This past Monday, Mike sensed that there was less buzz about the Washington Wizards and their upcoming playoff run than playoff runs in the past. He also provided his thoughts to Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post's D.C. Sports Bog, a response that represented how many in our community feel.
My takeaway from that piece was this:
How can the Wizards get their "buzz" back?
Obviously, the simple answer appears to be along the lines of this: the Wizards need to defeat the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs, preferably with some dramatics.
After that, they would face the
winner of the Indiana Pacers /Atlanta Hawks series. Even with the Wizards in the second round of the playoffs, some skeptics may still not jump aboard unless the Wizards put up a good fight in that series.
However, creating buzz is also a two-way street. A lot of it is up to us as fans of the team to cultivate that excitement. When the die-hard fans are not pumped about a team's progress and an upcoming playoff run, that often spills over to those who are only casual fans. That could also be partly why the casual basketball fans in this area are lukewarm.
Right before the regular season this past October, we openly called for fans to get more national attention for the Wizards. Finally, they will get more of a spotlight, as all of their first round games will be on TNT, ESPN and ABC. That's right: the Wizards will be on ABC.
Now, that the Wizards are getting some well-deserved national attention, here's a new call to our fellow fans: time to jump aboard and root hard for the Wizards to make a good playoff run as long as it lasts. Wear your Wizards gear out in public. Don't hide the fact that you believe that John Wall and Bradley Beal are on their way to being the best backcourt in the NBA. Go with your friends to your favorite restaurant or sports bar to watch the Wizards in their first two playoff games on the road. Don't be ashamed to say you are going to a Wizards playoff game instead of an early-season Nationals game, even if they are down 0-2 heading into Game 3 of the first round series.
The second season has now begun. There's plenty of time later to ponder the future and point out the team's problems. But for now, let's savor John Wall's first playoff run.