Game 6 of the Wizards' second round playoff series against the Pacers is hours away. (It also happens to be the original date of Lady Gaga's concert at Verizon Center, which was rescheduled to this past Monday, May 12. Not surprisingly, ticket prices for Lady Gaga's concert dropped considerably, according to Forbes).
Obviously, we want to see a win. More importantly, though, we are hoping for another strong 48-minute effort from the Wizards, regardless of the result. If the Pacers beat them, they beat them. I don't want to see the Wizards beat themselves.
Before we start rooting hard, a roundup of links.
FiveThirtyEight's Ian Levy sheds more light on the historic rebounding performance in the Wizards' Game 5 performance. The Wizards' 62-23 rebounding differential hasn't been duplicated in the playoffs since the 1985-1986 season. Wow.
Jeffrey Tomik of the Washington Post has a survival guide for the Wizards. Not surprisingly, making free throws was the number one priority.
Mike Wise of the Washington Post makes a case that Randy Wittman may be in fact the right coach for the Wizards. After all, he has taken this team further in the playoffs than anyone else since Dick Motta, who led the Bullets to the 1978 NBA World Championship.
We have discussed that this summer will be an important offseason in D.C. Jim Cavan of Bleacher Report adds his take on an earlier piece from Grantland's Zach Lowe that the Wizards want to re-sign both Trevor Ariza and Marcin Gortat.
Conor Dirks has a piece on True Hoop on how Wall and the Wizards will not go down quietly. Game 5 certainly showed that. This quote basically sums up how that game went down:
The Wizards, after an out-of-nowhere 23-point win in Indiana against the best regular-season home team in the NBA, are standing atop their deathbed and ripping out the oxygen tubes.
And Ted Leonsis has a blog entry on the building of the current Wizards' fanbase in the John Wall era. Here's a quote on the building of the fanbase here:
I also knew we had to create our own memories, new and fresh, to impart to our potential fans. We had to build from scratch a new fan base, in overlay of our small, rabid and passionate fan base, as noted here. We needed to show respect and appreciation to our long term fans but we needed to create a new and expanded fan base. Expanding the base is key for our franchise, tapping in to young fans and building tradition with them and loyalty with them is key for the Wizards. And our future.
We basically lost a generation of fans and now have to create the next generation of fans. That is a part of the rebuild plan as well for our franchise.
I think it is a little early to say that the Wizards now have an expanded fanbase that will go to games in droves like the Capitals the last several years, but it is promising to see this.
Have any more links? Feel free to share them below.