Was there a more Wizards game than this?
I mean, who among us watchers of this game thought this game was over after the first quarter? Show of hands, please.
That's right. All of us.
I mean, are you freaking kidding me? This game was a blowout in the first quarter. The Wizards were losing by 21 at one point. Then AJ Price--AJ PRICE--comes in and has a career high 24 points to make this game a nailbiter all the way to the end.
Tied in the 4th? One possession with 10.1 seconds to go in the 4th? This is such a Wizards game. Get creamed by the Sixers at home. Lose another game on the road to Brooklyn. Fight their ASSES off against the Bulls. The Bulls, who are fighting for playoff seeding. The Bulls, who were missing their marquee player all season and were banged up but still managed to be better than ten other teams in the East.
But that's the Wizards' MO. They get up for good teams. I mean, they really do. They fight tooth and nail. They play fantastic defense, and they try to keep themselves in it. It takes a few more offensive miracles than I'd like for them to stay firmly in the game or in the lead, but their defensive effort is there.
And really, could the game have ended any more symbolically? This whole season was a referendum on John Wall. The team was nothing without him, then he came back, and they stormed to a .500-ish record (24-25) with him. He had a stretch of March/April when he went berserk and made a case for that 5-year/$80-million max contract.
And how did the game end? With John Wall, taking the game in his hands. This season was on him, do or die. He took the ball, and he launched it up behind the three point line. It had good arc, but the distance was short. Ball game.
The Wizards set a ton of mini-milestones for themselves this season after they pretty much knew they weren't going to the playoffs.
Get better than the next team.
Win 5 games in a row at home.
Win 10 games in a row at home
Get to the 9th seed.
Get up against great teams and surprise the hell out of them.
Get 30 wins for the first time since 2008.
Play some tenacious defense.
Some of the milestones they hit; others, not so much. But tonight, we watched our team play. It was the prototypical 2012-13 Wizards game. They were short-handed, and they started poorly on the road. Then, they played some great defense, and they showed a top-tier team their mettle. They fought for each possession, and inched their way back into the game on John Wall's back, on a veteran's offensive punch, and on a decent night from one of the Seraphin/Booker/Singleton/Vesely gang. And they sucked us in to the last second. There was no changing the channel. This game was a game until the end. And then, in true Wizards form, it was over. And they lost.
Why we lost doesn't matter right now. That'll hopefully be addressed in the offseason. But for now, just try to remember fondly that your team played its ass off for you in its last game of the season.