Hello again Wizard fans and welcome to part 2 of my analysis. It seems like we are warranting some national media attention and it not just Wall and Beal. The formally overrated and "overpaid"* frontcourt is now getting some love too. Nene and to lesser extent Gortat and Ariza have made up the bruising trio that the media and Thibodeau have focused on. While they didn't have a big of a night in Game 2, they still gave the Bulls problems especially when the game closed down and 4th Q/OT became a battle of endurance. Normally one would think this is the Bulls plan and maybe they are actually executing it pretty well. It's just that we're not backing down and actually outlasting them. Nevertheless let's get started:
-"The Bulls are going to will their way to a win. They have too much heart to get swept".
This is becoming a trend I'm noticing. The same people who are saying the words spoken above were probably the same ones before the series calling for a Bulls sweep and the ones after Game 1 declaring the Bulls will not lose back to back at home. They're probably the same ones who ignored that we have won the season series against them and felt their struggles against Charlotte was fluky. Anyone can use statistics to bend the odds in their favor but the game still has to be played
It is very much in the realm of possibility that the series can go to 6-7 games and the Bulls pulling off a miracle and righting the ship(knock on wood). But the question is how? Most common answer: Will and heart. So what were they doing before? Hoping that because the word "Bulls" is on their chest, the stadium is packed and holds the statue of the greatest player in the NBA and boasting the best defense in the NBA would guarantee them anything? It's that type of braggadocio that get teams eliminated. It was the same cockiness is left Chicago fans, reporters and radio host shocked and Chris Miller telling them what we already know**.
We came out knowing it will be a battle while Chicago came in expecting a sweep
I am saying this while expecting Bulls to come into Game 3 playing as if they're possessed. How much you say?:
It's one thing to steal one at home, it is something else to take two. The Bulls were surprised in the first game but they weren't fully ready for the second one but they were ready to start slugging. The third game should be a brawl with lanky arms(via Noah"s or Gibson's) flailing everywhere, body checks, shoving, more exaggerated screams from Butler, Gibson and Noah (as if they mattered) and DEFINITELY MORE CONTACT. I suspect Thibs will continue to turn up the defensive pressure on us even if means exhausting his unit which is what has happened. The common theme here is that I haven't mentioned the offensive adjustment Thibs will make. That is because, no one really knows. Start Augustin? Give more minutes to Boozer and Dunleavy? That would go against Thibodeau's principles that I mentioned in my last article. Eventually, they need to score or else they could ignore and another loss would drive the fanbase insane for Carmelo or anyone who can score more than 15 pts a game with average defensive skills. For anyone who watched last night's match between Houston & Portland (Battle of Hipsterville) saw that lack of ANY defensive adjustments catapulted LaMarcus Aldridge into the realms of legends. Thibodeau faces a unique problem which should be a good test of his defensive prowess. Only time will tell.
This season we have taken two major steps in team development going from the rebuilding phase to a winning record and actually securing a playoff berth. Still Wizards wasn't given the respect we expect to deserve from making this jump. Instead we learned that the Wizards could have to compete if not beat a legitimate team in order to gain legit respectability. Chicago is a nice start. Chicago (even sans Rose and Deng) is a team that will force this team to execute, play team ball and show real grit. Each game is a battle and a good test of our team's mental will that have been questioned before. Time for our Wiz Kids to finally grow up.
Heck, it's time for Wittman to grow up, Grunfeld too. This whole organization to gain respectability again. I honestly believe Wittman and Grunfeld is coaching/managing for his extension right now (2 year extension if we get past round 1. +1 year for each round advanced there after.). Time to show the NBA what we'e made of.
-Know Thy Self
Whose ready for the bandwagoners?!?!?!?!? JK, but honestly with this success will come certain bandwagoners (if you're Nationals fan(since RFK or before 2012) or Redskins fan, you know what I'm mean) but we need fans and hopefully we can sort out the new fans from the ones who was saying Irving was better than Wall before the season. Thus, we still have to win 2 games in the next (possibly) 5 games(if necessary). All possible if we continue to play the same strategy we have before: stay flexible, execute, MAKE YOUR FREE THROWS, and remain compose. We are playing at home now, where the fans will cheer when you make a basket. Wouldn't it be great to end the series here and give the loyal fans here a series win in nearly a decade? I may be impatient, optimistic, superstitious and naive but I don't want the team to return to Chicago. Let's end the series now.
P.S- For anyone living in the DC Metropolitan Area, are you seeing more Wizards/Bullets gear being worn? I would like to know how much the city supports the team. Just for lols: Imagine a Wale/Nelly Wizards playoff song?
*-I'm not debating that these players are overpaid when looking at their contracts but that we didn't sign them. Blame the team for the Arenas and Blatche extension but Nene's, Gortat's and Ariza's were acquired in a trade. So I can't fault the GM for getting expensive contracts when teams wanted to salary dump and start over(and it worked out well for us).