Monday, March 31, 2008

"They Ran Into a Buzzsaw"

Phil Chenier is right, but man, that was embarrassing. 42 point loss, worst of the season, tied for 6th worst all time in franchise history. Not having Butler or Daniels really hurt and Jamison just couldn't carry the load again. It's a tough loss but it's not like it's not expected. The 3rd game in 4 nights is hard, especially on the road. Now factor in a tough overtime loss to the Lakers and it's no surprise the Jazz simply dismantled us. I mean, I have a feeling we would have had trouble with the Bobcats, let alone the Jazz. Simply put, the Jazz are really, really good. I bet their lockers are made of rich mahogany. The first half was an a seminar on how to run the pick and roll, not to mention the constant cutting to the hoop. Who woulda thought cutting to the hoop would result in points? And on defense? If those who watch the Wizards regularly can tell you where the ball is going once the play starts, you know full well that stuff is in the scouting report. I remember a stretch in the 2nd quarter where D-Will correctly anticipated the pass from the top on it's way around the horn at least 4 out of 5 times. It didn't matter if we screened him off or not, he knew exactly where to go. It's not like every other player in the league doesn't have access to this information, it just seems like the better teams, I don't know, actually pay attention. So I think what I'm saying is that I would not want to play the Jazz in the playoffs. Not without all 3 All-Stars healthy. They are just too good.

I like to think about the quality of good teams based on how well they are able to challenge or beat us. When you think about all the other elite teams, which ones have we struggled with this year? Celtics? Nope. Opening night doesn't count. Pistons? Eh, we all know we can beat them. Lakers? Stayed with them last night, that's for sure. Hornets? Beat them on their own floor. Suns, Rockets? Not in my Swog. That leaves the Spurs and Jazz. I mean, we lost games to other top teams, but not in a way that shows what I perceive as dominance. In other words, they didn't kick our ass.

We are now essentially tied with a tumbling Toronto for 5th in the East. Philly is a game behind us and Atalanta another 3 games behind them. So where does that leave us? We have 8 games left. If we don't go at least 4-4, we may be in some serious trouble. Hopefully we can get back on track at home with wins vs. the Bucks and the Miami D-Leaguers. After that, it's a tough stretch: at Chicago, home vs. Boston and at Detroit. I think we are going to need two of those three, which will bring us to our 4 win minimum. After Detroit, we come home to face the Sixers. Now, a lot can change in a week, the Sixers could lose a few. Despite what Henry says, they are a young team and they may just run out of steam. Our final two, home vs. Indiana and away vs. Orlando. By that time, Orlando will hopefully be benching some starters so we could finish that last stretch. That leaves us somewhere between 7-1 and 3-5 to finish the season. I'll be watching.

The playoffs are coming, I can smell it.

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