Last Two Weeks: 3-4
Place: Fifth in the Southeast
It’s amazing that the Wizards managed to win three games considering John Wall didn’t play in two of them. The franchise player has been out four straight games with a left foot sprain. Wizards fan can breathe a sigh of relief however, Wall is expected to return to the court for Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia. In Wall’s stead, Gilbert Arenas has retaken the reigns but is still trying to find that 3-point shot that he’s known for. Including last night’s loss to Detroit, he’s 5-21 (23.8%) in 3-point shots in the past three games- a bit off from his career 35.9%.
After a loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on November 12th Wizards center JaVale McGee tweeted his commitment to rebound more after only getting two boards in the defeat. In his tweet he said he would be, “Definently (sic) enrolling in K.Love’s school of rebounding online….” Well it looks like those Kevin Love classes paid off. Over the past three games McGee has shown marked improvement with games of 10,12, and 16 (a career high) rebounds. I talked with McGee and Coach Saunders after their victory against Memphis about JaVale’s improvement around the rim. McGee is certainly earning his All-Star ballot nomination with solid defensive numbers and this new improvements in his rebound game.
Wizards Ahead: Tuesday vs. Philadelphia, Thursday at Atlanta, Saturday vs. Orlando, Monday at Miami
Last Two Weeks: 4-3
Place: Atop the Southeast, 30 points
For just the second time this season, the Caps lost back to back games over the weekend, dropping a brutal 5-0 shutout to Atlanta, who just plain have the Caps’ number, and a heartbreaker overtime loss to Philly, 5-4. While I can’t explain the Thrashers’ dominance, the Flyers contest had a lot more to say about the state of things, and a close contest gave us a look at the grit and determination of both teams. This is a rivalry that we’re going to see blossom throughout the season, these are two teams that play the game like their hair’s on fire, and that leads to amazing hockey. Sunday’s shootout was the adrenaline-filled battle that you’d expect from the Caps much later in the season, but sadly Semin’s last shot dinked off the post, and that was that.
The Caps will look to rebound in New Jersey against the hapless Devils (5-13-2) and then will travel Wednesday to Carolina to face the Hurricanes (9-9-2) before coming home Friday to take on Tampa Bay and then the Hurricanes.
Last Two Weeks: 1-1
Place: 3rd in the East, 2 games back
Just six games left in the season for the Redskins, and the way they’re getting hurt, that’s probably a relief to a lot of the team. Sunday’s overtime victory over the Redskins saw Clinton Portis reinjure his groin, as well as injuries to Anderson Russell, Casey Rabach, Lorenzo Alexander, Derrick Dockery, Rocky McIntosh, and Kedric Golston. Linebacker Chris Wilson said after the game, according to DC Pro Sports Report, “It was final destination out there. We were all hoping we weren’t next.”
A lot will depend at this point how quickly, and completely, they can heal before next weekend’s Vikings game at home. The Vikes have been a bit of a train wreck with Brett Favre at the helm, and should they trot the old man out at QB again, look for a stellar weekend from DeAngelo Hall, who I’m sure would love to eviscerate Favre one last time before he’s embarrassed into retirement.
After the Vikings will come the ‘Skins’ biggest challenge if they want into the Playoffs: the Giants in New York. If they can come away wins in each of the next two weeks, that would go a long way to firming up the currently faint playoff hopes.