The Wizards are in the playoffs for the first time in the post-Gilbert Arenas era, and the predominant story line is that Wizards fans aren’t particularly excited. Except for me, that is; I’m extremely excited. Eight reasons why:
1. 44-38 = Championship
The Wizards went 44-38 this season. They also did that in 1978, when they won the NBA Finals. It’s math, really.
2. John Wall + Brad Beal
Neither is All-NBA or anything, but they could be. Someday. If they break the Curse of Les Boulez. For now, they’re a combined age of 43, and this is their first postseason action.
3. Nene, Man
He’s been playing about 20 minutes a game lately and should be good to go for the playoffs. Thank God.
4. National TV
This doesn’t have appeal for in-market folks, but I live in Wilmington, NC, where there has been exactly one — 1! — televised Wizards game this season. One! The Lakers had like 25. I’m not kidding. And League Pass is way too much money for regular season basketball. So this is a big deal for me personally.
5. National Attention
I was kinda bummed the Wizards don’t get the Raptors in Round 1, because it seems like they’d have more of a chance vs. Toronto than the Bulls. But at least this series will actually be on the national radar (via Chicago). Plus, no one wants to root against Toronto, unless the Blue Jays are involved, and Cito Gaston is managing.
6. No More Knuckleheads
No Andray Blatche. No JaVale McGee. No Nick Young. No Jordan Crawford. It’s so much more fun watching them when they’re playing for other teams.
7. They Have A Shot
I don’t expect the Wiz to get past the Bulls, but it’s not like Chicago is a title contender. Not without Derrick Rose, at least. Making it to the second round, probably against Indiana, isn’t all that far-fetched. And Indiana hasn’t been great either.
8. What Else Is There?
The Caps missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007. The Nats are injured and bumbling. The Redskins went 3-13. Terps basketball is the worst it’s been in decades. The Wiz are all we have right now. Embrace it!