Apr 26, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards center Nene (42) reacts against the Miami Heat during the first half at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
By now, you've probably seen Ted Leonsis' line on his blog today that has lots of people talking. In case you haven't, here it is.
We were bad – by plan – and now we plan to be GOOD.
No matter how you feel about that quote, you have to admit that a six-game winning streak to end the season at least gives Leonsis some basis for happy talk. Imagine if the Wizards closed the season poorly instead of well. You certainly wouldn't see Leonsis write a line like that.
But it also raises an interesting question: just how should the Wizards view this six-game winning streak. Me? I like the way DCrez put it in the comments earlier today.
IMO, this little run is terrific and presents and much needed double-edged sword. No more excuses next season, none. If the teams comes out of the gates 4-20 next season wholesale changes MUST be made and Ted can spin it no other way. Either what we are seeing is the progress we want or it isn’t. There will be no more "but when [insert player] gets a J next season it’s on!"
That's exactly how everyone involved with the Wizards needs to view this. It should raise expectations and cause the Wizards to work harder. It shouldn't act as a security blanket of any kind, because a six-game winning streak at the end of April, especially in this compressed season, really isn't anything to write home about. It's nice in terms of providing the players some optimism that they are capable, but that's about it. Opponents are either tired, resting starters or both. Very rarely did the Wizards actually get a team's best shot this month.
That isn't to say the Wizards can't draw confidence from finishing strong, but that confidence must be channeled carefully. Everyone involved in the organization needs to fully embrace the fact that it's not going to be as easy next year as it was over the past three weeks.