Rejoice, brethren! By the dice that shakes in the palm of Javaris Crittenton, rejoice!
It had been half a score since the Wizards last walked off a basketball court in triumph after having played the San Antonio Spurs (a score is 20 years if you’ve never read the Emancipation Proclamation). The Wizards had tried and failed to defeat the Spurs 17 times between November 2005 and last night. To be honest, there was no secret as to why the streak had prolonged when you’ve got two franchises that had been habitually in contrast of one another as it pertains to success and failure.
The Wiz got their 18th try against the Spurs just nine days after their 17th, primed to make up for that late game collapse in San Antonio and, well, we know how John Wall comes out for those games. Taking dictatorship is when John is the meanest, and throughout last night, the Spurs felt his wrath.
But this column won’t be about John because true heroism would actually derive from elsewhere for the Wizards against these ‘unbeatable’ Spurs. One still developing calf – fully walking but seemingly unable to form consistency in movement – Kevin Seraphin rose above and through the blazing rings of fire propped up by the Spurs with each point they scored and lead they took. For a night, Seraphin was a raging bull, perhaps even menacing enough to had outplayed a younger Tim Duncan. Or perhaps I’m reaching a bit and probably need to simmer down. Perhaps I won’t do that either. With 17 points off the bench and a world stopping 4th quarter performance, Seraphin elusively has Wizards Nation gloating once again.
Forget the headaches he creates or that we may never live in a #KSLife tapped with potential, these are must-win games for the Wizards regardless of calendar dates and Seraphin pulled through for the squad. The Wizards got dismantled by the Hawks – or as Bradley Beal labeled them “the Spurs of the East” – just two afternoons prior, on the road (and yes, Philips Arena in Atlanta does actually get populated with fans now because #hardfacts the team which occupies it has won 79% of their games). The Spurs of the West coming in to town gave the Wiz little time to recoup and recover from the 31 point greasing, making Seraphin’s big night so clutch. And I’m so happy for him.
The Wizards were playing the first of four games in five nights and so unsurprisingly, Randy Wittman had Marcin Gortat spending all but 53 seconds of the 4th quarter resting. This offered the grandest stretch of the night for Seraphin right around the midway point of the 4th when the Spurs had finally gathered themselves to take a one-point lead. While the Spurs weren’t missing shots, Snakey’s venom was brewing for a resilient counterattack for each bucket they scored. He sprayed the Spurs with nine straight points for the Wizards and by the next Popovich timeout, the Verizon Center might as well had conducted a croissant and crepe toss instead of t-shirts.
The Spurs are like a final boss in a video game and Seraphin was the Wizards’ cheat code. Seraphin’s 11 points in the 4th and a monster block on Jeff Ayres propelled the Wizards into a dramatic defensive stance against the World Champs. The Spurs scored just six points in the final 5:47 and after Serpahin had done his job, Bradley Beal and Nene cleaned up the mess with a few buckets to put the Wizards up by 10.
And so spells have been broken, codes cracked, and systems hacked. Chalk this one up as another milestone for these emerging Wizards but take only big swigs of the champagne because these guys are already in Chicago to face the…OH MY GOD they play the Bulls tonight!? Gimme that damn bottle back we got work to do!