At a time in the season when winning games can almost be detrimental to team development, the Wizards continue to find ways to confound their fans. Monday nights 87-84 win in Chicago gives the team hope for the future, but in the present it all but hands over the #1 overall selection to the Charlotte Bobcats.
I don’t mean to trash the Wizards for winning a game. This season has been almost unbearable to watch as a longtime Wizards fan. The early season struggles teamed with player immaturity has led to one of the worst seasons in franchise history. So, when our young guys like Kevin Seraphin (more on him later), Chris Singleton, and John Wall find ways to contribute in beating a quality opponent we, as fans, need to take notice. Still, mired in a 15-46 season, the Wiz are in need to major help moving forward; major help that will come by way of the NBA draft.
Regardless of where the Wizards will be picking in the draft, Monday’s win was impressive. Not too impressive, as the Bulls were without their two best players (Derrick Rose and Luol Deng sat out due to injury), but impressive enough when you see how well our young players have progressed throughout the season.
Most notably: Kevin Seraphin. There was a time last year when Seraphin (the 17th selection in the 2010 draft) looked lost, confused, and out of shape. He sat on the end of the Wizards bench, never getting playing time behind Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee. This season with the trade of McGee and subsequent benching of Blatche, Seraphin has gotten his chance and made the best of it.
Averaging 20 minutes a game this season Seraphin has posted career highs in all categories, most notably in points (7.4), rebounds (4.8), and blocks (1.4) while shooting 53% from the floor. Last night in 43 minutes against Chicago, Seraphin scored 21 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and blocked 5 shots; easily his best overall game of the season against the strong front line of Chicago (Boozer, Noah, Asik, Gibson).
With Seraphin going to work down low, John Wall was able to let the game come to him (it might’ve helped that the reigning MVP, Derrick Rose, wasn’t out there to attack Wall). Wall finished with 16 points and 5 assists in 36 minutes.
These young Wizards haven’t won many games. They’ve been laughing stocks for part of the season, projects for another, but they haven’t stopped working. Last night’s game was one few lottery-bound teams would’ve show up for. The Bulls have been the best team in the NBA (record wise) this season, with or without Rose and Deng they’ve been competitive. A win in Chicago is one of the few solid victories of the season for the Wizards.
With only five games left (two against the Heat…) the Wizards are out to prove that they can play with anyone. It’s a new team in D.C. with an all new attitude. It will take some time to round this young team into a competitive group, but they’re beginning to show signs now. Makes one wonder what could be in store next year.
Coming Up: vs. Bucks Wednesday, @ Heat Saturday, vs. Charlotte 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.