Thursday, December 6, 2012

"Tonight was an away game, and we won. We won on the road at home. How crazy is that?" -- MW

The Wizards beat the Heat in a game LeBron went fora triple-double, Bosh for a double-double, Allen and Miller combined for 6 threes, and LeBron, Bosh and DWade all scored over 20 points. A Sportscenter intern needs to crunch some numbers and figure out the last time those three went for twenty, Bron Bron dropped a triple-double and they lost. Did the Wizards win because RG3 sat court-side? Couldn't have hurt considering it was likely the first time that season that Wizards' fans knew the name of one of Washington's athletes.

Martell Webster, who likely takes that 'every game is the start of a new season, we have no record' philosophy to the degree that he suffers from cognitive lapses concerning the Wizards' winning percentage, lamented "I mean, did you guys not hear the announcements? It’s like, Chris Singleton, yay. They call LeBron’s name, and it’s like, jeez. Tonight was an away game, and we won. We won on the road at home. How crazy is that?"  That's right Martell. People aren't going to pay upwards of $100 (or 300X that for a real team) to watch a D-League runner-up. Fans are paying to see LeBron & co and will cheer accordingly

Explanations for the win are manifold. In addition to RG3's presence, analysts point to the facts that the team got quality minutes for just the fifth time this season from their best player, Nene, that the Heat overlooked the one-win Wizards, and that the team had been in many close games before so it was only a matter of time until one of those games went the Wizards' way. Others have pointed to a season high  in assists for the team, which bodes well for any basketball team but especially the Wizards because it means that Jordan Crawford didn't dribble the ball four times past half-court and hoist at the first smell of an open shot and instead passed to high percentage scorers, like Nene and Seraphin.

Head coach Randy Wittman provided the classix us-versus-the-world explanations: "I told the guys, the only people that really think you have a chance tonight is us here right in this room. [The media] don't believe, the outside didn't believe, and I said we need to have a statement game. What better opportunity to come and play in front of the fans that we knew were going to be here and beat this team. They took it to heart."

Basketball is interesting and differs from other major sports in that it doesn't have a farm system. (Yes, there is the D-League but that's where hopelessly over-drafted picks go to whither while GMs pray some other acquisition can save their job or the likes of Carmelo Anthony's little brother and his friends get to play organized basketball while enhancing their occupational stature for nightclubbing ) Baseball and hockey have their minor leagues and football has the SEC and the fact that most players are in college (including red-shirting) for at least a full four years.

In basketball perennially under-performing teams almost never get premium quality free agents (and have to overpay for mediocre ones), which means they have to build through the draft. The Wizards have been building for half a decade with no sign of an end to construction in sight. Because of the absence of a legitimate farm league, the Wizards regularly field players, like Bradely Beal and Jan Vesely, whom while one day could potentially succeed, in the present have no reason to be on an NBA basketball court. So how did the Wizards win?

As in all professional sports grossly out-matched teams occasionally win when fans make such a mockery of their relative futility in comparison to an opponent that  players begin to question their own dignity and self-respect. (The media aggrandizes such spectacle as when an hour prior to the game Sportscenter ran multiple segments about the stark difference between the teams while analysts mockingly prognosticated blow-out scores.) Despite the fact that three-quarters of the Wizards wouldn't make the Heat's roster all were AAU, high school and Division 1 superstars so, save Michael Olowokandi or Adam Morrison, every NBAer has exceptional potential and on the right night can compete with any level of talent. Fortunately for the Wizards that right night came against the Heat and was aided by a sports meme arising in reaction to the absurdity of the match-up in the first place.


  1. Bro, you left out that the Heat were partying all night the night before at their event at the Huxley in DC.

    % Shots of Patron has direct impact on % of games won.

  2. martel webster needs a shape-up real talk