Steve Buchantz in the 4th quarter: The bottom has dropped out for Washington!
Another blowout, so why do I feel so positive?
One of my enduring concerns during the Flip Saunders era was that the Wizards were employing a coach who attempted to extract chamber music out of essentially what was a rock band. Like a well tuned orchestra, for Saunders offense to work, every instrument needed to be finely tuned to hit the exact notes at the perfect moment.
Unfortunately, the Wizards are a little less Mozart and a bit more Germs. And tonight, Randy Wittman tapped into his inner "punk's not dead" and let the Wizards go essentially nuts for an entire game. The result, like many punk (or hardcore shows) may have not been the most technically proficient show you have seen, but it certainly was exhilarating and a change from a norm. It was sloppy, raucous, and loud, but it was definitively more "Wizards" than the previous 17 games. We all laughed at the possibility of "changing the pace," but it says something when one's lead singer (John Wall) has to take a blow during the first quarter due to the pace of play.
Is this a lasting recipe for success? I doubt it. But its a change and the Wizards seem more comfortable playing this style of ball. So let's see a few more games played in 4/4 time (Eds: Note: worst typo ever - thanks Elvin!), rather than the stately waltz in which we were engaged early in the season.
So its going to be sloppy and there are going to be a quite a few more blowouts coming to us this year. I'm resigned to the fact because we don't have the right lineup of band members. But somewhere, within the the complete beat down we just received from Houston, I can at least see a style of play I can get behind.
Notes after the break.
- The big story tonight was obviously Jan Vesely getting the starting nod tonight. Vesely, if anything, fits the new punk ethos. All over the place, slightly out of control, but fun to watch.
- The second biggest story? John Wall everyone. Reports of his demise might have been exaggerated. I'm not sure if this pace is going to make him a better point guard, but this free flowing style seems to suit his development at the moment. Wall appears to spending less time thinking about initiating the offense, and more time just "doing it." Going forward, I think the rest will come.
- The third biggest story. Kevin Seraphin lost six wisdom teeth. OK, not the third biggest thing. But six?
- If the young Wizards are punk rock, then Rashard Lewis is playing some easy listening music out there. He appeared to be disinterested in taking part in the night's proceedings. It might be time to take away his Kenny G CDs.
- Frenetic, all over the place defense. One has to appreciate it.
- However, frenetic, all over the place play leads to a huge amount of turnovers. Not so much a fan of those.
- I'm sure what to make of the "Heroes Three" tonight. When considering Blatche/Young/McGee, both Young and McGee excelled at the things we have come to expect, but still frustrated with several miscues throughout the game. McGee came out with a low motor at first, quickly adjusted and brought some energy and set a nice pick, and then reverted to wandering around the paint and losing Dalembert. Actually check that, McGee completely fell off the rails and appeared as if he wanted no part of Sam Dalembert. Young hit some tough shots, but his myopia on the offensive end is becoming a distraction. And Blatche...I don't know. He is still pressing, and hopefully his move to the bench brings some aspect of his game back.
- Honestly, its the oldest member of the band that are proving to be the biggest problem. I think that the Heroes Three need to go gig elsewhere.
- And then like all good shows....thing broke down completely three quarters through.
- Unfortunately, the Wizards lack a lead guitarist. Or in this case, someone who can put the ball through the basket. Raw energy and pathos will only get you so far. Honestly, I've made my bones with this and its not a problem I see the Wizards solving this season. Give me effort through the 4th quarter, and I will spare the "wicked pixels."
So do you enjoy the first two quarter of in the red play? Or are you disappointed when things fell apart in the second half? I think I'll have my answer tomorrow in Charlotte.