Weekly Reflections: Washington Wizards Win Four Straight Games


Well, what a week that was!  After a 4-0 week, the Washington Wizards sit alone atop the Southeast Division and are in second place in the Eastern Conference, just behind the Toronto Raptors.

The Good

With the Washington Wizards going 4-0 over a seven day period, isn’t everything good? You want me to specify? Fine.

How about John Wall putting the team on his back in a double OT victory over the Boston Celtics while playing with a heavy heart? Or how about the Wizards going to Orlando and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat with a perfectly executed lob pass at the rim from Andre Miller to Bradley Beal with eight tenths of a second left on the clock? If that’s not enough, then you have a win over the streaking Los Angeles Clippers of the “mighty” Western Conference.

Not your cup of tea? How about capping off the week by handling their business at home versus the Utah Jazz and winning a game they should win – no letdown here!

Biggest Surprise

Can we call Rasual Butler a surprise anymore? His shooting came back to a Earth a little this week, but when coming back to earth still equals 38.5 percent shooting from the 3-point line for the week we wouldn’t really say the sky is falling.

Let’s be real, when you make the roster as a training camp invitee, your overall 3-point percentage is still above 50 percent on more than three attempts per game, AND your presence has convinced Randy Wittman to play small ball, you stay on this list until further notice.

Who’s Got Saturday Night Fever?

The Junior Mafia watch has been replaced with the “Saturday Night Fever”, an ode to players on the roster born in the 70’s.

While Rasual Butler would seemingly run away with this, I’m actually going with Andre Miller this week. How many players would have been able to execute the lob pass to Bradley Beal for the win with a 7-footer guarding the inbounds pass? The placement of the pass was perfect; something only a professor could pull off.

Player of the Week

John Wall: 18.25 ppg, 11.75 apg, 5 rpg, 1.25 bpg, 2.5 spg

I wanted to lean towards Bradley Beal, who seems to be shaking off the rust from his preseason injury. Beal seems to be rounding into form with a game winning shot versus Orlando, followed by a 29 point effort versus the pesky J.J. Reddick and the Clippers, and 23 point effort versus the Utah Jazz in his last three outings. That being said, you just can’t ignore the level John Wall is playing at.

The emotional performance versus the Celtics, the comeback effort versus Orlando in the fourth quarter, the showdown with Chris Paul, and the overall effort versus Utah show the range of his game right now. He’s firing on all cylinders and is elevating the team with his play. Also can you really not name the Eastern Conference Player of the Week the Wizard’s player of the week?

What’s Next?

The Washington Wizards have a light schedule this week with three games on tap.

Sandwiched between two games with Western Conference opponents is a matchup with the division rival Miami Heat. The Wizards will likely be facing a depleted Heat team with Josh McRoberts, Chris Bosh, and also Dwyane Wade possibly out of action. The onus once again will be on taking care of business and winning the games they should this week for the Wizards.

Random Thoughts of the Week

  • Will Glen Rice Jr. be a member of the Wizards this time next month? His contract is partially guaranteed and the team’s brass must decide by January 10th whether or not to guarantee his contract through the rest of the season. Will they cut or trade him to maintain roster flexibility?   For a team that’s getting old fast, it will be a shame to see young talents get squeezed in a numbers game.
  • 6-12. That’s the combined record of Nick Young, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, and Jordan Crawford versus the Washington Wizards since each of their respective departures.  In their returns to the Verizon Center, that record gets even worse (2-6). So much for the notion that everyone who leaves Washington becomes a star elsewhere (sorry, Nick Young has become more celebrity than basketball star) *Trevor Booker has earned exempt status from this list
  • Will Randy Wittman stick with Kris Humphries in a starting role? As a starter, Humphries is averaging 9.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game in roughly 28 minutes per game. His shooting is down a bit but the fit just seems right with Kris handling the dirty work with the starters while Nene anchors the offense for the second unit.
  • Small-Ball? Say it ain’t so Randy!! Randy Wittman has lately shown a greater willingness to play small with Rasual Butler and Paul Pierce playing together to close games recently. Let’s leave this one alone so we don’t jinx it!
  • Non-Wizards thought of the week: Firing Mike Malone is ridiculous. The Kings are 11-13 with DeMarcus Cousins missing 9 of their 24 games. It’s probably safe to say Randy Wittman wouldn’t have survived his 5-24 start to the 2012-2013 season under Kings’ management. By firing Malone now, isn’t Kings management showing that they had no intention sticking with Malone? If not, why go through the charade of letting him coach the season to begin with?

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