In today's Washington Wizards links, the team drops it's season opener on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers despite a valiant near-comeback in the fourth quarter sparked by Earl Barron. Really.
But the Barron's hands were steady links:
- Raise your hand if you had last-man-on-the-roster Earl Barron keying a near fourth quarter comeback in the Wizards' season opener. Alas, as will probably often be the case so long as John Wall, Nene and Kevin Seraphin are sidelined with injuries, the offense failed them down the stretch of last night's 94-84 loss to the Cavaliers. The Wiz shot poorly, couldn't rebound and had no answer for Kyrie Irving. Recaps: [Us | SB Nation DC | Washington Post | Washington Examiner | CSN Washington (recap, highlights) | Truth About It | Wiz of Awes | Wizards Extreme | DC Pro Sports Report | SB Nation Cleveland | Fear The Sword | The Plain Dealer | Box score & highlights | Popcorn Machine | Postgame interviews]
- It was also a less-than-inspiring regular season debut for Bradley Beal, who was outplayed by fellow rookie Dion Waiters. Mike thinks Randy Wittman and Beal are both to blame, writing the coach needs to loosen the reins on his prized rookie, who in turn needs to act like he's one of the team's best players, especially with Wall and Nene sidelined.
- Several NBA scribes have commented that they expect a big first month from Beal with Wall out. Last night wasn't the best start, but it's just one game. [NBA.com]
- Nene wants to be on the court with his teammates, but he also doesn't want to come back too soon and re-aggravate the plantar fasciitis in his left foot. [Washington Times]
- Seems the Wizards have a new folk hero each season. Is Barron next on that list? [CSN Washington]
- Wall is among several star players that could start the year injured. [TrueHoop]
- I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that, of all the win-loss predictions we could find for the Wizards' 2012-13 season, three of the four most optimistic were us homers here at BF (Derek and Jake didn't get the company memo, obvi). What is surprising is that noted Wizards-hater John Hollinger predicted the second-best record for the Wiz and even more surprising is that notorious D.C.-hater Mike Wilbon is the only one with them in the playoffs (cue requisite "PLAYOFFS?!?!") Most everyone has them finishing better than the Vegas over/under, which means what exactly?
- More Wizards predictions from D.C. media members. [CSN Washington]
- Gilbert Arenas was reportedly having problems getting a contract signed to play in China, but now it sounds like he's on his way. [Sportando, @SportandoBasket]
- Deron Snyder can't figure why the NBA thought Wiz-Cavs was an appropriate game to schedule on opening night alongside Heat-Celtics and Lakers-Mavericks. My guess is the NBA was planning on the Wizards having a healthy Wall to go up against Irving. [Washington Times]
- Speaking of which, the Heat spanked the Celtics 120-107 and the Mavericks spoiled the new-look Lakers' home debut with a 99-91 win.
- Tom Ziller gives us 50 reasons to hate the Lakers, while Andrew Sharp gives us just 25 reasons to hate the Heat. Slacker.
- Amare Stoudemire is now expected to miss six-to-eight weeks with a knee injury. Is it too late to take back my prediction that the Knicks will win the eight-seed? [SB Nation | ESPN | @Chris_Broussard]
- Andrew Bynum also remains out indefinitely with a knee injury. [Sporting News]
- The Nuggets have reportedly signed Ty Lawson to a four-year, $48 million extension. [SB Nation | Yahoo! Sports]
- David Stern might be retiring in 2014, but it appears he's already checked out mentally when it comes to keeping his natural disasters in order. [Ball Don't Lie]
- Scottie Pippen wants to coach in the NBA and have Phil Jackson be his GM. [Fansided]