Jan 11, 2012

Off the Schneid!

Hallelujah! Amen! The Wiz Kidz finally won! And if you think that Zards ALards! wasn't in attendance, half court, 15 rows up, FOR 26 DOLLARS (seriously people, stubhub.com), well you've got another thing coming.

The Wiz came in to Tuesday night's contest fresh off a 20-point beating at the hands of the Timberwolves, an exciting young team that will probably lose more games than it wins. During the fourth quarter of that drubbing, the boo birds had made themselves heard, and there were reports of vicious heckling from presumably die-hard fans. The loss made it eight straight to start the season, which, combined with Rashard Lewis' refusal to play, Andray Blatche's Twitter shenanigans, and John Wall having a big frowny face (actual Flip Saunders quote, "I told him, if... he doesn't have a smile on his face, I'm going to take him out.") compelled the Washington Post to devote space on the front page to chronicle the team's ineptitude. Not the front page of the sports section. The front page of the entire newspaper. Just to the right of "Iranian court sentences alleged U.S. spy to death."

Nonetheless, the ZA staff was present, and our faith was rewarded with an energetic but evenly fought first quarter, a delightfully dominant second and third, and a supremely satisfying final of Washington 93, Toronto 78. In the afterglow, let's ask two obvious questions (and do so with smiles on our faces):

1. How the heck did that happen? Sometimes obvious questions have obvious answers. Flip shook things up and started youngsters Chris Singleton and Trevor Booker in place of Rashard Lewis and Andray Blatche, and they play with a sense of urgency the two veterans often lack. Rookie Jan Vesely may have made an even bigger impact, packing in five steals, two offensive boards, and two immensely satisfying dunks in just 16 minutes off the bench. John Wall was playing fast but in control all night, ringing up nine assists to only two turnovers. Most of all, the Wizards played as a team, rotating and recovering well on defense, and spreading the ball on offense, where five players took at least 10 shots, but none took more than 13.

2. Can we do it again? Well, the Wiz should be able to replicate this kind of effort and teamwork most nights, especially if they keep giving minutes to Booker and Singleton instead of Blatche and Lewis (not to mention Crawford, who will receive a post all his own). The problem is, Book and Singles both struggle to score, and the Wiz already have a serious issue with scoring. As in, they are dead last in the league in scoring, and between them and even just second to last, there stands a yawning chasm of unscored points. When you're that bad at half of the game, wins are going to be really tough to come by.

But hey, we won, remember? So cheer up! John Wall blocked three jumpers against the Raptors; that is astonishingly difficult. Javale is beginning to resemble an actual player, as opposed to a man on a pogo stick who wandered into the middle of a basketball game. And the Czech kid had the place going bananas on multiple occasions.

Are the Wiz the worst team in the league? Probably. But here at ZA, we pledge to find the fun in that and share it with you.

Just maybe skip tonight against Chicago. Thibodeau's not big on fun.


  1. The Wizards 88.4 pts per 100 possessions mark is not just the worst in the NBA this year, it is the worst in the NBA all time.

    Think about that, the Wizards are currently the worst offensive team in NBA history.

  2. 16 Rows up for $8 bucks. Get on your stubhub game