As I awoke to the buzzing of my alarm this morning, the normally bright sunshine that is omnipresent around southern California was nowhere to be found. Today, according to Accuweather, was to be cloudy and cold (relatively speaking, a high of 55 with mild wind isn't bad on that other coast). But there was something else wrong this morning when I woke up, and it wasn't because I was in some strangers hotel bathroom or felt like I might have been missing a kidney, no, this wrong-ness felt more Wizard related.
I think I'm legitimately worried. It's the first time this post-season that I felt unsure of the Wizards chances (the last time I felt this dismayed was watching Gil miss those 2 free throws). I have always stood by them, believing unflinchingly in their ability to win. I even picked the Wizards to win in all in a bracket with some friends. Over Boston, over Detroit, over LA and over the Spurs. It was worth the $5 for me show by complete belief in their ability to win. Now, with our backs up against the wall heading into the Q, I am unsure if we can do it. As mentioned by Prada over at BulletsForever, lots of things went wrong in Game 4. There was no individual player, no individual moment, and no individual performance factor that stood out (ok, maybe offensive boards). I was so upset after watching Game 4 that I couldn't even talk about it, let alone blog about it. That last second shot by Gil, all the missed 3's, the missed rebounds, it all weighed on me. I decided later in the day that I had to let that game go. Much like a player, a blogger must learn to move on as well, as does a fan. But how does a player, a blogger, or a fan come back from a loss like that? How do you look at a game where despite losing the rebounding battle badly, despite your poor shooting, and despite mistakes of the other team, you still manage to stay close AND lose? I don't know. That's where I'm at.
Usually I'd sit here and say we have to get aggressive on those boards, but we knew that. Or we have to have better shot selection, or more assists, or sit Stevenson when he's cold, but what will that do? Frankly, I think we have played reasonably well enough to win at least 3 of the 5 games, yet we only have 1 victory. Something has got to change, but I don't even know what it is. I know the Wizards want this win. I know they (myself included) want to beat the Cavs VERY badly. The problem couldn't (and shouldn't) be a lack of desire. So whatever it is they need, I hope they find it.
I, and many other fans, have poured their heart and soul into the club and this year was going to be the year we made it past the Cavs. The year when we could tell Lebron and his rag-tag group of rotating role players that we are not a team to be messed with. That the Wizards are the #1 team in the East, a spot we held briefly when all 3 guys were healthy last season. I still believe in this team, and I hope they do to, cause I swear, I really need this.
PS - Please, please, PLEASE do not let Lebron go baseline this time. I'm begging you!