After a four game win streak from the Wizards against playoff teams, spirits were at a season high heading into the Pistons game last night. Most were expecting the Wizards to cruise into the All-Star weekend riding a five game win streak and were getting ready to watch Bradley Beal light up the Rising Stars Challenge. But as Wizards fans, you well know that things usually don’t go according to plan. Last night was no different.
The Wizards struggled to step on the proverbial jugulars of the Pistons last night after leading for most of the first three quarters. Then the fourth quarter happened. A quarter which saw our most potent offensive player of the night, Emeka Okafor (20 points in 25 minutes), ride the pine the last 12 minutes of the game. The fourth quarter also gave us five minutes and 42 seconds where the Wizards score was stuck at 70. That’s right. Almost six minutes went by without the Wizards scoring a point. Those stats aren’t going to win games, and it left us with a 96-85 loss headed into the All-Star break.
Last night’s loss to the Pistons sure was a dagger to the excitement Wizards fans have been feeling over the last week. But a 4-1 record over the last five games will still carry some momentum heading into the break. What the Wizards do with that momentum is ultimately up to them though.
While Steve Buckhantz might have gotten a little ahead of himself last night mentioning the “P-Word” as he put it, there are some things to keep an eye out for after the All-Star break. This first item is if the Wizards will make any trades. After a third straight DNP-Coaches Decision for our main man Steezy last night, most of the Wizards community have started speculating if he will be traded or not. Yesterday I did a guest piece for our friends over at Wizards Extreme and listed two possible Jordan Crawford trades. It will sure be interesting to see if he does get moved, because at the moment his scoring mentality has been parked on the bench, and I’m sure he could help out some playoff hopeful teams. It will also be worth keeping an eye on to see if any other pieces of this current Wizards squad get moved by the February 21st deadline. As we talked about in this week’s WizardsXTRA podcast, we should definitely keep our core of Okafor, Nene, Beal, and Wall together. Everybody else should be available if the trade is right.
The second item to keep an eye on after the break is if the Wizards can actually keep tallying wins against the league’s playoff caliber teams. With big wins over both New York teams, the Clippers, and the Bucks over the last week and half, Wiz fans have been ecstatic to watch the games again. The only issue is that all of those games were at the Phone Booth except the Bucks game. And the Wizards have only managed a 4-22 record away from home while they boast an 11-14 record in the confines of their own home. If the Wiz want to play .500 or over ball the rest of the way, they are going to need to start picking up wins on the road.
So let’s enjoy the All-Star festivities that kick off on Friday. Our new lovely guest writer Ally Taylor gives you the low down on that.
Until after the break, Stay Steezy my friends!