleveland — Miami defeated the Cavaliers 118-90 back on December 2; LeBron destroyed his old team in his first return to Ohio by scoring 38 points in just three quarters.
Still, in a season full of losses and frustration, it would seem to be a difficult task for the Cavaliers to think positive, encouraging thoughts. I asked head coach Byron Scott, Ramon Sessions and J.J. Hickson what, if any, positives could be taken out of a season that has gone this badly. Read more »
I started tinkering around with this trade idea last Wednesday, but never followed up with publishing a post. Today, with Yahoo!’s Marc Spears reporting that the Utah Jazz could face a roster shake-up and Mike Jones, of Mike Jones Sports, reporting that multiple Wizards have asked to be traded, i.e., more than just Mike James, it seems like an appropriate time to float this proposal out there. And no, this is not like Bill Simmons’ silly Utah-Washington-Cleveland idea where the Wizards would lose Haywood, Jamison, Butler and James and only get Shaq and Boozer in return … although my idea is almost as drastic.
So here goes …
Utah has the Carlos Boozer issue hanging over their head, the desire to remain cheap, and is a decent team unwilling to take a big step backwards.