It wasn't the most inspiring way to enter the playoffs, but at least the Wizards finally found a way to win a close game. Granted, if the referees call that foul on Mike Dunleavy's tying shot, and if Ike Diogu hits even one of those free throws, this might be a different story.
Still, the very fact that the Wizards actually won a close game has to be a psychological boost, even if they should have put it away after going up 8 with under 3 minutes to play.
The Wizards did play very well. They held Indiana to 43 percent shooting, and got to the free throw line enough where the 12 missed ones didn't matter. The only reason Indiana was close was because they hit half of their three-pointers. Everyone except for Antawn Jamison (understandable) and Jarvis Hayes (obviously not understandable) shot well from the field, and the offense looked relatively fluid out there.
Most importantly, however, is that, one day after submitting an absolute crapfest in the loss to Orlando, Brendan Haywood played some really good minutes. He had double-figure points, and was an enforcer on the defensive end. If he can provide those types of minutes consistently (which, honestly, is asking a hell of a lot), that should only make the Wizards' two-headed inside monster better.
Again, it wasn't the best way to go out, but I guess it could have been worse.
Speaking of situations that could have been worse, I'm actually very happy to see Cleveland here instead of Chicago. The Wizards match up awfully against the Bulls, and I think that would have been a sure sweep. But there's something about Cleveland that just isn't that scary. Maybe it's because the Wizards were basically their equal last year. Maybe it's because, outside of LeBron, the rest of their team isn't all that reliable in key situations. Maybe it's because the only other key to shutting them down is cutting off their offensive rebounding. Maybe it's because of that game at the VC, right after Arenas got hurt, where the Wizards held a lead throughout and should have won. I don't see us winning, but I think it will be more competitive.
We'll break this thing down extensively leading up to Game 1, but for now, let's enjoy a victory in the final game of the year.