So maybe it is still a bit early to retire the #SoWizards hash tag. Just as it may be too early to inflame DeJuan Blair’s own #DCBadBoys label. Either way, you may hash tag however you please, #WizardsTwitter, just understand that the latter hash tag may become a trend sooner than you think.
After just one preseason game in Chicago against a Bulls team we’re all really begin to loathe almost as much as the Cavs (perhaps more), the Wizards made it just a tad bit hard to ignore this new found scrappy attitude that they warned us was coming.
Since the acquisition of Paul Pierce, numerous reports had surfaced from the Wizards locker room and from practice about Pierce’s commitment to instilling a more tough-nosed, gritty attitude amongst his new teammates. An attitude that demands home court protection, the refusal to back away, and the tenacity to bang against anyone, at any cost.
Last night, barely three minutes into the game, Pierce put his money where his mouth is. First, the hard bump into Jimmy Butler, seemingly giving the kid whiplash. Then, the hard, daring glare in Butler’s direction after Butler looked as if he wanted to say something.
Then came the aftermath. Joakim Noah decided to step in front of Pierce to usher him away, to which Pierce was having none of and proceeded to smack Noah’s arm several times before putting a finger-dot on Noah’s forehead. It got even more entertaining when an infuriated Noah tried to storm back at Pierce, who threw up his dukes and squared up in full combat mode.
And then, of all players, Kevin Seraphin decided to partake in some of the harassment of Jimmy Butler. Butler, who was defending John Wall coming up court, got bodied to the hardwood by Seraphin on a hard screen, who then promptly stood over him. Sure, it was a dick move by Kevin, but seemingly one that was motivated by the dynamic change in approach and attitude for these Wizards.
Even Martell Webster couldn’t help but tweet about his tough, tone-setting teammates.
I love how my boys are already setting the tone about how we wanna play this year.
— Martell Webster (@MartellWebster) October 7, 2014
So while it may be too early to conclusively stamp this Wizards team as one thing or another, what last night proved to us is, if anything, the seriousness of the idea that these guys are going to be a real nuisance for opposing teams to reckon with. Especially the teams they dislike. One element of becoming great is giving other teams in the league a reason to hate you, via production on the floor, and attitude. The Wizards, for the most part, did both in their first preseason game.