The countdown continues with the Top 50 Wizards Moments from the 2013-2014 season as we draw ever-so-closely to the number one Vine. For numbers 10 through 6, we present to you Vines from the coaching staff to the franchise leading back-court a shout out to the senior citizens on the team and a hat tip to the Hammer.
Top Wizards Moments No. 50-46
Top Wizards Moments No. 45-41
Top Wizards Moments No. 40-36
Top Wizards Moments No. 35-31
Top Wizards Moments No. 30-26
Top Wizards Moments No. 25-21
Top Wizards Moments No. 20-16
Top Wizards Moments No. 15-11
6. THESE ARE MY GUARDS!
Very few assistant coaches in the NBA are as lucky as Sam Cassell. To be able to coach a back-court like John Wall and Bradley Beal in one of your first coaching stints is a pretty sweet deal. Considering the only other duo that I have in the same category might not even be a thing after this off-season. I think the media gets too busy over-analyzing every possible statistic known to man and the little things get forgotten as it relates to players these days. Things like two 20 year old young men trying to figure out the NBA and having a 44 year old, three-time NBA Champion who just so happens to be from Baltimore, Maryland to help you adjust.
In return for the wisdom provided to the Wizards dynamic duo from the Dunbar High School alum, the House of Guards has provided Sam I Am with one hell of a future coaching gig resume stop that includes the player development of two potential All-Stars. As I like to say, win-win. If you’ve ever wondered how happy Cassell is with his job, come to the next home game and get in the arena at 6:30 when they first open the doors. You’ll find a former NBA Champion helping a future superstar find his way and they’re both loving every second of it. Of course these are his guards, he’s got one of the best jobs in the league, do you blame him?
7. Uncle Al takes it to the rack, Gortat reax:
Two guys combined age of seventy-two provided Wizards fans with a sick over the back pass to monster dunk leading the Wizards bench into a rendition of the Harlem Shuffle.
Being a DC Native and Bullet-lifer, when the organization I root for acquires guys like Al Harrington and Andre Miller in the golden years of their careers, you take it with a grain of salt. When they come in and provide the type of leadership and guidance that these two did over the short period of time they are there you’ve got yourself a hell of a find. As a side note: another subtle non-statistical fact about the reunion of Al and Andre is that Al bragged about the organization, how it was run and why he needed to be here. Sounds like something that may come in handy in a couple years.
The architect of this roster, Mr. Ernest Grunfeld is apparently like a fine wine and gets better with time. It’s a shame that it took a decade to find the right mix to be in the mix for a super competitive team, but better late than never. Contributions from veterans like Al and Andre are moves where the payoff isn’t even necessarily immediate. Their approach to the game, film habits, study habits, practice routines, life outlook and life experiences help mold teams that are young, like the Wizards. When you pick up guys like this, it typically turns out one of two ways, you get the ones that help, and then you have your Eric Maynors. I don’t think Maynor is a bad player, just wasn’t the right player here in Washington. These two on the other hand were just what #WizardsTwitter and the young men on this team ordered.
8. John Wall half twirls into the SportsCenter Top 10:
I love everything about this highlight except the part where Wall hits the floor. In Wall’s rookie season seeing Wall fly a hundred miles per hour and come crashing down to the floor left all of us in Wizards-land holding our breath. Considering the amount of knee, back, leg and head problems we’ve had with this franchise over the years one can understand our need to wince when we see plays like this.
These days though things are different. John is a much more controlled player, understands the speed he possess and how to use it properly and now can pull off plays like this without making all of our first thoughts be that he may not get up. Instead we can appreciate his flair for the dynamic, his ability to create shots out of nothing with his speed and agility and his love for people telling him what he can’t do. These are all the characteristics of a superstar, Wizards fans. Enjoy the growth we’ve seen from John and his determination to not only be the best, but to put on a show while doing it.
9. Bradley Beal: rising star. Future All-Star
Oh, Bradley Beal is right.
Every time I Google ‘Beal’ and see that born on date on the right hand of my screen, I pause. To think Beal will be going into his third NBA season, just turned 21 and is already part of one of the best back-courts in the league is sort of absurd. Did I mention he’s also already won a U-17 FIBA Championship, is part of Team USA and happens to have a wicked jump shot.
Coming out of college we all knew Beal could stroke it with the best of them. Any of us who followed the lead up to the draft can recount all the Ray Allen comparisons. Draft Express, whom I happen to love had Beal’s best case scenario as Eric Gordon and worst case as Gary Neal. My response after watching him continued growth this year, why did they put a cap on him?
One of the areas I feel Beal has matured a lot is his body build and power at the rim. The Big Panda doesn’t have the jump out of the gym type ability that other shooting guards might have but when he’s at the rim, he finishes with authority. He’s only getting smarter and stronger and Wizards fans can expect to be wowed quite a few more times next year with more than just that wet jumper and you can take that to the bank with you.
10. Wall/Gortat screen and ‘troll’.
If you could list Marcin Gortat‘s reasons for signing in Washington at the top of the list right above being the Nation’s Capital, Darna Lounge and the legion of Polish Hammer fans he’s created amongst Wizards fans, it would be the man who run’s the offense, Johnny Franchise. I don’t really care what level of basketball you are playing at, if you have a Point Gawd like John Wall who is through his actions and not his mouth and a pass first point guard, half the battle as a player playing a different position is done.
Wall is a teammate’s dream. No athletic limitations, all the speed in the world, and a mindset of being the facilitator rather than the dunker on the end of a SportsCetner highlight. Gortat knows that and this clip is just a taste of what these two did to teams all season long. Marcin has never had a guard like Wall and you can tell as the season went on they didn’t just get better, but they enjoyed playing alongside each other.
Wall has never had a center like Gortat either, a player smart enough to pass out of trouble, willing to be patient and not always trying for the play of the day (no offense to JaVale McGee – or maybe it was). Regardless, Wall to Gortat isn’t going anywhere and we’ve got five more years of it and that is a beautiful thing.
Whether Marcin is walking a pig, driving a tank or driving a few miles over the speed limit, as long as he and Wall continue to be Washington’s version of Stockton-to-Malone, #Wizards fans are going to be entertained by these two on and off the court as evidence by this Vine.