While Jeremy Lin continued to rule the airwaves, the Washington Wizards did something Tuesday night, something amazing, they won a basketball game. Not only did they win on the road for the second straight game, but they did so in resounding fashion; beating the Portland Trailblazers 124-109.
John Wall scored 29 points while dishing out 9 assists, Jordan Crawford added 21 points off the bench, and Nick Young led the team with a season-high 35 points.
Blazers leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge left the game only a few minutes into the first quarter with an ankle injury. From there, Blazers players said they went flat and never recovered.
“I think when he went down, the life went out of us,” Long time veteran center Marcus Camby said after the game. “It’s sad but true.”
With Aldridge out the Blazers fell behind early and never really threatened the Wizards lead. For once John Wall was seen smiling on the bench, celebrating as he watched his team actually outplay someone.
“It just felt good getting those 3′s knocked down,” Nick Young said. Young finished the game 7 of 8 from behind the 3 point line. “We were all jelling off each other. I feel like we are turning into a good team.”
Let’s not get carried away Nick…this is the first time your 7-22 team has won back to back games all season…
Still, there’s something to be said about two straight wins. The Wizards have been the subject of many sports writers’ jokes of late. Some have gone as far to say that the Wiz have the lowest collective IQ of any basketball team they’ve ever watched. Others have been hard on JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche for mindless errors and highlight bloopers.
As bad as it’s gotten this season the players and coaching staff have remained somewhat unaffected. Interim Head Coach Randy Wittman is now 5-7 since taking over for Flip Saunders after the 2-15 start. John Wall is a project, we know that now, but every time he has a night like Tuesday night it gives Wizards fans and prospective free agents something to look forward to.
We don’t know how the rest of this shortened NBA season will play out. Injuries and fatigue are at an all-time high. For the 14 teams that don’t make the playoffs this season, it’ll be how they develop talent and how well they take advantage of opertunistic trades and cap moves with the desperate fringe playoff teams. The Wizards should be in a position to shed a ton of cap space while picking up valuable draft picks and/or young players as the March 15th trade deadline approaches.
Will they make any moves? Will GM Ernie Grunfeld keep his job long enough to see this rebuild through? If the team puts a few more wins together, I’d say yes.
Coming Up: @Clippers tonight, @Jazz Friday, and @Suns to finish the road trip Monday
About the Author
Written by Frank Sullivan
Frank is a graduate of Old Dominion University, sports fan, author, and founder of TheBloosh.com. He's been working with prosportsblogging.com since April 2011, and has covered the Chicago Bulls, Baltimore Ravens, Virginia Tech Hokies Football, and the Washington Wizards. Frank can be reached @franksullivan on twitter.