One last look at 2007

Yes, I know, it's already January 2, 2008, but before we open the chapter on this year, let's take one look back at the Wizards' 2007 year.

January:

3: Gilbert starts the new year off with a bang, hitting a game-winning three-pointer from about a million feet away to culminate a 108-105 win over the Bucks.  Keep in mind, this was back when Milwaukee was actually in the mix for the 8 spot in the Eastern Conference.  


5: After a 116-105 win over the Clippers, Gilbert celebrates his birthday with a huge bash that sent the blogosphere ablaze.  A full recap of relevant links can be found here.

15: On Martin Luther King day, Arenas culminated a 51 point effort with yet another game -winner, this time against the Jazz.  


17: Two days later, the Knicks double-team Arenas at the end of the game, but the Wizards swing the ball around, and eventually, after camping in the lane for 6 seconds, Caron Butler slams home the game-winner in a 99-98 victory.

30: A 104-99 win over the Pistons moves the Wizards to 27-17, putting them on top of the Eastern Conference.  The win comes at a cost, though, as Antawn Jamison twisted his knee and sat out for a month.  Many feel this is where the season started spiraling out of control.


February:

11: In perhaps the lowest moment of the season, the Wizards lose at home to Portland 94-73.  After vowing to score 50 points against the Trailblazers, Arenas scores just 9, and bogs down the offense with some bad shot attempts.

18: At all-star weekend, Gilbert Arenas starts at guard for the East and competes in the three-point shootout, Caron Butler plays in the all-star game, and Eddie Jordan coaches the East squad.  None of the three make much of an impact, but for the first time in a while, there's a legitimate Wizards presence.

March:

4: In perhaps the strangest game of the year, the Wizards escape with a 107-106 win over Golden State when Don Nelson gets called for a technical foul protesting a foul call on a Gilbert Arenas drive in the closing seconds.  Arenas hits all three free throws, moving the team's record to 33-25.

10-11: Officially known as the Weekend of Heartbreak.  First, Steve Francis of all people hits a game winning three to give the Knicks a 90-88 win over the Wizards in the phonebooth.  The next day, Udonis Haslem of all people gets a wide-open look at the rim to give Miami a 106-104 win.  

21: Arenas scores 42 points, the last of which come on a spectacular buzzer-beating floater, as the Wizards beat Seattle 100-98.  It turns out to be the only good moment on a devastating 1-4 road trip that pushed the Wizards out of the driver's seat in the Southeast Division.

30: Actually, this was the low point of the season.  The Wizards seem on their way to a solid three-point win over Toronto when the Raptors' inbound pass in the final seconds was intercepted by Michael Ruffin.  But in true Ruffin fashion, he foolishly tosses the ball in the air to run out the clock, even though there was plenty of time left.  Morris Peterson catches the ball and hits a three in Caron Butler's face to force overtime, where the Raptors eventually won.  Making matters worse, it was the last time the Wizards played with a fully healthy squad.


April:

1: End of a season part 1: Caron Butler breaks his hand in a 121-107 win over Milwaukee.

4: End of a season part 2: Gilbert Arenas tears his left knee meniscus in a second straight loss to the Bobcats.

17: The shorthanded Wizards fall below .500 with a 95-89 loss to the Magic, despite 48 points from Antawn Jamison.


30: The season ends with a 97-90 loss to the Cavaliers, the Wizards' fourth straight in the series.  Wizards fans immediately dream of next year with a healthy Butler and Arenas.  How crazy were we...

May:

8: A report in the Washington Times indicates that Brendan Haywood demanded to be traded.  He later denies the report, and as we all know and appreciate, he's still here.

June:

10: Despite his injury, Gilbert confirms his intention to opt-out of his contract at the end of this season.  I needlessly go crazy, and now that he's hurt again, Gilbert is probably reconsidering that decision.

28: Nick Young and Dominic McGuire become the newest Wizards when they are selected with the 16th and 47th pick, respectively.  The team becomes infinitively more fun thanks to their presence.  

July:

3: Juan Carlos Navarro announces his intention to come play for the Wizards next season, as he agreed with FC Barcelona to have his buyout lowered considerably.  This story isn't over.

7: Tom Thibodeau signs, then steps down immediately.  This is noteworthy because he eventually went to the Celtics, who have the league's best defense this year.  

14: DeShawn resigns for 4 years and 15 million.  The fourth year is an option.

24: The Wizards replace Thibodeau with former Philly assistant Randy Ayers, who has improved the defense this year.

August:

2: One day before he was set to sign a contract, Andray Blatche is arrested for solicitation.  

16: After a month-long saga that made everyone want to pull out their hair, the Wizards finally trade Juan Carlos Navarro to Memphis for a conditional first-round pick.  The second-guessing commences.

17: Blatche eventually signs for 5 years and 15 million, which is more than what he was set to sign for before the prostitution arrest.

21: A man is shot at DeShawn Stevenson's house in Florida.  Luckily, Stevenson wasn't involved, but it sure set off a lot of "Washington JailWizards" jokes.

September:

23: Michael Ruffin signs with Milwaukee, and Wizards nation rejoices.

24: Roger Mason re-signs, turning down a three-year offer from San Antonio to return.  Right now, it's looking like a smart investment.

October:

2: On the day of training camp, the Post's Mike Wise comes out with a column detailing the tension between Gilbert Arenas and Eddie Jordan.  Due to Gilbert's injury, this becomes a moot point.  On the same day, John Hollinger predicts the Wizards will only win 33 games this year.  Almost there, John!

10: Etan Thomas undergoes heart surgery and will miss the season.

29: Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribute speculates that the Wizards are a darkhorse in the Kobe sweepstakes, offering Arenas and filler.  As usual, this rumor fizzles quickly, but it sure was a fun idea to discuss.

31: Gilbert ties the game with a buzzer beater, but the Wizards eventually lose in overtime to Indiana in the season opener.


November:

10: A blowout home loss to the Nuggets drops the Wizards to 0-5, and brings out the panic gene in all of us.

21: Gilbert decides to have more surgery on his knee, which will keep him out for 3-4 months.  On the same night, the Arenas-less Wizards win in Charlotte for their seventh straight win after the 0-5 start.

26: Caron Butler puts on a three-point shooting clinic in the Wizards' 110-98 win at Dallas.

December:

13: A national television win over hapless Miami causes some to speculate as to whether the Wizards are better without Arenas.  The point is still open to debate, but without Arenas, the Wizards have remained over .500.

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