Alright guys, I'm back from my vacation, and I'm going to go back to regular posting. From the looks of things, the Wizards defense was still on vacation today after the wild party Friday night. More on that in a second.
I want to take this time to thank Howie and all of you guys for keeping the site going. It says something about you guys that Friday and Saturday were our two biggest hit days in the site's history. Howie did a great job of keeping the site afloat, and did a really awesome job of recapping Gilbert's birthday bash. Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about Jake's hillareous diary, which was linked by the Bog, Wizznutzz, and on the Real GM Wizards board. As great a job as Howie did subbing in for the weekend, he and I both know that the site wouldn't have flourished if it wasn't for Jake's contribution. Jake's diary proves that you readers are the backbone of this site, and these diaries have the potential to add so much to the community that we have here.
As for today, even before I went on vacation, I was silently worried about the Raptors game on Sunday. The Clippers didn't worry me much; the Wizards were at home and the Clippers have really underachieved all year, but Toronto was a different story. The Raptors are always tough at the Air Canada Center, and they're exactly the type of team you can't tread lightly. Not to mention that the Raptors' two most dangerous players (Chris Bosh and T.J. Ford) play the two positions the Wizards cannot defend. In the end, however, it was the Wizards complete inability to defend the perimeter that did them in. I'm all okay for Ford shooting 19 shots and only dishing out 3 assists, and Bosh's 24 and 15 isn't a huge surprise, but when Andrea Bargnani, Anthony Parker, Joey Graham, and Jose Calderon combine for 55 points on 22-33 from the field, that's a problem. The Raptors are not a post-oriented team, but still managed to score 40 points in the paint. Combine that with an off shooting day, and a loss is hardly surprising.
The loss is doubly bad because the Wizards have a really tough stretch coming up. I've read in a couple places that the Wizards are potentially the East's best team, but we're really not going to know how good this team is for sure until this upcoming 4 game swing. On Wednesday, the Bulls come to town, and while they don't have the best record in the East, they're the one team that is built to exploit the Wizards' weaknesses. Most teams don't have two solid perimeter defenders to stick on Arenas and Butler, but the Bulls have Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng. On the other end, the Bulls' motion offense gives the Wizards' fits, and Ben Gordon tends to go off every time they play. Following that game, the Wizards travel to New Orleans before playing a tough back-to-back against the Spurs. Two days later, the Wizards welcome the Jazz to the phonebooth. San Antonio and Utah are going to be two really good tests for where this team is at.
I'll have a nightly link roundup later, but for now, I'm glad to be back.