An impressive Christmas night performance by our lightly regarded Wiz, who often spent the night in the lead of the ballgame against their apparently-more-NBA-friendly rivals. However, it wasn't enough to overcome the most one-sided officiating performance in recent history. Instead of having to overcome their tough opening stretch of games, injuries, poor play, porous defense, DeShawn Stevenson's presence, etc, the Wiz had to overcome both the influence of corporate partnerships and apparently something the NBA refers to as officiating last night in their 23rd almost-win. In case you were busy smashing your head against the wall instead of watching the Wizards umpteenth consecutive non-clinching fourth quarter, the Wiz were called for a phantom foul on a three point shooting player wearing 23, then they were called for charging on two consecutive plays, both of the questionable variety, sandwiched between a delightfully ticky-tacky loose ball foul with the game on the line.
There was no doubt that the fortunes of the Wiz were pre-determined, therefore it is unnecessary to look at the final score, since the illuminati-like team of Phil Knight and David Stern apparently phoned in the final score as soon as the Wiz held the lead with under two minutes remaining. The team the Wizards were playing against did nothing to secure a win other than hurl themselves to the floor (as per usual) in some of the poorest acting performances this side of "The Hills," with the "Closer"-like refereeing squad feigning influence by these pretending-to-be-hurt fakers.
Interesting note that before the game, the Wizards' opposition altered their uniform choice so as to appease one of their players and the release of his new, soon-to-be-on-sale-at-Marshall's shoe release. Interesting how exposed as terrible that player would have been if the NBA and Nike hadn't fixed up that fourth quarter and allowed the unfortunate Wiz to end that team's decrepit-home winning streak. Another interesting note that was happily buried in referee-abetted red tape: How another dude with the James surname was unstoppable, while the one from all of the lame commercials was busy complaining to the officials that his charges weren't called.
While the Wizards have had their fair share of moral victories this season, we here at the almost-monthly-updated DC Optimist feel that this moral victory is the most savorable. There was no way the NBA, TNT, Nike, et al were allowing their unfortunately uniformed darlings to fall against a Wiz team seemingly inspired by 24 consecutive hours of "A Christmas Story," which continued to air on the other Turner network. Mike James, likely leaving his now-famous progeny under worthy supervision, was shooting the Cavs's eyes out, and Antawn Jamison, who doled out impressive buckets almost as often as phantom fouls, earned an "A+++++++" grade tonight. And new starter Domenic McGuire is showing how nice it is to not have DeShawn Stevenson play as many minutes as he had earlier in the season with his improving defense, rebounding, passing, and dunking.
So even if after that pathetic excuse for a fixed outcome you have determined that watching NBA action is equivalent to watching a glorified Harlem Globetrotters performance (with terrible comedy courtesy of the anointed one during the commercial breaks!), and you will never tune in again, you ought to reconsider. Because with the odds-defying that the Wiz must overcome every night, that big win number five ought to be a more impressive victory than Ralphie's sudden beatdown of the yellow-eyed Scut Farkas.