“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.”
This is the opening of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, or it is a description of the Washington Wizards this season. This season is the Tale of Two Teams. There is the team that beat the Oklahoma Thunder, played the Nuggets, Knicks, and Celtics close, and looks the part of a young team chock full of talent.
Then there is the team that travelled to Philly last night. This is the team that we've seen most of the season: a team plagued by laziness, selfishness, and a complete lack of understanding regarding the principles of basketball.
I'm a Wizards season ticket holder and a lifelong fan; it's not the losing that bothers me. I'm fully aware that this is the beginning of a rebuild. What really burns me up is the way the Wizards lose. In the Celtics game on Sunday, Rajon Rondo sat out and Ray Allen got hurt early in the game and the Wiz Kids took advantage, playing the Celtics close all game and even holding the lead.
Then Paul Pierce took over the game, like a Finals MVP should. It would be nice, but I don't expect to win those games. A veteran team should outplay this young Wizards team especially in crunch time. They have not learned how to finish games yet, ahem Flip. Even the win against the Thunder, the Wizards came perilously close to giving the game away. With all that said, I'm ok with this. Fans have to remain rational, the team is young and inexperienced so expecting them to come out and perform like the elite teams in the league is delusional at best and masochistic at worst. Expectations must be in line with reality.
Now what cannot be expected, tolerated, or condoned are the games like last night. The Wizards were awfully atrocious against the 76ers.
Granted, it was the second game in a row and they were coming off a narrow loss to a good team but the Wizards looked like they would rather be anywhere but the Wells Fargo Arena. This was evident by the 30-point halftime deficit - that is not a misprint - they were down 30 at the half!!
As I stated earlier, I don’t expect the Wiz Kids to win every game, but what I do expect is effort, energy, and hustle. All three were sorely lacking last night. Just when you think the team has turned the corner and figured out some the basic tenets of successful basketball they have a game like last night. The sad part is that game was indicative of the Wizard’s season. The phrase, “This can’t get any worse” does not apply to the collection of players the Wizards have, I hesitate to call them a team. You know things were bad when I start rooting for Jordan Crawford to chuck it up because somebody has to score. Somebody check my temperature.
Maybe it’s because of the constant booing every time he touches the ball, AT HOME, but Andray Blatche has becoming deathly afraid of wide open jump shots, which he loves as much as fat kids love cake. Recently he has been favoring pump faking the wide open jumper, allowing the defender to close in on him and then taking the contested jumper.
I must be sick. I have just advocated for both ‘Dray and Jordan to shoot more. Tebow take the wheel. Wizards fan have no idea which team will show up on any given night. When the good team shows up, they can beat the Thunder, the best of times. When the bad team shows up, they can’t beat anyone, the worst of times.