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The Washington Wizards (1997-), Formerly The Washington Bullets (1974-1997) and The Capital Bullets (1973-1974)

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There must be something wrong with us  say the Wizards season ticket holders , especially those that keep buying year after year.  Ooh I can relate to that.  I held partial season ticket plans for years and years and years.....all while they stunk. (More in mediocrity at best)..

I feel their pain.....but I reformed.... now I buy discount seats on the secondary market.    Uggghhhh

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Satoransky and Dekker play hard admitted their coach following an all too infrequent victory.  It’s been painfully obvious for about one full season (following Wall’s injury last season) that the team lacks this quality over far too many games.

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Should the Wizards Tank This Season??

As a fan I never liked the idea for any team.  But I’m neither a general manager tasked with setting a direction and (ultimately) competing nor the owner.  It’s a strategy that can work wherein high draft choices might resuscitate a team in future years. 

This past December (and earlier) the idea gained popularity in press and social media.   The team record was dismal, the star, John Wall was out for the season, the effort was listless and the results in play and record were discouraging.  This piece in the Washington Post  was one of many opinions in favor of tanking.

This past Thursday the Wiz played overseas with owner Ted Lionsis at the game and interviewed on the subject:  The Wizards will never tank (not this season) was his reaction.

Hmmm......  Having been watching this team for too many decades, having attended countless games, having seen them flounder this season, having actually recognized and acknowledged they have been overall below average (i.e.  BAD) for now almost 4 straight decades this season, for the first time, I relished the idea of tanking.

It ain’t gonna happen- not this year.  And they have had a winning (playoff quality) record since Wall went out.

“Wait till next year”.  Hmmmm...... How about waiting for the next several decades.....

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The Curse O' lez Boulez

Tony Kornheiser coined that apt phrase decades ago.  I'm not sure when.  Here is an article by Kornhieser from 2014 that summarizes decades of Bullets(Wizards) despair and ends with the "Curse o' lez boulez" description.

Fast forward 15 years.  Since then the Wizards have had two totally different versions of a "big three"  (that simply never were "big or good enough").  One ended with a bizarre gun fiasco and injuries (the Arenas era) and the other recently ended with 2 leg injuries to John Wall.  Once again the Bullets/Wizards will not win 50 games (that is 40 years in a row now)--they probably won't finish over .500.

Being a fan of this team is "TOUGH".  

Charles Barkley, an old teammate and friend of Wizards Coach Scott Brooks had this to recently say about the Wiz  Over the last 2 years I can see his point--Wall and Beal have not been a great match.  Some folks root for the New England Patriots or the NY Yankees or the San Antonio Spurs.   Bully for them.   I would suggest as an exercise in learning humility they start rooting for "lez boulez" for the next decade. 

On a side note since this is a food blog I learned the following the other day while leading a "placement session" for the bartending school.  One of the grads has been a long long term manager at concession stands at the Capital One Center.  She goes back decades.

  • Cap fans drink more
  • Wizards fans eat more
  • Concert fans both eat and drink more than fans of the teams.
  • The guests of the suites REALLY REALLY spend big on food and drink.

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What is the Impact of a Player

11 games ago the Wizards "blew up their roster".   John Wall was diagnosed with a second injury that will probably wipe him out of not only the remainder of this season but possibly all of next season.  Additionally the scope of the injury is such it puts his future "stardom" at question.   The Wiz were tied into enormous salaries for Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter going forward (3 former high draft choices).   The injury forced the Wiz to reverse course on a pledge to keep their 3 high priced "stars" going forward.

The Wiz traded Porter to the Chicago Bulls for two forwards.  Since then the Wiz are 4-7, and Chicago is 6-5.   The Wiz are losing ground on their effort to get to the playoffs, losing some winnable games.  Chicago's record has improved and Porter is playing better and more vitally on behalf of the Bulls than he showed for the Wiz this season.

All that being said I agree with the effort.  The most recent team had a "big 3" in Wall, Beal, and Porter that wasn't big or good enough.  At best they were a mid level candidate for the playoffs.  Not that different from the former "Big 3" of the earlier 2000's with Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antwan Jamison--a trio that was good but not good enough.

Porter, at his best, was a complementary player;  he developed into a fine 3 point shooter, he filled many roles, but he never took over.  His role was limited. Interestingly though, since that trade, admittedly a move to "blow up" the roster and restart, they are simply not as good.   Porter, a middling player seemed to add wins. 

In any case as a long term fan of the Wiz/Bullets, I muddle along as with other long term Wiz fans.  They have never been as despicable as the SnyderSkins.  They just can't rise above mediocrity, and for most of the time since the end of the 70's they have been worse than mediocre.

Its more fun to eat well and drink.

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On 2/23/2018 at 1:09 PM, Shaho said:

Sato is a beast. I've liked him since watching his Euroleague highlights. Took him a year to get his shooting up to snuff but he's really making an impact. Reminds me of a less creative version of Ginobili (both scoring and passing wise). The upside is he rarely makes mistakes and plays much better defense than I expected.

The Wizards are looking good for 80% of recent games. The hardest part to watch is the Beal at PG lineup. It made no sense keeping Sato on the bench until 3 minutes left in the game last night. The ball movement that's giving them success completely bogs down with Beal running point, and Meeks is a negative NBA player so I don't understand the fascination with playing him. I have a bad feeling the infamous Scott Brooks 4th quarter iso offense is going to be our undoing in the playoffs (though credit him for the significant development of Wall, Beal, Sato, Otto, Oubre). 

When Wall gets back, I'd like to see him play reduced minutes and try to apply more energy on the defensive end and trust his teammates to continue the excellent ball movement without dribbling out the entire possession. The Wizards would be really dangerous with John wall playing 30 minutes a game at max speed.

Long term the Wiz have a collection of strong young guards and wings, but declining and limited big men. We really need to hit on an athletic Capela-type in this years draft to continue our success. The Mahinmi contract is killer but at least he's been playing somewhat serviceably recently.

More people recognize that Sato is a quality player.  He is NOT an athletic star that jumps higher, moves more quickly, or is faster than everyone else.  He knows how to play:

Here is a recent piece on his overall game from Zach Lowe at ESPN.   When Sato is in the game the Wiz move the ball better.   Overall there are more shots of better quality:

Lowe on Satoransky's play this year:  (go to espn to see the video's.  They aren't remarkable plays featuring athleticism, they are smart plays that create good shots)

Tomas Satoransky just knows how to play

Every trade deadline leaves two or three makeshift teams in its wake: random collections of free-agents-to-be, guys acquired for reasons that are no longer relevant (Trevor Ariza), guys acquired later and for different reasons than the first guy (Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker), and maybe Dwight Howard holding a player option for reasons only Ernie Grunfeld understands. (The Grizzlies have the most fun Flotsam Team.) Everyone is marking time until the season ends.

But these Wiz are fighting, and Satoransky is a joy. Viewed with the wrong perspective, he might leave you wanting. He doesn't run the offense as much as a traditional lead guard. You might not trust his jump shot. Elite point guards and physical scorers give him trouble on the other end.

But Sato just knows how to play. It would be really fun to be on his team. He's unselfish, and a very smart passer. Few guards cut with his sense of timing, and such revved-up urgency.

Some ball handlers disengage when other guys run the show. Satoransky is always searching out little ways he can help, and he sees those opportunities earlier than most. Why stand still or beg for the ball when you can plow away the defense with an improvised screen?

The Wizards have posted a healthy scoring margin for two years running now when Satoransky and Bradley Beal share the floor. Satoransky is shooting 43.5 percent from deep combined over the last two seasons.

Satoransky will be a restricted free agent this summer, and he will have a market. He can play real minutes on a good team.

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