Monday, April 23, 2007

Wizards Closer than it Looked

CLEVELAND, April 22 — Keeping with their recent trend of playing competitively, the Washington Wizards fought hard in the opening game of their playoff matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers, providing a scare to the preening Cavs and their lamely-T-shirted fan base. Antawn Jamison, the lone "big," came up big, contributing 28 points, 14 rebounds, and a block in 45 tough minutes before ultimately running out of gas in the fourth quarter. Jamison hit shot after shot in the first half drawing the Wizards closer to the Cavs in both the second and third quarters, and he continued to slug it out in the fourth when Eddie Jordan leaned on his offense disregarding any effects fatigue may have on big 'tawn. Also contributing was playoff newbie Jarvis Hayes, who had 18 points and played tough defense on the often sneering Lebron James and his posse of referees. James had a universally-regarded unimpressive night, with 23 points, 0 in the second quarter, even going so far as pantomiming an ankle sprain caused by a phantom Etan Thomas foul. That supposed foul, whistled after the Wizards had already begun to set up their offense, was nearly the spark the Wizards needed. Instead, utilizing the simultaneous panic-attack both David Stern and ESPN execs likely had, the referees halted the Wizards' giant-killing prowess and the Cavs went on an 11-2 run.
If James' fake injury would have been real, than the DCOptimist's world-reknown sweep prediction might have held true. This bold prediction, almost told to Antonio Daniels before the game, would not have been the first time this blog was right about something. It would have been the second. Daniels was no doubt reading the mind of the invaluable Dan Steinberg flirting with a triple double before Eddie Jordan's grueling schedule claimed him as well.
Since we at the DCO have a predilection towards proverbially yelling "Three V-Dubs for under 17-grand" in the face of Optimism-haters like Mike Wise, one wonders, if given the DCO blog URL, if the remaining Wizards would be equally inspired, maybe even adopting one of our nicknames and giving us a percentage. Maybe "Seldom Silky-Smooth Shooting Swingman" or "Head Coach-cum-scientist" would enter the Verizon Center locker room vernacular. We picture Eddie Jordan, in the midst of his metaphorically brilliant Texas A&M comparison speeches, reading a grammatically challenging DCO post, inspiring Brendan Haywood to take advantage of his five minutes of play, instead of using the limited exposure to show off his two-step fadeaway.
But despite our efforts, the "overflowing urinals" of Washington Post sports columns continue to seep into the local sports mindstate. Speaking of escaping a fecal–matter soaked mindstate, Larry Hughes, no doubt thanking the Wizards for making him grossly overpaid, looked more like the one-time big three-er than a Nelly video extra, coming close to matching his playoff career-high of 33, which he had for the Wizards back in '05. If you recall in that series, the Wizards lost the first two games, before ultimately ending up victorious. Does the DCO see a pattern here? To sum it up in four Wise-like words, we deja can't lose.

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