Just when I thought I was in, they pull me back out.
Sorry, that's a shitty lede. It really is. I had a good one, but then John Wall missed two free throws -- just like last year -- and Rudy Gay tied the game. That was the end result of the Wizards never officially slamming the door on the Kings after three fantastic quarters to make up for one crappy one, and an overtime period dominated by Gay followed. It officially ended when the Wizards went to the dreaded handoff play one too many times, failed to get a 2 for 1, then left Wall in to pick up his sixth foul on Isaiah Thomas when down two points. The final was 117-111.
From the other side
From the other side
I don't have much else to say. The narrative was supposed to center around the Wizards finally acting like a good team that came out really flat and still had more than enough to get a road win. It was supposed to be about the team's resolve, the AARP Unit stepping up again, the hilarity of Drew Gooden, the constant responses to Kings runs by several different players. Hell, even after overtime happened and the Wizards came out flat again, it was supposed to be about Trevor Ariza's clutch three, Wall catching Isaiah Thomas off balanced for a layup and a hook pass for the ages to Bradley Beal in the corner for the go-ahead three. They were going to survive their self-induced panic.
Instead, it's #SOWIZARDS again. It's about missed free throws, taking a lowly opponent for granted, too many plays called for a struggling Beal, too little done to get the ball out of Gay's hands, too many coaching blunders late in the game. The disrupted routine that the original lede spoke of became routine again.
It's just one loss, but it's a reminder that this team isn't there yet. It's getting there, but it's not there there, and there's still a long way to go to get there there. No narrative is ever simple with this franchise.
Now, let's sleep this off and get back at it in the morning.