The Wizards actually beat the San Antonio Spurs.
THE WIZARDS BEAT THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS.
This isn’t something we’ve seen since 2005, so you all can probably guess my current jubilation right now. It’s a win that propels the Wizards up to a 26-12 record and the second seed in the Eastern Conference, so it’s an important win in that standpoint. However, there’s so much more to talk about regarding the Wizards players finally getting a huge monkey of their back. Here are three things we learned:
John Wall is Amazing
John Wall had 25 points and 8 assists tonight in an always-riveting matchup against Tony Parker. He did it all tonight, whether it was on floaters, threes, and even a post-up. Big games against teams like San Antonio are what we hope for from Wall, and I said in my last recap in the game against the Knicks, he needs to show his offensive dominance consistently against good teams, and he showed that tonight.
Two other things that were underrated about Wall’s performance were how he handled the pace of the game, and his defense. Wall made some monstrous plays on defense, especially in transition, where he was f***ing monstrous as a ball-stopping machine. He not only had a transition block or to, but he got in the way of a bunch of transition opportunities the Spurs could have potentially converted and certainly took points off the board. In terms of pace, he got the Wizards into their sets quickly and pushed the ball every chance he got.
Kevin Seraphin Was a Beast
Kevin Seraphin had 17 points on 6-8 shooting with 8 rebounds in 19 minutes tonight. It was by far his best game of the season and he showed the potential the Wizards have raved about for a while. In a game where the Wizards needed every drop of production from their role players, Seraphin's could not have been more important.
After I eviscerated him (some would say a bit unfairly) earlier this season, it’s great seeing this, because he’s truly a great person and I wish to see the greatest of success from him. He did everything tonight, from scoring on post-ups, hitting jumpers, snagging offensive boards, and protecting the rim well (which, to be fair, he usually does). It was just an amazing performance from a player who, to his credit, has been improving as the season has gone on and is putting together a nice string of games.
This Ain’t Your Dad’s Wizards Team
The value of this win cannot be understated. The Wizards not only beat a Western Conference juggernaut, they defeated a squad which had completely dominated them for 10 years straight. The Spurs beautiful ball movement and consistent defensive intensity has been too much for the Wizards to handle for years. Now that they got this gigantic monkey, no, gorilla, off their back, they have truly shown that they are not a pushover anymore.
This isn’t the Wizards of the past, who after playing a quarter or so of good basketball against the Spurs, would crumble in the waning moments and witness groundhog day as they lose to that team, year after year after year after year. This win truly symbolizes the franchise’s incredible turnaround from being the doormat of the East to being a true contender for the Eastern Conference crown. Seeing this team counter run after run the Spurs made to come back in the game, like a poised contender was just surreal. I can’t believe what I’m watching right now. In a decade of heartbreaks, blowouts, guns, knuckleheads, this exhilarating wins is something Wizards fans will cherish forever, and is hopefully the true sign of the start of a new era.