What is the exact state of the Washington Wizards as they continue their journey of “Saw” traps also known as their current Western Conference road trip?
Four games in and only one win to show for, the Wizards have endured their toughest stretch of the season, nearly botching a comfortable lead in Houston, getting shredded in Dallas, succumbing to a blistering 4th quarter by Kevin Durant, and not being able to buy a bucket late against the Spurs.
So, with the Wizards down 1-3 in this road trip, how worried should we be?
We sought our answers via the beloved contingents of #WizardsTwitter and most of the responses expressed little panic.
On scale of 1-10, how worried are you if #Wizards drop tonight's game vs Pels? 1: not worried, just a bad road trip; 10: need 2 make a trade
— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) January 5, 2015
@HoopDistrictDC 1. Not worried… Every good team has a bad stretch here & there. No need to panic
— DCoke23 (@D_Coke23) January 5, 2015
@HoopDistrictDC 3 stay put…beal needs to attack more and wittmans gotta improve substitution
— Harjinder Singh (@Punjabiswagg) January 5, 2015
@HoopDistrictDC 3. You win some, you lose some. Games like the Mavs one happen, and I like how we competed against OKC
— Marlon Bando (@lacksruples) January 5, 2015
@HoopDistrictDC I'm concerned on the defensive end. Giving opponents 100+ points, win or lose, is a bad omen for the future.
— Dana (@outbeyond) January 5, 2015
@HoopDistrictDC if they lose tonight I'm a 4, this is probably the toughest road trip anyone in the NBA will face this year
— George Templeton (@temptherat) January 5, 2015
@HoopDistrictDC 4. Bad stretches happen all the time and this was a brutal trip as far as schedule/matchups. It's a long season.
— Peter Jackson (@pjackson108) January 5, 2015
The Wizards have faced legitimate title contenders these past four games, yes. High scoring powerhouses that are well coached, feature more than one superstar per team and yet, the Wizards hung tough before folding in final minutes.
This was nearly the case in Houston, where the Wizards and Rockets exchanged runs the entire second half before the Wiz finally surfaced on top via clutch free throws by Beal and Wall to win by 1. The Wizards led by 11 at the start of the 4th and by nine with under 3:30 in the game yet both times the Wizards allowed the Rockets to climb back with runs of 13-2 and 7-0.
I’m not even going to waste my mom’s WiFi bandwidth to talk about that Mavericks game.
In Oklahoma City, John Wall played the entire game committing just one turnover. It just so happened to be a turnover he committed when the Wizards were down just 3 with 30 seconds left in the 4th. The Thunder went up by 5 at that point and won by 7.
In the 4th quarter against the Spurs, Randy Wittman bludgeoned us with his rotations by keeping his second unit on the floor until they completed the construction of an all-brick manor inclusive of a stadium style theater and a bowling alley. Right in the middle of the AT&T Center floor. The bench missed nine of their first 12 shots in that final period before Wittman offered his mercy and made the proper substitutions. But the starters would follow suit and the brickfest continued and the Wizards lost by nine.
My optimism offers me the conviction that more good things will come out of this road trip than bad. Considering the drag and dread of a tiresome road trip, having to face top tier teams of the Western Conference, gameplanning for top 10 players night after night, the Wizards still managed to offer a respectable showing in three of those four games, winning one and pushing the other two opponents to the brink of losing. Their resilience glowed despite the despair of questionable coaching and the tumult of counterattacking superstars. A win tonight will have the Wizards flying back home 2-3 in this tolling road trip with lessons learned, and restoration of whatever faith and hope was lost.