(Ned Dishman/ Getty Images)
So how about those mighty mighty New York Knicks, huh? Riding a five game win streak; having defeated the Wizards 10 straight times going into the contest...man, their fans probably thought this one was in the books, right?
That's probably why 10,000 of them poured into the Verizon Center last night, morphing the stadium into MSG 2.0.
But that's also what made it sweeter to watch them mope towards the arena exits with gloom on their faces and lumps in their throats.
The Wizards defied odds once again last night after taking down yet another NBA powerhouse. Yep, the mass grave of championship contenders taken down by the Wiz Kids continues to pile after last night, with the Knicks being dumped right next to the Thunder, Heat and Bulls.
This team is gradually defining themselves with their confidence, perseverance and resilience. Let’s be honest, if this team was as mentally unstable as it had been prior to this season, there’s no way they “maintain”, as coach Wittman put it, against a talented team like the Knicks. There’s no way they overcome the overwhelming cheers of opposing bandwagon fans, with chants of “MVP” blaring through the arena every time Melo is at the line. Face it, there’s no way they WIN.
But thanks to guys like Martell Webster and John Wall, there’s no worry about that. While Wall continues to prove every ounce of his precious worth since returning from injury, Webster continues to solidify himself as last summer’s top free agent pickup. The two were simply brilliant down the stretch and helped the Wizards surge for 36 points in the final quarter. Wall scored nine of his 21 points, along with three assists, and Webster nailed a late 3-pointer (his fifth of the game) that essentially sealed the game and forced Knicks fans out of their seats before the final buzzer.
And how about a little love for Trevor Ariza and Chris Singleton? Singleton, who for most of the season had been in the doghouse (currently occupied by Jordan Crawford), was just as magnificent as Wall and Webster in that final quarter, scoring nine of his 10 points along with some very efficient defense. Ariza also scored nine points in the fourth, including a 4-point play at the beginning of the quarter that steered the Wizards back into the lead..for good.
Check out some post-game interviews with Wall and Webster...
"We're competing. We're competing against every team we play, no matter who it is." -- John Wall
"Now that we're clicking and got both our units healthy, we're playing full throttle." -- Martell Webster