Editor's Note: Bumped to front. I'm moving to a new apartment, so I'm not around much in the next couple days. This was a really good FanPost that merits further discussion. -Mike
Like most of you, I'm excited about the way our Wizards are finishing out the season. We've won 5 of 7, many of which came against playoff teams on the road. We'll probably make it 6 of 8 tonight versus the putrid Bobcats. Optimism abounds for next season.
But what makes this year's "strong finish" any different than similar "strong finishes" the past two years?
In the wake of Guns-Gate™ the 2009-2010 Wizards finished on a strong note, winning 5 of their final 9 games. With an emerging star in Andray Blatche, an unleashed Javale McGee, and vets like Shaun Livingston, Mike Miller, and James Singleton, the team seemed poised for a future breakout, and finally discovered how to finish games. This included a convincing road win in Boston, toppling a Chris Paul-led Hornets team in the NO, and home blowouts of New Jersey and Golden State. Perhaps the most frustrating "win" of this late season surge happened in the season finale when Cedric Jackson lived out his Hoop Dreams by hitting a game winning shot versus Indiana. Despite this development, the Wiz won the NBA Draft lottery and went on the pick John Wall.
Last year, the team similarly finished in winning fashion, taking 6 of their last 10, with 4 straight W's at home. Once again, Blatche and McGee flashed the sort of potential that left scouts salivating. Rookies Wall, Booker, Crawford, and D-League find Othyus Jeffers lead the charge. And once again, the forecast was sunny.
I don't need to remind you guys how two the following seasons began. Stormy, my friends. Stormy.
So what makes this year any different from those two? Honestly, I'm not 100% sure. Unlike the NFL, where teams that finish strong (but miss the playoffs) often see a carryover to the next season, the same isn't necessarily true in the NBA for a number of reasons. Lots of teams in the NBA rest their stars (see Miami, Chicago) for the playoffs while teams on the other end of the spectrum (see Charlotte) have either checked out altogether or are simply outright tanking (see Portland, Golden State). While I'm glad that our guys are playing hard, figuring out how to finish games, and still showing signs of growth, I'm just not sure what (if anything) this portends for next year.
So lets examine both scenarios:
This Means Little-To-Nothing, Because:
This Means Something, Because:
I'm honestly not sure what this means either, but I figured I'd ask you guys.
Is this season's "strong finish" fool's gold, or a clear indicator of a team on the rise? Why/why not?!?
This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.