First and foremost, let me say that I missed all my Hoops Addict peoples, and I’m glad to be back in this mofo!! My Sox beat down the Sacramento Kin…I mean Rockies, the Skins got obliterated (and spied on) by the Pats, so I need the NBA to balance me out.
Secondly, this season, I’m gonna start grading these punk refs. You really have to watch these guys nowadays because they might be on the take!
Thirdly, John Hollinger is a clown, straight up. As a matter of fact, he reminds me of the puny 98-pound weakling that battles Sean Salisbury in football on ESPN every week, a guy who’s all science and no reality. I got my eye on you, stat geek! Not only did he predict us missing the post season, but he pulled a prediction of 31-51 (or something just as insane) out of his arse.
This season brings some new faces and leaves some old ones in the dust. Cal Booth, Mike “Just Throw The Ball In The Air Like Ya Just Don’t Care” Ruffin, and Arvis Hayes (cause he had no “j”, at least here in D.C.) are all out, like a fat kid in dodgeball. Replacing these guys are Nick “Shorty Rock” Young, a Russian cyborg and D-Mac, a shot-blocking ghostrider from Fresno. So we have a nice weapons upgrade in a few places.
The regular season started out like the past eight Wizard’s openers, on the road, against someone in the Midwest, this time against the Pacers.
Indy is going to be a very interesting team once they get all their guys back healthy. If Jermaine can be a true Pacer, and not voluntary trade bait, and if the young guys can catch up to Jim O’Brien’s speedy offense, Naptown can sneak up on some folks.
Tonight, the Wizards got ambushed by an undermanned Pacer team, in which Dunleavy (25 points, 12 rebounds) and Granger (20 points, 13 rebounds) led the attack. After both squads shook off the preseason rust the Pacers turned their setting on “regular season” while the Wiz were stuck in training camp mode with missed layups, airballs and masonry that would rival Conseco’s architecture. And once-a-freaking-gain, the Wizard’s main glaring issue was……I don’t even have to say it. But I will explain the difference for our fans out there (and even some of the Wizards).
There are really two types of defense, the “good” defense (team trapping, positioning, and rotation) and “risky” defense (gambling, overplaying, matador moves, “I hope I have help coming”, etc.). For years we’ve employed a hyped up version of risky D, which is really a double edged sword for us and blah, blah, blah…you’ve heard this before. Coach Ayers (Wiz’s new assistant) has his work cut out for him.
On the bright side, Gil (34 points, 8 rebounds) eventually got on track, and Antawn (27 points, 16 rebounds) really looked like the true, level headed veteran, with his arsenal of Ringling-Bros trick shots on display. In the third quarter, the Wiz were clicking on all cylinders, with Brendan “Don’t Call Me Brenda” Haywood (10 points, 13 rebounds) stepped his game up and ate glass all night with DeShawn making a few key plays. Caron had an off game and didn’t warm up until the late stages of the game.
For some reason *cough* defense *cough* we just couldn’t pull away from a Murphy and O’Neal-free Pacer squad. But, the Hibachi caught a nice lil spark at the end of regulation, when, with the Wizards down a trey, Agent Zero delivered a daaaagerrrrr! Right in Tinsley’s mouthpiece. The Wiz were headed to overtime and a win, over a depleted Pacer team……just kidding! Once again, opposing players magically found themselves open to knit, read books, and shoot the basketball which Granger and Mike Dun did often so when it was said and done the Pacers finished a game that we should have closed out.
This sucks, but I’d rather have a reality check going into the new and improved Celtic Mystique than to have false confidence off of beating down a lame Indy team.
But, it’s great to be back!