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Blowout of Brooklyn breeds blessed break for bumbling band of basketball brothers

After a very untimely losing streak, the Wizards got back on the right track with a blowout win against the Nets. Is this a sign they are righting the ship? What does the All-Star weekend hold for us? Can John Wall Act? That and more in this week's Sunday Summation.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday afternoon, the Wizards were at their unquestionable low-point for the 2014-15' season. A 5-game losing streak seemed to spell disaster, overshadowing what had been a mostly successful first half of the season. While they still miraculously held onto the 3rd seed in the East, Cleveland had all but erased the deficit and Chicago hung around like a sleeping giant. John Wall continued to battle migraines and ankle injuries, while Bradley Beal was out with a toe injury. Gerald Henderson torched us twice in one week. Randy Wittman was calling out the team. Teammates were getting in shouting matches on the court. GARRETT TEMPLE WAS RUNNING THE BENCH UNIT FOR GOD SAKES!

The Wizards had us panicking like:

Then, something pretty incredible happened. The Wizards absolutely dominated the Brooklyn Nets, thus snapping the losing streak. "Absolutely dominated" might not even adequately describe what the Wizards did to the Nets on Saturday night. Perhaps "completely dismantled" or "forced Brooklyn to be relegated to the D-league" would more accurately describe the drubbing we witnessed. The bench scored 62 points, led by Rasual Butler who finally showed signs of life. Kevin Seraphin and Kris Humphries both nearly got double-doubles. Andre Miller effectively led the bench with 6 assists after 3 DNP's in a row this week. In fact, this was the first game all season every active player got not only playing time, but scored as well. Heck, six of those players scored in double digits. Aside from Paul Pierce, everyone contributed in some way to the win. I could go on and on.

Wins like these have a way of making a team forget its problems. Although many of you will need to see more to assuage the anxiety built up over this week, I think we should take a different approach. Let's forget this week ever happened. That's right, with the fresh start promises of the All-Star break coming up, let's take a step back and remember what it was like to love this team. Before the losses and before the finger pointing, this was a team we had very high hopes for. While we can't lower the number in the 'L' column, we can remove the symbolic 'L' on this team's collective foreheads. There will be no trending down section this week because we're going to keep it positive for this summation, and I invite you to do the same.

Trending Up:

Rasual Butler

Photo credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Rasual's back! Well maybe it's too early to proclaim our early season savior back, but he's strung together a pair of very nice games. He's shot 4-8 from 3-point land and managed to score in a variety of ways against Charlotte and Brooklyn. Rasual even got in on the guard game and notched 4 assists and two steals to go along with a tidy 15 points off of the bench Saturday. If Mr. Butler can get even remotely close to the production he churned out earlier in the season, it would ease the bench woes of this team tremendously.  His three-point shooting is huge for the Wizards, as Otto Porter is the only other three point shooter on the bench since Martell Webster hasn't proved he can be relied on from long range yet. Hopefully, his more recent play will become a trend.

Past Week:

Photo credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards took on the Charlotte Hornets twice this week, which could have been an opportunity for them to seize some momentum from a sub .500 team that was missing it's star point guard. Instead, the Hornets stole two games from the Wizards with strong crunch time play. On Monday, John Wall had a chance to make it a one-point game late in the 4th but whiffed on a bunny layup, a disappointing end to an otherwise decent performance from Wall. Charlotte kept Washington at arms length almost the entire game. After the first quarter, Washington led only for about 45 seconds during the remainder of the contest. Positive spin: Paul Pierce was dynamite from long range, shooting 3-5! The Wiz shot 84.2% from the line! Read the game story here.

On Thursday, it was the Wizards who were keeping Charlotte at bay but a tough 4th quarter squandered all momentum built up by Washington. Credit Charlotte for ratcheting up defensive pressure in the second half to hold us to a measly 33 points after the break. Discredit Dejuan Blair for getting waaay too riled up about a rebounding miscommunication with Kris Humphries. Overall, these were frustrating losses for the Wiz. Positive Spin: Charlotte has actually been pretty good recently!? The Eastern Conference standings are now more interesting! Read the game story here.

Photo credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Sandwiched between the two losses against Charlotte, was a loss against Atlanta on Wednesday. It's much harder to fault the Wizards for not pulling out a W here. Despite losing to the New Orleans Pelicans two nights earlier, the Atlanta Hawks are still a force of nature in the East. They've won 34 of their last 37 games, are sending three All-Stars to New York next week, and had their entire starting unit named the Eastern Conference player of the month. The Hawks are for real and the Wizards were just the latest victim in their quest for world domination. Washington kept things interesting for a majority of the game and even led briefly during the 3rd quarter. Unfortunately, the strong play of Jeff Teague and Al Horford was just too much to handle. Positive spin: Bradley Beal got to the line 10 times! Marcin Gortat broke out of his slump kind of! Read the game story here.

Photo credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

I already covered what happened on Saturday night against the Nets above in detail, but what the heck? Did you realize we held Brooklyn to shooting 22% from long range? We shut down Jarrett Jack this time around, he ended up with 11 points to go with only 4 assists and 6 turnovers. It wasn't that long ago he torched us for 26 points and 7 assists followed the next night by 22 points and 8 assists, so Saturday was a little payback. John Wall sat the entire 4th quarter, finally able to get the in-game rest that he has deserved for over a month. Martell Webster even hit a three! Positive Spin: Essentially everything. Read the game story here.

Next Week:

Photo credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This game is a great opportunity to get the Wizards started on another winning streak. The Magic are in the bizarre circumstance of undergoing a head coach change mid-season. Third-year coach Jacque Vaughn was fired after the Magic lost it's tenth straight game on Thursday. Vaughn has been replaced on an interim basis by James Borrego, who was an assistant coach under Vaughn. I've said before that adversity of this nature tends to change a team for the better. While it remains to be seen if the Magic will improve, they got off on the right foot by snapping their losing streak against the Lakers Friday night. This should be nothing more than a tune-up game for the Wiz, but you should always be wary of a team that just got a new look.

Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday's game against the Toronto Raptors will be the final game before the All-Star break, and it's one that the Wizards could really use. Washington has struggled against Toronto for awhile, and could use a pick-me-up in the standings. Since Atlanta is completely unstoppable, the Raptors now hold the #2 seed which every other team in the East will be competing for. Unfortunately the Raptors have regained their mojo since the last time the two teams squared off, currently 7-3 in their last ten games. Call me crazy, but I see the Wizards squeaking out a much needed win here.

While a majority of the Wizards will be getting a much needed rest for the remainder of this week, John Wall will be a busy man. Of course he is starting in the main event on Sunday for the Eastern Conference, but don't forget he has also decided to compete in the Skills Challenge on Saturday night. The format this year is a single elimination bracket style tournament featuring a surprisingly strong field of guards. John will probably be considered the favorite, but the field also consists of fellow All-Stars Kyle Lowry and Jeff Teague. This could actually be a fairly entertaining event this year.

But of course, Sunday night's game is what we really care about. Look for John to get an outrageous number of assists, as these All-Star games are all about offense. I'll be interested to see how Kyle Lowry and John play together, with Kyle supposedly playing the role of a shooting guard for this exhibition. Just stay safe John!

In Case You Missed It:

The Wiz made a video tribute for Antawn Jamison, who joined the Wizards Alumni Association

It finally happened... RIP to best haircut in the NBA

John Wall stars in poorly acted Degree commercial

Dejuan Blair LEVELS Brian Roberts

Miles Plumlee spills 112 oz. of beer onto court

Comment Of The Week:

Call this a cop-out, call it uncreative, or call it good ol' fashioned butt kissing. But this week's comment of the week goes to... Mike Prada. Yes, our former head honcho wrote a comment on averagebro's "P-A-N-I-C! The Wizards Have Some Real Issues" FanPost that put everything in perspective like only the Pradamaster can:

Way to keep it positive Mike.