I know, Site Manager Emeritus Jake Whitacre makes light of it on social media to this day on Twitter. But for me, I also see this sweep as one of the best moments in recent Wizards history.
Among all things, here’s why that sweep was notable.
- It was Washington’s first playoff sweep (as the winning team of course!) since the 1977-78 season — The then-Bullets beat the Atlanta Hawks in a best-of-three. So, the series win over the Raptors was the first time the Wizards won a best-of-seven series. For a franchise that hasn’t won 50 regular season games since 1979, this was just a big deal.
- PEAK PLAYOFF RANDY! — Then-head coach Randy Wittman often ran a stagnant offense in the regular season, only to follow it up with a more-modern look in the postseason, especially in 2014 and 2015 when Washington made the second round.
- The Wizards may not “have arrived,” but this was when they were certainly on the cusp as a “team on the rise” — The Wizards had the right mix of youth (John Wall, Bradley Beal), in-prime veteran (Marcin Gortat, Nene) and sage (Paul Pierce) talent to make a surprise run. From hindsight, the Wizards could have very well beaten the Atlanta Hawks in their second round playoff series if Wall did not break his left wrist in Game 1 of that series. In the seasons after this, the Wizards started to face considerably higher expectations where they ultimately couldn’t meet them. This isn’t to say that Washington didn’t have playoff expectations for the 2014-15 NBA season, they did. But it also wasn’t like the Wizards were expected to win the East during much of the season, though this playoff series made them look really, interesting.
What were your favorite moments of the Wizards’ playoff series against the Raptors? Let us know in the comments below as we reminisce one of the best moments in recent franchise history.