As previously advertised, this Wizards team runs on emotional highs and lows. Last night’s 116-91 loss to the Sacramento Kings just happened to be a Comedy of Errors. Not so much in a ‘ha-ha’ kind of way, but more reminiscent of when Caron Butler used to say last year that he was laughing to keep from crying.
The Wizards, led by Gilbert Arenas and Kirk Hinrich in the backcourt, because John Wall was a late scratch, along with Al Thornton, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin in the starting lineup (Andray Blatche was still out) — quite a surprise entry by Flip Saunders, who must be desperate by now … either for a win or to get out of “what he didn’t sign up for” — fell to 0-12 on the road for the season and 6-15 overall.
I guess this loss was beyond embarrassing, because the Washington Post didn’t even use “embarrassing” in the title of Michael Lee’s post on Wizards Insider, as the online newspaper did after losses in Boston and Atlanta earlier this season. After the Boston loss, Ted Leonsis responded in his blog, Ted’s Take, writing that he wasn’t as easily embarrassed. One must wonder if seven straight road losses since, low-lighted by take downs in Toronto and Sacramento by a combined total of 44 points, is starting to change that sentiment.
[a basketball hoop somewhere in Washington, D.C. - K. Weidie]
Excuse the comparison to the men’s game and think of the following more as context to what the Washington Mystics have accomplished this season. Through their run, a prevailing storyline has been about someone who hasn’t played at all, all-star Alana Beard. No one expected Washington to do anything after Beard had season-ending surgery on an injured left ankle tendon in April. Instead, the Mystics finished as the first overall seed in the East.
Unfortunately for the growing Mystics fan base, their team lost its opening playoff game against the Atlanta Dream in D.C. on Wednesday night. They’ve long moved past the ‘what if we had Alana’ stage, but for context, perspective, and for the hell of it, let’s find the NBA equivalent of Beard’s statistical production for a better idea of her impact, or lack thereof.
[Hilton Armstrong with his last NBA team, the Houston Rockets.]
Hilton Armstrong you say? Hilton Armstrong I say.
The Wizards have signed him to a 1-year deal for the veteran’s minimum of $992,680. I suspected something might be up as I stood watching the conclusion of the Mavericks-Bucks game, awaiting the Wizards-Clippers game. Armstrong was exchanging pleasantries with Wizards personnel, including Flip Saunders and VP of basketball administration Tommy Sheppard, that were much beyond a “Hi, how ya doin’?” Not long after, news of the signing made its way around the gym.
How should you feel about Armstrong? Well, let’s read a bit of what others have written about him.
Caron Butler is not all bad and he’s no scapegoat, but he’s also having the worst season of his career (aside from his second year in the league).
Sure, a new system is tough. But Butler sells himself as a pro’s pro, a vet’s vet. And not to say he doesn’t possess those qualities, but he still has a big step to take to be a ‘next-level’ player and not some flash-in-the-pan two time All-Star.
Flip Saunders has implored Gilbert Arenas to push the ball and attack the basket. With that, offense should be created. Caron shifting his role back to number two, where he’s rightly supposed to sit in the team’s pecking order, shouldn’t involve him fading into the background, nor should it involve him forcing it.
This season, Caron’s game has been everywhere on the spectrum except balanced. He needs to adjust his offensive approach to create for the team, and not just for himself. The him-first approach is why he is averaging a career low 1.7 assists/36 minutes and why he has a 41.4 FG% that’s only better than his sophomore slump season in Miami, Dwyane Wade’s rookie year.
Sure Arenas cools down many buildings in which he plays with 40.2% from the field, and sure the Wizards have 99 problems … but Caron Butler is one.
I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, almost since Eddie Jordan got fired from his gig with the Wiz. Well, now that he’s at the helm of the Philadelphia 76ers, this is an appropriate time as ever to publish.
My feeling is that a majority of Wizards fans think Jordan was unjustly fired (or at least weren’t dancing in the streets when he departed), and that even more wish him well.
Count me among both of these groups. Although, when he was terminated, I wasn’t like, “OMG! What an injustice!”
I was more disappointed with the entire landscape of the team, and later resigned to it just being ‘one of those things’, and in the end, maybe it was best that both parties moved on. But we’ll never really know.
In any case, here goes my tribute to Jordan’s basketball career (to date).
Basically, $11 buys you a ticket where you can select six lunch items from a selection provided by a ton of local restaurants. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Capital Area Food Bank.
The event is scheduled to run from 12:00-2:00 pm and tickets will be available to purchase at the door. If you are in the neighborhood, like me, might as well eat some good food while supporting a good cause.
Just over three minutes left in a close game, Wizards up by one point against an almost equally bad team, the thought crossed my mind….do I hope they lose?
I knew the Clippers and Kings, two of the other top three worst teams in the league, were playing each other last night. It would be “nice” to have better chances in the draft.
But just as quickly as the thought entered my mind, it left. All along, I’ve been against “tanking” or even hoping for more losses just for the possibility of maybe having a better shot at the top pick/Blake Griffin. It just doesn’t seem like good basketball karma, not like it matters with the Curse O’ Les Boulez anyway. But still, we’re talking principles…..principalities.
So eff the lottery it was, I was pulling for my Wizards to win, because that’s what fans do. And a win is what I thought we were getting when Juan Dixon squirmed for a layup with 47 seconds left, putting the Wiz up 96-90.