Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Washington Wizards Mid-Season Report Card

Photo courtesy of
‘All Alone’
courtesy of ‘MudflapDC’

Last night the Wizards closed out the first half of the 2010-2011 NBA season in a way that characterizes their season so far.

A loss.

It was a loss on the road, bringing the Wizards to a road record of 1-26. Thank goodness for the post-LeBron Cavaliers for getting that monkey off our backs. Wednesday’s loss to the Magic was worse than a devastating, last-minute defeat like their loss against The Heat.

It was apathetic.

Apathetic in terms of the attendance I’ve seen at home games,where the lower level is a sea of empty seats. Apathetic where you wouldn’t think twice about leaving in the last quarter if the Wiz were down. Apathetic where we look talk about the Redskins, Capitals, and even the Nationals.

The Wizards may not be last place in the NBA, but they are last place in DC sports.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Wizards completely embarrassed by Spurs

Photo courtesy of
‘Flip Saunders’
courtesy of ‘Keith Allison’

Don’t blink.

Ah, you blinked, didn’t you?

You missed it then.

What did you miss?

Any semblance of the Wizards being competitive against the Spurs at Verizon Center on Saturday night. San Antonio rolled through Washington and trounced the Wizards like a line of ants across the highway with a 118-94 victory.

It was not even that close.

Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Wizards Collapse Late In Defeat Against Hawks

Photo courtesy of
‘Wizards’
courtesy of ‘erin m’

There’s no “me” in Wizards.

Go with me on this one, I had to change up the adage a little bit.

After half-time the Wizards went back onto the floor trailing the Atlanta Hawks 52-46. Over the course of the second half the Wizards managed to catch back up to within striking distance but didn’t have enough juice in the final quarter and fell short 92-99. The key difference was in their free throw shooting where they went 8-18, compared to 26-35 from the Hawks. Doesn’t matter if you criticize the FT% or the free throw attempts, it’s still a terrible number.

On the surface the team didn’t do too bad: the players shot 50%, Nick Young had another solid night with 21 points (and a new fro), and Al Thornton had a dunk that is already being called “Dunk of the Year.

The problem is the team isn’t performing to the true sum of the parts. Everybody is trying to one the game on their own, not as a team.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Arenas returns to help Magic grind out Wizards

Photo courtesy of
‘Introducing Gilbert Arenas’
courtesy of ‘afagen’

It came down to a grind.

The Wizards do not grind well.

Dwight Howard had 22 points and 15 rebounds, Jameer Nelson had 11 assists against one turnover and weary Magic blew away the Wizards at Verizon Center 110-92.

It was the first game that Gilbert Arenas, traded for Rashard Lewis in December, played the team he had been with for seven years. He got a mixed ovation when he first entered the game late in the first quarter and, ironically, was the epitome of the grind that the Magic used to carry the win. Arenas played 24:38 and had 10 points, six assists and six rebounds and when it was time to play defense handled himself beyond his coach’s expectations.

Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Nuggets Get On Top Of Wizards In A Chinatown Shoot-Out

Photo courtesy of
‘Rashard Lewis and Carmelo Anthony’
courtesy of ‘Keith Allison’

What happened to the defensive stops that the Wizards displayed in their surprise victory over Boston? After following that up with a high scoring loss against the New York Knicks, the Wizards return to the Verizon Center with another high scoring shoot-out defeat against the Denver Nuggets.

The Wizards, who typically shoot 44% from the floor, drained 51% of their shots in the 120-109 loss. Per usual Nick Young led the night with 26 points and Andray Blatche had a great game with 25 points, 15 of them in the first quarter alone. John Wall facilitated the offense with 13 assists.

Sounds like a great night offensively for the Wizards- where did we go wrong?

Denver had a better night.

Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Meet The Newest Washington Wizard: Mustafa Shakur

Photos courtesy DC Sports Bog

The Wizards were dangerously low on Point Guards heading into last Saturday’s game against the Boston Celtics. The night before Kurt Hinrich sustained an elbow injury and wouldn’t be able to play in the game. Late Friday night, the team decided to call up Mustafa Shakur from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Shakur arrived to the Verizon Center on Saturday and found an NBA jersey with his name and number on it.

However it wasn’t a perfect fit. That’s what you get when you are signed and asked to play within the same 24 hours.

That didn’t stop Shakur from making an immediate contribution, starting Point Guard John Wall ran into foul trouble early in the game and just like that Shakur would make his debut in the NBA.

Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Wall’s Last Second Shot Clinches A Shocker Over Celtics

Photo courtesy Patrick Pho

Yesterday I said the Wizards didn’t possess the perseverance to overcome a deficit in a Friday night loss to the Suns.

Last night they found it, and hung around to upset the Celtics in a thrilling 85-83 win.

There weren’t that many As to put up on the “Great Wall of Assists” (Wall had only four assists), in fact the sell-out crowd was so packed they couldn’t hang signs because there were too many standing room only patrons. John Wall ended a 16 point, 6 rebound game with a three-pointer with 57 seconds left in the game to put the Wizards on top for the first time all night. The team managed to hold on after the Celtic’s Paul Pierce tried for a last-second game winner of his own and missed.

“I felt good, got a great look- it just wasn’t my night,” the Celtics captain said post-game.

The game started with a 35-20 Boston lead in the first quarter and it started to feel like another bad night for the Wiz was in store. Washington dug deep and managed to hang around, battling their way throughout the night. After flirting within a point for most of the second half they managed to take the lead after the offense that kept Boston on top all night started to falter.

Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Wiz Can’t Stop Frye In Loss To Suns

Photo courtesy John Powell

You look at the roster of the Phoenix Suns and there are a few familiar names: Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Vince Carter. Combined the three have 41 years of NBA experience. Of course there are older teams in the league (tonight the Wizards take on the Celtics) but the point is that the Wizards are a very young team and their inexperienced showed in last night’s 109-91 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

The game started off quite well for the Wizards. Washington got up 33-22 after the first quarter and John Wall already got himself nine assists. The Wizards looked dominant as the press raced to the record books to see if Wall was on a record pace in single game assists.

However the second quarter was a different story. The team was unable to keep the pace they set in the beginning and the Wizards let the Suns catch up and get ahead with the help of Channing Frye, who led the team with 25 points including a 7-11 effort at the 3-point line.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Young’s fire roasts Raptors as Wizards win

Photo courtesy of
‘John Wall and Nick Young’
courtesy of ‘Keith Allison’

For those of you who were busy watching football all day, the Wizards played a game at Verizon Center Saturday night.

And they won.

Washington defeated Toronto 98-95 behind Nick Young who caught fire to the tune of 18 third-period points and were able to hang on at the end for their 11th victory of the season.

It was a better effort for the Wizards than what has been seen out of the team for stretches this season. It was not one of those games that required them to dig in with a lot of heart to pull it out nor did they have to overcome any mountain of adversity. It was just a win, a solid game where they kept themselves in it when they Raptors delivered their blows and execute well enough to come out on top. In the end it was a normal style win for an NBA basketball team.

That is not something the Wizards are used to.

Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Coach Saunders Uses Viral Video To Inspire Wizards In Victory Over Nets

Andray Blatche’s new haircut (photo Patrick Pho)

Earlier this week we said that Andray Blatche was growing malcontent. He’s slumping, the center of trade rumors, and hasn’t been winning fans over.

He didn’t act like that during warm-ups last night.

Sporting his crazy new ‘do he warmed up today all smiles. He laughed with players and in a moment of playfulness gave his basketball to a girl on the sidelines and asked her to inbound it back to him. The energy appeared to be infectious amongst the team as the Wizards trounced all over the New Jersey Nets 97-77.

Where did this newfound energy come from? Would you believe a viral video?

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

Wizards Top Pacers Without Coach

Photo courtesy Patrick Pho

It maybe the holidays for many of us here in DC but for the Wizards it was all business as the team was close to full strength after a holiday road trip in Texas. After losses to San Antonio and Houston, the team remains win-less on the road perhaps a return to Chinatown to take on the Indianapolis Pacers would turn things around. The Pacers traveled to Washington, DC with a road losing streak of their own- a six game stretch without a road win.

Well it looked like the home cooking helped. With John Wall, Andray Blatche, and JaVale McGee back on the floor the Wizards topped the Pacers 104-90.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Wizards stymied in second half, dropped by Bulls

Photo courtesy of
‘Nick Young’
courtesy of ‘Keith Allison’

The Wizards looked good in the first quarter.

That was about it.

The Bulls blew in to Verizon Center on Wednesday and stole the wand from the Wizards en route to a 87-80 victory behind solid performances from Carlos Boozer  who had 30 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Derrick Rose was also able to do some damage to the Wizards backcourt  to the tune of 25 points, five rebounds and five assists.

“You can see what great instincts he has to score 30 points, every night he knows how to find seams around the basket. The way he is rebounding the ball is a testament to his ability,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said.

Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Wizards Break Losing Streak In A Bobcats Blowout

Photo courtesy of
‘Nick Young’
courtesy of ‘Keith Allison’

Last time the Wizards took on the Bobcats they were outplayed in a 93-85 loss. Tonight the Wizards had their revenge in a 108-75 blowout.

In the second game of the post-Arenas era, Nick Young continues to score points in his new starting role. He took shots from all over the field and went 8-13 for 21 points.

Kurt Hinrich also looked great tonight as he weaved through the Charlotte defense. With 11 assists and 18 points he knew when to facilitate and when to take the shot. I asked Kurt about an expanded role with this new team and he replied, ”I’ve been playing a lot of minutes, I feel comfortable playing as a point guard and the guys have just been doing a good job moving the ball.”

Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Features

Wizards dig for ways to lose, dropped by Heat in final seconds

Photo courtesy of
‘Kirk Hinrich’
courtesy of ‘Keith Allison’

Drama of the magnitude seen on Saturday at Verizon Center does not often happen when the Wizards are involved.

First, Gilbert Arenas, the enigmatic scorer and chaotic former face of the franchise (hello John Wall) gets traded to Orlando. Then the feel-good story of beating LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and the Heat after the histrionics of the afternoon gets snapped away in the final seconds as Washington blows a five-point lead with 18.4 seconds left to lose to Miami 95-94.

What it boils down to is that the young Wizards really have no idea how to close out a game.

And the Heat do.

“Get down the stretch and we did just about everything that you have to do wrong to lose a game and they did everything right,” head coach Flip Saunders said.

That just about sums it up.

Washington was in tenuous control over Miami for much of the game. The game was a see-saw that the Heat were never able to quite balance in their favor until the final seconds. The Wizards would go up by six or eight only to have Miami climb back to tie it before Washington would do it again. It looked like Washington had finally gotten the better of the Heat in the fourth period, jumping out to an 80-72 lead, a margin they would hold more or less until the final two minutes or so.

Then, as it so often is in the NBA, the drama started.

Continue reading

News, Sports Fix, The Features

Adios Gilbert: Wizards swap Arenas for Lewis

Photo courtesy of
‘Arenas lets it fly’
courtesy of ‘afagen’

The Wizards have made a trade with the Magic that will send Gilbert Arenas to Orlando in exchange for small forward Rashard Lewis.

“We traded Gilbert Arenas to Orlando for Rashard Lewis,” general manager Ernie Grunfeld said. “We think that Rashard will help our front court with his experience, his versatility, his ability to stretch the defense. He is a 39 percent career three-point shooter and when you have a point guard like John (Wall) who likes to penetrate and distribute, you need people who are going to stretch the defense and be on the outside.”

It is reportedly a straight-up swap with Arenas and Lewis both having hefty contracts that their franchises would like to be done with. Arenas is owed $60 million in the end of his deal while Lewis has a few years remaining on the gargantuan $118 million deal he signed with the magic heading into the 2007-08 season.

Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Video: Ron Artest Talks About Meeting Obama And Wiz’s Nick Young

Photo courtesy of
‘Lake Show!’
courtesy of ‘Jason Rosenberg’

Last night a streak was broken in basketball. Unfortunately  I’m not talking about the Wizards’ current losing streak. Their sixth loss in a row (13th on the road) ended an eight-game losing streak for the New Jersey Nets. The 97-89 loss did have one silver lining: another great game for backup guard Nick Young. Young scored 22 points in the losing effort and now has back-to-back games of 20 points. Young is having a strong season as an offensive spark off the bench and in a conversation with Laker’s forward Ron Artest I talked to him about Young’s improvement while he spoke about his recent meeting with President Obama. I also got a chance to get a quote from Young about his play in a game where his team is often behind.

Watch the video after the cut.

Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Kobe And The Lakers Dominate The Wizards

Photo courtesy Patrick Pho

It was challenging enough that both John Wall and Andray Blatche were listed as inactive prior to Tuesday’s game against the Lakers. The starting line-up of Thornton, Yi, McGee, Arenas, and Hinrich were quickly depleted when McGee picked up two fouls and Yi left the game with a knee sprain that will now keep him off the court for 2-4 weeks. Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Stoudemire Puts On Shooting Clinic As Wizards Drop One At Home

Photo courtesy Patrick Pho

The Knicks  entered the Verizon Center Friday night riding a seven game winning streak on the road.

In other words they were exactly the team the Wizards are aspiring to be after starting the season 0-12 on the road. The Wiz came back home after a long stretch away from DC, playing the last five out of six on the road.

However the home cooking wasn’t as sweet as Knicks fans filled the seats inside the Phone Booth, making some wonder if this should be counted as an away game. Of course when you play a local big market like New York having a few extra fans cheering for the away team should be expected.

Continue reading

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Wizards Beats 76ers In Overtime… Again!

Photo by Patrick Pho

The last time the Sixers came into the Verizon Center the story was all about the top two picks in the 2010 draft facing head-to-head. Turner ended up playing 27 minutes off the bench while Wall started and scored 29 points the night.

Tonight the tables have turned, Turner ran out of the tunnel as a starter while Wall sat on the bench- active but still recovering from a left foot sprain. He entered the game in the first quarter to cheers but didn’t look like himself as he passed the ball around to shooters that put up bricks early in the game. The one thing that did stay the same for the Wizards this time around was the result: a Victory in overtime. Thanks to a game clinching shot by Nick Young and another strong performance from JaVale McGee, the Wiz eek out past the Sixers 116-114.

Continue reading