So the Wizards actually beat the Lakers earlier this year. On March 7, 2012, they pulled out a 106-101 victory in the District, led by Nick Young’s 19 points and a still career-high six assists off the bench. Trevor Booker also muscled his way to 18 points and 17 rebounds that night. And if you recall, the Lakers were up 21 points in the second half. It was Washington’s first victory over the Lake Show since Gilbert Arenas dropped 60 points in his hometown of Los Angeles on December 17, 2006.
In the March win, Roger Mason played the hometown hero by somehow going 4-for-7 from the 3-point line in 12 minutes (all in the second half, three in the fourth quarter). Thus, the Wizards managed to turn a crowd mostly in favor of the Lakers to start into an arena rocking for the comeback Wiz Kids in the end. Afterward, Kobe Bryant was understandably terse with the media, trying his best to “keep it to one-word answers.”
Now Kobe’s Lakers come to Washington with a 9-14 record, somehow with only two fewer losses than the 3-16 Wizards, and having lost to the Knicks in Madison Square Garden on Thursday night national television. New York put up 41 points in the first quarter, was up 68-49 at halftime, and ultimately won 116-107. Afterward, Kobe had this to say (via TNT):
“Every game for us has a lot of meaning to it, at this point. I don’t think it’s … Maybe if we were rollin’, playing well, it would probably have added significance [playing Knicks], but at this point, I wish we had the Washington Generals on our schedule.”
Truth About It.net will turn a whole five years old at the end of this October.
Hard to believe/interesting. Nonetheless, over the life of the site from the 2007-08 season to 2011-12, we’ve seen/lived/suffered through 131 wins, 263 losses, four coaches, two owners, one GM/team president, one Phil Chenier mustache removal, and 56 total players (amazingly, 48 players over the last three seasons).
You may have heard of ESPN’s #NBArank project, now in year two. Now hear of #WizardsRank, where we rank each of those 56 players during Truth About It.net’s five-year run.
TAI anonymously polled 27 members of the Wizards pixel establishment — from mainstream media to new media, TAI staffers included, to a few pixel consumers (readers of the site) — and got 17 responses.
>> We start with a big Kevin Seraphin block versus Tunisia.
>> James Singleton is moving on; Roger Mason, too.
With the Wizards reportedly unwilling to pay anything more than the veteran’s minimum, John Singleton moving on and Roger Mason signing with the New Orleans Hornets represents cost-considered moves for the Washington franchise (see cliche phrase: “It’s a business”). In a sense, this is a disservice: not finding a way to reward the efforts of Singleton and Mason while offering some constancy to a young team. Inreality, the Wizards weren’t offering much playing time. Shooting from Mason would have been nice, the same with the grit of Singleton, but with roster capacity now at 13 — and the need to see how all the new feature parts fit together first– the Wizards can afford to hold off on filling the last two available spots, per report of the Washington Post’s Michael Lee. Not retaining Mason and Singleton was not part of an ideal offseason plan for the Wiz, but that doesn’t mean someone else can’t come along an inspire the team from the end of the bench just as well.
>> ESPN’s Marc Stein reports (via Twitter) that the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat are interested in Andray Blatche. Both are solid organizations and could help turn Blatche into something. Each city also drastically differs in nightlight options, which understandably could have a significant influence on the overall “Party All-Dray” experience. Blatche has for the past couple of offseasons made his home in Miami. So there’s that. San Antonio has the Riverwalk. Also:
“Everyone knows San Antonio is a great city… they do have some big ol’ women down here,” famously said Charles Barkley.
[NOTE: Truth About It.net 2011-12 Player Reviews continue, where we take a look at the past, present and future of those players who have touched the Wizards franchise during the 2011-12 lockout-shortened season. Now, we review the former Wizard and Washington, D.C. native who returned home... That's right... Roger Mason Jr. TAI's Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie assess Roger's 52-game stint in D.C. -Kyle W.]
This past week has been a blur, mostly because I’ve been oddly feeling under the weather… in a haze of a head cold that won’t quit. It also might be the Wizards. Have I mentioned how this 2011-12 NBA season can’t be over soon enough? A week? These past several years of the Washington Wizards franchise, one that can’t stop finding ways to top itself in futility, has been a blur. Actually, they’ve been bottom-feeding for a while, so nothing should surprise, even almost breaking the all-time franchise low for points scored in a game (64), which happened to be set less than 100 days ago.
After getting embarrassingly demoralized, 103-65, by the New York Knicks in their only appearance in Madison Square Garden this season, Washington has now collected 223 losses since falling to the New Jersey Nets on opening night of the 2008-09 season. There are just 82 wins to show for it. During the calendar of those previous three NBA regular seasons and including this fourth, lockout-shortened one, Wizards fans have experienced a loss every 2.8 days, a win every 7.5 days of a season.
But the key number from Friday night’s defeat: 22. The Wizards made 22 field goals, a franchise low, and committed 22 team turnovers, while the Knicks had 22 assists. How should fans respond to such ugliness? How can they? They can’t.
It’s not about this team losing to those Knicks in that manner on whatever night while being heckled by New York fans, media members and players alike. There are mitigating circumstances. Over the past eight games the Wizards have trotted out the youngest starting lineup in franchise history. The hard sell of the team and its television broadcast partners won’t let anyone forget.