Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wizards in Mid-to-Late Season Form

Hey wizards fan, maybe you too were as excited as the DCO offices were that the Wizards were finally kicking off some preseason basketball action, action that was televised on Comcast Sportsnet featuring the bumbling, yet lovable duo of Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier. Maybe you were so excited that you cooked a steak with a lovely butter and garlic sauce sided with a blue cheese spaghetti dusted with bacon bits (oh Rachel Ray, your bacon-goes-with-anything philosophy is the stuff lives are based around). Maybe you had just cut a slice of your steak and inserted it into your mouth slowly as to let the succulent beef and butter sauce effectively enhance your cholesterol when suddenly the deliciousness that was crafted through your thirty-minutes of hard work vanished as Antawn Jamison, the rock of the lineup, the 20 and 10 big man, the heart and soul, the 08-09 Wes -- according to Abe Pollin, etc, crumpled to the floor after slipping on a hideous Dallas McCains logo en route to smothering Dirk Nowitski. The steak suddenly tasted of garlicky battery acid as 'tawn writhed on the floor and trained Eric Waters rushed to his side along with two others to walk him off the court. The blue cheese spaghetti tasted like live rattlesnakes peppered with pain as Phil and Buck read the requisite "knee sprain" from their reports. The night was officially ruined for you as you took your couch pillow, nestled it on top of your eyelids, threw the recliner back, and forced sleep upon yourself as if it were to stop the sadness of your Wiz-life entering such an early stage of disconnect(ed ligaments).

But, while dinner may have been ruined, FEAR NOT, as even if the Wizards played at mid-to-late season form (as in, body bag style), the news regarding Antawn's knee was good. Strained tendon. He even says he's good to go for the Memphis game, if it were game seven against the Cavs or whatever. Apparently, 'tawn went to the Jason Taylor school of iron-clad ligament enforcement, where even the scariest, most revolting looking knee grabs simply can be stretched out, walked off, and held intact without Gilbert's-career-threatening-like surgery.

It was then, Wizards fan, maybe after you realized that the witnessed knee strain (not sprain) that ruined dinner wasn't so bad, that you decided to partake in the remaining carton of Ben and Jerry's Smores Ice Cream, which was so awesome that you risked cardiac arrest and partook in injesting it. Then suddenly, Chris Miller of Comcast Sportsnet and Ivan Carter of the Post teamed up to deliver more shocking news that transformed the graham crackery goodness into sandpaper inflected drywall spackle. Brendan Haywood, the Wizards' exceedingly brilliant big man, who ratcheted up his game to such a high level last season that all previous years had completely been relegated to "development time," would likely miss 4-6 months (!!) getting surgery on his SPRAINED wrist. All of this news was delivered while Chris Miller flippantly added that Brendan likely chose this surgery because the season was a lost cause without Gilbert at 100% for two months anyways. HUGE INJURY PLUS COMMITMENT QUESTIONING? You too may have vomited a little, and not to taste the ice cream again.

But we here at the DC Optimist are not ones to panic in the face of repeated Wizards' injurious ways. We managed to maintain sanity and witness the sparkling play of three of the Wizards stockpiled bigs, and felt yes, everything would return to the peachy-keen ways of that imaginary period when the Wizards were kind of healthy.

1) Andray Blatche, sporting what appears to be an eraser-inspired Kufi on his head, was spectacular. Worked the post skillfully, spun away from defenders and hit circus shots, enacted fast breaks after getting rebounds, looked all of the freakishly talented 6-11 that we had been salivating over. Big Blatche's 19 and 5 could spot start for either the wood-man, or Jamison, and it would remain exciting.

2) JaVale McGhee, NOT A STIFF. This was the DCO's first witnessing of Pam McGhee's kid, and man, were we impressed with his footwork, general offensive ability, and actual athleticism that is NOT simply the result of extended limbs. Some may have been salty that the Wiz didn't draft some extracurricular activity-loving point guard back-up, but this kid McGhee looks to be the real deal. And this is while Eddie Jordan et al remain steadfast in their assessment that the kid is raw. Could this extra playing time cook him into the well done big man neither Brendan nor Etan could ever have been? Witness Blatche's development and Haywood's development. It is really looking like this team knows a thing or two about making viable centers, folks (ignore the thoughts about this guy when you read that).

3) Oleksiy Pecherov, ALSO NOT A STIFF. Kid was stroking threes and being a general offensive pest. Good stuff from Pesh, who hasn't seen much healthy action either (WIZARD 4 LIFE!). He spent most of his garbage time minutes last year shooting threes that bounced off the front of the rim, now, with a week or two of 100% status, he is nailing those threes.

So see? Even with Brendan's upcoming absence, Jamison's scary tumble, and the overall status of the economy possibly ruining your TV-inspired dinner, things will be OK, Wizards fan. Trust us.

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