As I settled in to my usual spot on the baseline along with other media members I noticed and commented to my pals at Comcast Sports how there was a decent showing of fans in the building for a Tuesday night game and having lost 12 in a row. There was a bit more energy in the building and shooting pre game I saw players going through their drills, laughing and joking and it seemed they were ready after coming off a brutal west coast road trip that saw them lose all their games.
The game started off well but about 7 minutes into it Andray Blatche got into some altercation with Coach Flip Saunders and found himself on the end of the bench the rest of the night. Just when it seems the ship is righting itself the captain has to yell, "Man Over Board!" The rest of the Wiz kids played hard and the showcase for me was seeing Al Thornton step in and play hard on both ends of the court. Mike Miller started strong which was nice to see after what seemed to be a 7-9 game slump.
Shaun Livingston continues to impress me. His smoothness, fluidity and court awareness is unrivaled on the current squad. He shows high IQ and what you dont see during the games is his off the bench coaching. He is constantly standing up shouting instructions to his team mates and encouraging them on. I know it's early but I could see the title "Asst Coach Livingston" somewhere after he hangs up the shoes. In the end the Wiz kids played strong but like Coach Saunders said at the end of the game. "We simply ran out of gas" Al Thorntons shot to send it into over time was nice but him fouling out early in OT sealed the deal for the team. Its hard to find solace in these moral victories but I'll take them until the sun shines again on the Wiz Kids
- Matt Naqvi Wizards Extreme Correspondant