Sports Fix, The Features

What’s next for the Wizards?


‘Wizards v Jazz – 01.17.11′
courtesy of ‘MudflapDC’

The 2010-11 Washington Wizards season, which ended Wednesday night with a 100-93 loss at Cleveland, will largely be remembered for the sparkling play of rookie point guard John Wall, who averaged 16.4 points and and 8.3 assists per game and would be a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year if it weren’t for the stunning emergence of Blake Griffin. Apart from that, however, most of the positives of this past season could only be seen on paper, rather than on the court.

To wit, in December, General Manager Ernie Grunfeld traded Gilbert Arenas and his horrendous contract to the Orlando Magic for the slightly less odious commitment made to Rashard Lewis. Two months later, with the NBA’s trade deadline approaching, Grunfeld swung a deal with the Atlanta Hawks that brought Mike Bibby and two promising young players to D.C. in the persons of Jordan Crawford and Mo Evans. Grunfeld then became even more fortunate when Bibby became so desperate to play for a contending team (eventually settling in Miami with the Heat) that he passed on all of the $6.2 million the Wizards would have owed him in 2011-12. Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

For first time in three years, Wizards win a 3rd straight game

Photo courtesy of
‘John Wall | Wizards’
courtesy of ‘Danilo.Lewis|Fotography’

Like a lot of things, basketball works in mysterious ways. If Austin Daye’s buzzer-beating three-point shot Tuesday night had done what many thought it was going to do and rattled through the net, Washington’s 107-105 win over the Detroit Pistons would instead have gone down as one of the three most excruciating losses of a largely excruciating season (my top two being the 95-94 home loss to Miami on December 18, the day the Gilbert Arenas trade was officially announced and the Wizards blew a four-point lead with 17 seconds remaining, and the 100-99 home loss to Orlando on November 27 that was settled with a Dwight Howard baby hook).

But Daye’s shot didn’t rattle through the net. Instead, it rattled back out, leaving the Wizards players shaken by just how close a call they’d had. “I’ve never seen [a shot like that],” said John Wall after the game. “I’ve never seen one go all the way in like that before coming out.”

“We’ve lost enough tough ones,” Flip Saunders said ruefully after the game. “We deserve a little bit of luck. That last one was definitely pretty right on.” Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Without Wall, Wizards fight hard, but lose to the Heat

Photo courtesy of
‘Wall Ascending the Sky’
courtesy of ‘Mylar Bono’

Defying the odds and most expectations, the Washington Wizards gave the star-studded Miami Heat a run for their money Wednesday night at the Verizon Center, twice cutting their deficit to one point early in the fourth quarter. But ultimately, the 94 total points scored by LeBron James (35 points), Dwyane Wade (33 points), and Chris Bosh (26 points) proved too much to overcome as the Heat (52-23) defeated the Wizards 123-107.

As heartening as the performance was by the Wizards (18-56), it’s hard not to wonder what might have happened if Washington’s star rookie point guard John Wall hadn’t gotten himself thrown out of the game with 8:48 to go in the first half and the Wizards leading 37-36.

The incident began innocuously enough, as Zydrunas Ilgauskas grabbed a loose ball at the top of the key and was defended by Wall. As Ilgauskas turned to face the basket, the Wizards rookie got right into the Lithuanian’s personal space, and Ilgauskas responded by nudging Wall twice with his right elbow. Wall took a futile swipe at the ball as Ilgauskas brought it over his head, an action which left the Miami man’s midsection exposed. As Wall turned to face up to Ilgauskas, television replays showed that the Kentucky alum pursed his lips, picked a spot, and let fly with a right cross to Ilgauskas’ ribs at the same instant that the 7-foot-3 center reached out with his left arm to shove Wall further back. Continue reading

Sports Fix

Sports Fix: Delayed Gratification Edition

DSCN0905
DSCN0905 by bhrome

Capitals
Record: 23-12-5, 51 points
Last Two Weeks: 4-0-1
Place: Tied for first in the Southeast, Fifth in the East

We’re pretty much at the halfway point of the 2010-2011 Season, and the Caps have settled into a winning groove after their brutal losing streak in early December. They’re about to be tested, though, as January looks to be a defining month for the season. Two games against co-leader of the Southeast Tampa Bay, tough games in Philly and Atlanta, and home matchups against the Rangers and Senators, with just a few matches against teams they should beat.

Looking back on the Winter Classic, we saw a Caps team that continued their first period struggles, their second period explosion, and a third period full of fight. That’s been this Capitals team all season long, and until they can figure out their first period struggles, I think they’re not going to be strong contender for Lord Stanley’s Cup. There’s much to work on this season, and still a good amount of time to see it happen. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Paul teaches Wall a few lessons, Hornets dump Wizards

Photo courtesy of
‘John Wall’
courtesy of ‘Keith Allison’

One good thing to say about the Wizards is that they are competitive.

Well, for stretches.

They hung with the high-flying Heat a couple weeks ago before blowing it at the end. They gave the Bulls a good game a couple of days later prompting Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau to praise the young team. Against the Hornets on Saturday, at one point they held a 13-point second quarter lead. Then Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor asserted their will in the second half of the contest to claim a New Orleans victory, 92-81 at Verizon Center. Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Can The 2K11 Version Of John Wall Do This?

Happy NBA 2K11 day basketball fans! While you maybe lining up to get the latest 2K b-ball title, excited to play as Michael Jordan (before he joined the Wizards,) let’s not forget that the real-life Washington Wizards can still be as electric as any video game franchise.

Thanks to John Wall.

Just take a look at this clip of John Wall from the Fan Fest scrimmage:

YouTube Preview Image

Can the 2K11 version of Wall do this? Maybe, but it’s way more fun to see it in real life.

[h/t Wizards Extreme]