The Washington Wizards fell to the Indiana Pacers Thursday night 93-89. Now losers of five straight games, the Wiz need to find a way to right the ship and build momentum heading into the stretch run of the 2012 season.
This week marked the first week all year that the Wizards have received national press coverage! Sadly it was for all the wrong reasons. Listen, I love Gary Williams, the former University of Maryland head coach, but when he went on record saying that the current Kentucky University basketball team could defeat the Wizards he started some fires that are hard to put out.
In saying the Wizards would lose to a college team Williams started a national debate that had two sides: 1) How good, i.e. how many future pros/stars are currently on the Wildcats roster? and 2) How bad are the Washington Wizards? For someone who only a few months openly spoke about his interest in the seemingly open Wizards head coaching job this summer, Williams sure knows how to rally the fans to his cause.
So that story had serious legs this week, all the while the Wizards have continued to lose games while the Wildcats are two wins away from a national title. Thanks Gary, it’s not like these Wizards didn’t have enough problems already; oh, you know with the trade deadline moves that practically made them a new team, or the coaching void, or the Andray Blatche situation where we’re paying a guy to stay as far away from the team as possible…thanks Gary, just fuel to the fire.
For the record: the Wizards would beat Kentucky by double-digits. Remember John Wall at Kentucky? Remember how he was far and away the most explosive player in college basketball at the time? He’d take personal offense to all this Kentucky/Wiz talk and make a statement. Not to mention the fact that Nene is a legitimate starting center (however overpaid and on the decline he may be) in the league, he’d dominate on the inside. Sadly, those are the only two Wizards I think would be an arm and a leg better than their Kentucky counterparts.
Speaking of John Wall, his inconsistency is starting to become a huge concern. Last night he played 34 minutes, scored 13 points (4-9 from the field), had only two assists, and turned the ball over five times. To be fair he has played better since the All-Star break and he has shown signs that he’s starting to figure out some of the subtle nuances of the position. Still, in a game that turned out to be close down the stretch, Wall was a non-factor against Indiana and that cannot happen if the Wiz are going to become competitors.
Last night’s game starts a tough seven games in nine nights stretch for the Wizards. This should be the last truly rough patch in their scheudle as the regular season winds down. They’re headed for the lottery and a top-five draft pick (one would assume). Whatever momentum, if any, that they can build now will pay huge dividends during the offseason (for potential free agents) and moving forward next season.
Coming Up: vs. Philly tonight, @ Toronto Sunday, vs. Milwaukee 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.