Welcome back to the NBA.
Friday the Wizards opened up their two-game pre-season with a very uninspiring 103-78 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. It wasn’t even close at any point during the night.
The media was quick to paint the Wizards as the same ol’ team:
A botched alley opp from Wall to JaVale McGee was posted on YouTube with the simple statement, “The Wizards Are Bad”.
“We got our asses kicked,” coach Flip Saunders said after the game, “we came out almost too cool.”
In the locker room Roger Mason Jr. said, “They came in and could get any shot they wanted- we can’t let teams know it’s going to be that easy.”
Yes the team looked sloppy, John Wall turned over the ball six times and Jordan Crawford’s passes looked as if he’s never passed a ball in his life (which is probably true).
Saunders noted that the team failed to distribute the ball and observed that it look as if the ball would just stick with whoever had it at the time. He benched the starting five in the second half saying, “I was tired of looking at that shit.” He played a line-up that included all three rookies to which Saunders noted, at least looked like they were giving an effort.
Before we make sweeping assumptions that the Wizards’ season is already done let’s remember how the lockout-shortened season will affect the Wizards, and other teams around the league.
The team had only played together for about a week before Friday’s game. Fan blog Wizards’ Extreme noted that the team looked tired from an intense training camp. Chris Singleton tweeted that his pre-game preparation would include a power nap before the match-up.
While the 76ers aren’t the elite of the NBA, they did make the playoffs last year as an eight seed. They are a mediocre team while the Wizards are still a young collection of talent that’s still learning to play as a team.
For me I will give the team a mulligan considering the circumstances- however I need to see some improvement in their rematch on Tuesday in Philly- or else it maybe a rough start for the ‘zards this season.