If you are like some of my Twitter followers, you may have noticed there hasn’t been a lot of Wizards talk lately. That’s because they were terrible. Heading into 2013 they only had four wins and were the butt of jokes around the league. Even perennial basement dweller Charlotte had a better record than the Wiz on January 1st, 2013 despite going on an 18 game losing streak at the end of 2012.
How can you lose 18 games in a row and still have a better record than the Wizards?
On the eve of a $550 million Powerball jackpot, the Washington Wizards tried to hit it big with a jackpot of their own: their first win of the season. Entering Wednesday night 0-12, the Wizards faced off against the Portland Trailblazers in an effort to avoid falling to 0-13 and another step closer to matching the NBA record of most losses to start a season.
Portland, in the midst of a seven game road trip playing their third game in four nights, kept things interesting. After eliminating a 15 points Washington lead late in the final quarter, the Trailblazers refused to call it quits. After gaining possession of the ball with .2 seconds left on the clock, the Trailblazers were left with a desperation inbound shot that bounced off the basket without a rebound or tip-in to spoil the Wizards first victory 84-82.
courtesy of Keith Allison
It’s hard to imagine it’s only the Wizards fourth home game but this three-week old season is already starting to feel like an eternity. It’s not a new story to lament a Wizards team that is slow out of the gate. Last year’s team lost eight games in a row before their first win and the team in 2010 started the season 2-6.
Well Washington can add another game to the loss column as the Wizards lose their ninth straight game to the Indiana Pacers 96-89.
The team has struggled to find consistency in all facets of their play. Coach Randy Wittman has been left with the task of filling in the holes left by starters John Wall and Nene, who are still recovering from pre-season injuries. Wittman looked resigned at the end of the night as it was clear he still hasn’t figured out the answer to that question.
“I mean we got to figure out how to play a game- a whole game,” Wittman said in the post-game press conference.
Two years ago the Dougie filled the Verizon Center as John Wall danced his way into DC basketball.
Tonight a more somber tone was in the air as the Washington Wizards made their 2012 debut in the Verizon Center. Instead of dancing, the starting five of Trevor Ariza, Trevor Booker, Emeka Okafor, A.J. Price, and Bradley Beal simply got off the bench and jogged towards the huddle. No nonsense, no pizzazz.
Looking for their first win after an opening season loss in Cleveland, the Wizards had their work cut out for them as they went up against another win-less team in the Boston Celtics.
After falling behind 26-12 in the first quarter, the Wizards managed to catch up and kept it close to the final minutes of the game but ultimately couldn’t catch the Celtics who defeated the Wiz 89-86.
There was at least one expectation that the Washington Wizards met last year.
Thanks to a late season win streak the Washington Professional Basketball Team managed to end the lockout-shortened season with a 20-46 record and hit the over on Vegas’ line of 19.5 wins for the season. Congrats to those who had a sunny outlook on what became another dismal season for the Wiz.
Tonight the NBA season tips-off and the Wizards will begin their 2012-2013 season against the Cleveland Cavilers in Cleveland. For those that were too busy cheering for the Nats and RGIII, here’s what you need to know as we preview the upcoming season.
In the middle of this past basketball season, I received an e-mail from a person that wanted to know more about how I got myself into a position to cover the Washington Wizards.
For that I have to thank Tom for asking me to cover a Washington team that is perhaps the most overlooked in the city. However the level of coverage, enthusiasm, and knowledge does not even stack up to the colleagues I write alongside- so this past season I asked picked their brains about their experience covering the Washington Professional Basketball Team.
I exchanged messages with Kyle Weidie who runs Truth About It, the Wizards blog of the ESPN True Hoop Network; George V. Panagakos who is the Washington Wizards writer for Examiner.com; and Mike Jones, a bi-coastal writer for Yahoo! Sports.
Here’s what they had to say.
courtesy of BrianMKA
Despite ending the season with a six game winning streak, including two wins against the Miami Heat, there were not any confetti or streamers falling onto the floor of the Verizon Center after the Washington Wizards ended their season with a 104-70 win over the Heat. A two seed heading into the playoffs, Miami chose to rest their big three for both games against Washington. On Thursday night both Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh were inactive, Miami opted to start the likes of Juwan Howard instead. The Heat had no problem falling to a 46-20 record to end the season. With a reciprocal 20-46 record, the Wizards are once again in the basement of the NBA, hoping for the lotto balls to fall their way. Despite a young athletic group and an infusion of talent from last year’s draft, the Wizards managed to do only slightly better than last year’s winning percentage. Instead of celebrating a win to end the season, the team continues on in the midst of a long rebuilding phase and for that there is no need for streamers at the end of the game.
Kevin Seraphin dunk
courtesy of BrianMKA
Coming into tonight’s final game against the Magic this season Washington was 0-3 against Orlando. However thanks to a career performance from Kevin Seraphin (and a Dwight Howard-less Magic team) the Wizards pulled out their second win in a row 93-85. Tonight’s win follows a victory against the hapless Charlotte Bobcats Monday night.
Without Nene and Trevor Booker both out with plantar fasciitis, the Wizards have leaned on big man Seraphin more in recent games and he has responded well. He led the team with a career high 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks in the win.
Also in the mix were Jordan Crawford (21) and John Wall (15). Jameer Nelson led the Magic with 19 points.
After the Magic took a 29-18 lead in the first quarter, the Wizards hung on tying the game at halftime and breaking away with 10 minutes left in the final quarter thanks to a bank shot from Seraphin.
Nene, Jordan Crawford
courtesy of Keith Allison
It’s been awhile since I went down to the Verizon Center to check out the Washington Professional Basketball Team. Last night I went down to Chinatown to see Nene in person for the first time he arrived to the team in a trade-deadline deal that drastically reshaped the team. The look of the Wizards is now closer to the long-term vision that the franchise hopes to make reality. By shedding the ill-fitting pieces in JaVale McGee and Nick Young and gaining quality character in Nene, the team can now focus on developing their young core and acquiring more pieces in the upcoming draft (where they will most likely have a high pick).
Now the addition of Nene hasn’t changed the team overnight, with only 14 games left to play heading into Friday’s game against Philadelphia the team was in the midst of a five-game losing streak. However there were a few things that I saw and liked about the Wizards that helped them beat the 76ers 97-76.
As the NBA Trade Deadline loomed, it appeared that the Wizards would not be able to make a deal. The Wizards have tried desperately to move team headache and fan boo favorite Andray Blatche but couldn’t find anyone to take him. The team had made it known that they would be open to trading anybody but John Wall if they would take Blatche as well. In essence Blatche became the Shipping and Handling for any deal an NBA team would make with the Wizards. Unable to move Blatche, the team looked to make changes elsewhere. According to NBA sources, the Wizards traded JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to the Denver Nuggets for Nene. Also involved in the deal are the Los Angeles Clippers who will sent Brian Cook and a future second-round pick to Washington for Nick Young.
Tonight was a weird night for the Washington Wizards. With a little over 7 minutes left to play in the third quarter the Lakers held a 21-point lead over the Wiz. That was the only normal (or at least expected) thing about tonight.
Then things got interesting. By the end of the third quarter the Washington closed to within two points. At the start of the fourth quarter the a three-pointer from Roger Mason Jr. put Washington ahead and after a thrilling end the Wizards shocked the Lakers with a 106-101 victory.
But it wasn’t just the result that was strange and unexpected.
After ending the first half of the season with another disappointing loss, Wizards Point Guard John Wall hoped that the team would spend the All-Star break clearing their heads and starting the second half more competitive than their lowly 7-27 first-half record would suggest.
Well it’s still more of the same. After losing a nail-biter in Milwaukee, it wasn’t close as the Wizards let another game slip away tonight in a 95-102 loss to the Orlando Magic.
courtesy of erin m
It was all going kinda well.
After the Wizards’ loss to Miami back on the 10th, the team went on a long road trip and managed to win a couple of games against Detroit and Portland. Then they lost three straight to the LA Clippers, Utah Jazz, and Phoenix Suns.
Back in the Verizon Center for one last game before the All-Star break the Wizards took on the Sacramento Kings in what would of been a bounce back game and a way to end the first half of the season on a positive note.
Instead the team couldn’t hold on after leading 68-60 in the first half and let another game slip away as the Kings roared back in the third quarter and ended the night with a 115-107 win. In the loss the Wizards set new standards in futility thanks to another boneheaded play from JaVale McGee.
With 10:12 left in the 3rd quarter, Kings’ guard Francisco Garcia put up a teardrop floater towards the basket that gracefully made its way to the hoop- until McGee used his scientifically measured body to swat the ball into the eighth row of the Verizon Center, a clear goaltending violation.
Here’s the video:
courtesy of Keith Allison
It’s weird when my friends and co-workers walk up to me eager to talk about basketball and the Washington Wizards, because two years ago I didn’t really pay much attention to the team.
Now my interest in basketball has risen faster than Jeremy Lin’s jersey sales.
In a city where the Hockey, Football, and Baseball teams reign supreme, the Washington Professional Basketball Team has been an afterthought among the locals. Now in their fourth straight year of sub .400 play, the only memorable item that pops in most minds is the never ending argument that the team should change their name back to the Bullets. When WeLoveDC’s fearless leader gave me the assignment to provide coverage of the team for WLDC, I took it on as an opportunity to learn about the game and a team that doesn’t get as much attention in the D.C. Sports Scene. The beat was also another hat to wear among many. Besides holding down a 9-5 to pay the bills, I also cover theatre for the site as well.
Blogging isn’t as glamorous you would think. Unless it is a full-time gig, it is often a job of passion.
LeBron didn’t put up superstar numbers last night, but showed Washington, DC why he’s one of the NBA’s best.
Late in the second quarter Chris Bosh rebounded a missed shot from Nick Young and passed it to James. Racing down the court James passed it to Dwayne Wade who lobbed it up to James for an amazing slam dunk. It’s the kind of play the demonstrates the synergy that can happen when Miami’s Big Three are running on all cylinders.
“I think we’re probably 90 percent on the alley-oops this year,” James said after the game explaining that he’s not too concerned about showing a little pizzazz during the game. Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra commented after the game that he’d like to see the duo not get too fancy.
“We want to be efficient, and that’s the most important thing.”
However it didn’t take all three to be on top of their game as the Miami Heat beat the Washington Wizards 106-94. James only put up 18 points in what looked like a game he coasted through. Instead the production was left to Bosh (24 pts) and Wade who scored 26 points for the night- 18 of them coming in the first half where Wade put on an amazing second quarter show.
It was a bad weekend for Washington sports. However while some are bummed over the Caps loss to the Bruins yesterday, at least they are hovering above .500 with a 27-21 record. It would take a miracle for the Washington Wizards to achieve such a feat.
This past weekend the Wizards lost to the Clippers in a 87-107 blowout. At 4-20, you would think that the funk of defeat couldn’t penetrate any deeper. This game however struck me as a moment where everything that happened just felt apropos. Much like how the entire season can be viewed while listening to the Benny Hill theme song.
The game started on a high note. Blake Griffin put up a dunk to which Nick Young rebutted with a dunk of his own. DeAndre Jordan then caught a rebound for a dunk and John Wall took the ball to the other end and throw up a lob for JaVale McGee to slam home.
Perhaps the game would at least be entertaining if not competitive? It turned out the game would be neither. The rest of the night just went down hill from there.
courtesy of Keith Allison
Reigning MVP Derrick Rose was in a mood.
Sunday night he blamed himself for a loss against the Miami Heat that left him angry, emotional, and determined to make it up in the next game he’d play.
Unfortunately for the Washington Wizards they were that next game. Rose looked like a madman on the court in a 35 point performance as the Chicago Bulls defeated the Wizards 98-88.
The Wizards tried everything they could to stop Rose and the Bulls but it was to no avail. The loss left Wizards coach Randy Wittman a little testy, transferring his frustration to the press after the game. When asked about the team’s Pick and Roll strategy against Rose he answered to the reporter asking the question , “Did you of that question all day? If you have a new strategy, call my office tomorrow. We tried four different things. The way he played tonight, I don’t know if there’s anything we would have thrown out there that could have of. So did he dice it up? Yea, is that what you want me to say?”
I hope Wittman doesn’t read the column I wrote about him.
courtesy of Keith Allison
“Why’s Randy coaching, Dad?”
“Because we had to fire Flip.”
“He didn’t do anything wrong.”
Flip Saunders may have not done anything wrong, but he certainly didn’t do anything right. In one way Flip will be the fall guy for another failed Wizards season, but in another way Flip was never the answer at coach, leaving with a 51-130 coaching record in Washington.
Time after time I’ve seen that sleepy-eyed look at press conferences. Time after time I’ve heard him expound on how players are holding on to the ball too much or how they throw the game plan out the window after they fall behind. Perhaps the problems were easier said than done.
You can say Flip took on a job he didn’t sign up for. He was suppose to help squeeze one more season from the old guard of Arenas, Butler, and Jamison. He wasn’t originally brought in to coach a team full of first and second year players.
In reality Flip never had control of the locker room. It got out of hand to the point Gilbert was offering firearms to his teammates. Flip was then left with a class of kids who tuned him out.
Regardless of the reason, Flip is out and Randy Wittman is in- but will that be a difference?
courtesy of RMTip21
Celtics star Point Guard Rajon Rondo was ruled out of today’s game against the Wizards with a sprained right wrist. In the second quarter Ray Allen left the game with a jammed left ankle. Slumping and battered, the Celtics looked like a prime target for the Wizards, who have been improving their play game-by-game this week.
However Paul Pierce took the team on his shoulders with a season-high 34 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds as the Celtics continue to own the Wizards this season with a 94-100 loss.
The Wizards had a little swagger in their step as they took the court Friday night. Coming off a big win over the NBA-best Oklahoma City Thunder, the ‘zards went up against the Denver Nuggets and pummeled them in the first quarter. Washington scored a season-high 37 points and were in the game down to the end.
However the Wizards could not solve Denver’s Al Harrington, who led the Nuggets with 29 points. His dunk with 7.9 seconds left in the game sealed the Wizards’ fate in a 104-108 loss.