The Juice is both practicin' and feelin' good after a good nights, ne weeks, ne endless soul-crushing time periods rest from that cursed torn joint gristle. He is back just in time for the annointed one's uncalled walk back into the Verizon Center. Last time we saw Mr. Annointed, he was absorbing phantom fouls on his way to winning an awe-inspiring game that was filled with NBDL also-rans, typical Damon Jones douchebaggery, and fawning, non-Wizards noticing coverage. With Thursday's game to be broadcast on TNT, will more of the same fellating via officials, television personalities, and corporate partners occur? Why not ask likely play-by-play announcer and tired butt of Leno monologues, Marv Albert: "YES!"
That is why it is so fantastically wonderful that the Juice is squeezing freshly into his #3 jersey, as I did last night for another live-action Wizards game. As a member of one of those crowds Ivan Carter loves to snicker at when they are compared to moronic Canadians who do the freakin' wave, I marvelled at Nick Young's continued postering of lame European big men. After his siiiiiick facial of Aussie #1 bust Andrew Bogut, I couldn't help but yelp, "YOU CALL THAT A DUNK? THIIIS IS A DUNK!" "NO RULES JUST RIGHT!" and other such tired references to his island continent homeland that seemed to fly over people's heads. Being a member of one of those terrible crowds, I managed to run into none other than the best player in the NHL Alex Ovechkin, who was in the midst of having a great laugh with a friend before my sorta-blotto-ed "WHATS UP OV-IE!" was answered with a "hey vwhats up man," as he was obviously surprised that someone recognized him in this hockey/sports/fans/cheering/whatever deathbed. CUE UP 'IF HE WAS IN TORONTO' COLUMNS, eh!!
Anyways, back to the Juice, and back to not waiting for injured players to return any longer and how complete it finally feels to have an entire team hardenly constructed by G'ed up GM Grunfeld to marvel at. Man, that took a while, but during those trying days (where the Wiz, ahem, REMAINED NOT RUINED [UNLIKE A CERTAIN CUT-AND-RUNNING, GREASY HAIRED, OVERLY TANNED-COACHED DEBACLE IN SOUTH BEACH] and held on to a .500-ish record minus so much of their team) other young-uns enjoyed a brief spotlight. This bodes fantastically for the wiz, with major players like Gilbert, Caron, Etan, and now freakin' Jamison being sore, the Wiz were able to gameplay-up n00bs like the aforementioned Young ("Finally getting the pace," as Deshawn Stevenson noted), Andray Blatche, Dommy McGuire (who hoovers offensive boards like a freakishly tall Olsen twin except basketballs instead of cocaine), and Oleksiy Pecherov, whose carving out one of those soft spots in Ivan Carter's heart usually reserved for "real hip hop," and the Vikings. Yep, the increased playing time (and increased crunch playing time) of these kids hastens their development into legit NBAers when the Wizards' bench needs it most.
Forget last season. The season before that, when LeBron was walking his way to a series win, the Wizards were in a starkly opposite situation. They had their big three intact, but their bench was lacking. They had good ole AD, but the rest of the pine-ridahs looked to be Ruffin, Storree, Donnell Taylor, a very nubile, gunshot recovering Blatche, a frustrated Etan Thomas, freaking Peter John Ramos, Billy Thomas, shoot, I think frequent courtside sighting Jason Campbell might have taken a few jumpers. Jarvis Hayes was nursing another season-ender, and those Terrapin legends had left for Portland. Basically, it was the Big 3, Haywood, and some scrub named Jared Jeffries taking on Nike, the NBA's promotional machine, and their teammate Lebron. And you know what? The Wiz almost freakin' won that one. ALMOST.
Now that the big three is rested and ready, the bench has serious weapons (everyone lol'ed at Gilbert basically calling Nick Young Kobe, not last night), and the coach that has weathered serious stormage, there is nothing stopping this team from beating NBA-alloted darlings. No wonder Ernie G wants nothing more than to keep the team together 4-ever, even if it pierces Abe's precious luxury tax (where is Abe anyway?). The wait was a bit painful, but it condensed development into a few tough stretches that takes years for other teams to establish. Finalize it with Finals appearances. YOU HEARD THAT CORRECTLY!!